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Federal Agency Submits Documents Recommending Rescheduling Cannabis

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

January 16, 2024 11:38 am ET Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes
Federal Agency Submits Documents Recommending Rescheduling Cannabis

Although there have been rumors circulating for some time regarding the potential rescheduling of cannabis, it wasn’t confirmed until recently that this is becoming a genuine possibility. Fortunately, it may be happening sooner rather than later.

Just last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an official 252-page document outlining their reasoning for rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Its current status as Schedule I considers it a dangerous and addictive substance with no medical potential.

This occasion marks the first time that a federal agency has recommended rescheduling cannabis, and this could be the push the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) needs to finally make it happen.

What Would Rescheduling Mean For Marijuana?

With cannabis’ current status as a Schedule I drug, it’s challenging for the federal government to push for nationwide legalization. Individual states still determine this, leading to a confusing patchwork of laws and regulations around the country.

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In the official recommendation for cannabis rescheduling, federal scientists touched on a few key points. They stated that cannabis is not a dangerous drug on par with other Schedule I substances like heroin, writing “the vast majority of individuals who use marijuana are doing so in a manner that does not lead to dangerous outcomes to themselves or others.”

They also explored some of the potential medicinal benefits of cannabis, which are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore as more and more people turn to medicinal marijuana for a variety of ailments. The current Schedule I classification falsely claims that cannabis has no medical benefits, a fact we now know to be untrue.

It’s still uncertain what the exact results of rescheduling cannabis will be, but marijuana advocates are hopeful that it will lead to increased research and funding on medicinal benefits. It may also result in federal legalization and easier access in states that have yet to legalize medicinal or recreational marijuana.

The DEA holds the final authority on cannabis rescheduling, and they have yet to state whether they plan on taking this action. However, any federal government agency recommending this move is a positive step forward for the cannabis movement as a whole.

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