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US Health Agency’s Marijuana Recommendation Seen as First Move Toward Easing Restrictions

Washington – “US Health Agency’s Marijuana Recommendation Seen as Initial Move to Relax Weed Restrictions” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regarding marijuana policy, a move that Senate leaders are applauding as a preliminary stride towards easing federal constraints on the drug.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra shared on X (formerly Twitter) that the agency has responded to President Joe Biden’s request to offer a scheduling recommendation for marijuana to the DEA. Becerra stated that a scientific evaluation was carried out promptly and shared.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer remarked in a statement that HHS has suggested shifting marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance. Schumer, a Democrat from New York, added that the DEA should take the essential next steps to reduce the negative impact of strict marijuana laws.

Reclassifying marijuana would potentially lead to fewer or even eliminated criminal penalties for possession. Presently, marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I drug, in the same class as substances like heroin and LSD. According to the DEA, Schedule I drugs lack accepted medical usage in the U.S., pose safety concerns even under medical supervision, and have a high potential for abuse.

On the other hand, Schedule III drugs are deemed to have a lower potential for abuse compared to substances in Schedules I or II. These drugs may result in moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule III substances include ketamine and certain anabolic steroids.

President Biden initiated this review in October 2022 as part of a pardon for numerous individuals convicted under federal law for the “simple possession” of marijuana.

Senator Ron Wyden, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a Democrat from Oregon, advocated for the complete descheduling of marijuana. He acknowledged the significance of HHS’s recommendation to reschedule it as a Schedule III drug, stating that it represents a crucial step toward aligning cannabis policies with reality.

Initial reporting on the HHS recommendation came from Bloomberg News. In response, the nonprofit U.S. Cannabis Council expressed enthusiastic support, emphasizing the broad benefits of rescheduling, including a lower priority for cannabis in the criminal justice system and economic opportunities for the cannabis industry. US Health Agency’s Marijuana Recommendation Seen as First Move Toward Easing Restrictions

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