Bipartisan Congressional Group Calls On Biden To Deschedule CannabisDecember 27, 2022
Numerous members of Congress sent an emphatic letter to President Biden last week, urging him again to remove cannabis from its Schedule I designation, which places it in the category of most-dangerous drugs that lack any medical benefit. The letter was signed by high profile senators and representatives including leading cannabis reform voices like Barbara Lee, Ron Wyden, and Earl Blumenauer, along with others including Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Matt Gaetz, among others.
The letter praised Biden for the steps he has taken to liberalize federal cannabis law but called on him to go farther. “On October 6th, you took a crucial and overdue step in the work to end the federal government’s failed and discriminatory prohibition of cannabis,” the signatories wrote. “The instruction for the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice to review the scheduling of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act was necessary and welcome. However, it is time to deschedule marijuana. While Congress works to send you a comprehensive legalization bill, the administration should recognize the merits of full descheduling.
“During the 117th Congress, the Democrat-led House of Representative voted for the second time to pass a proposal to legalize marijuana and correct the injustices and harms of federal prohibition,” the letter continues. “Meanwhile, House Republicans and Democratic Senate leadership have introduced a number of their own bills aimed at doing the same. While we do not always agree on specific measures, we recognize across the aisle that continued federal prohibition and criminalization of marijuana does not reflect the will of the broader American electorate. It is time that your administration’s agenda fully reflect this reality as well.”
The letter also pointed to the numerous economic benefits of descheduling cannabis. “Descheduling also provides the clearest path to address the legal uncertainty facing small businesses in states with regulated cannabis markets. by creating opportunities for regulating and taxing commercial marijuana activities. Over 400,000 employees are supported by the legal cannabis industry and estimates suggest an employment potential of approximately 1.5 million to 1.75 million workers in a mature US legal cannabis market. The industry also sold a combined $24.6 billion worth of cannabis products last year and generated over $3.7 billion in tax revenue from sales. These numbers suggest that descheduling cannabis will have positive economic and employment benefits for millions of people.”—Danny SullivanSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning. You will also receive the Cannabis edition as part of your subscription.
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