Marijuana now Schedule III drug: Biden's announcement

Waving American flag in a cannabis field

Biden's bold move: Reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule III drug

In a historic shift, President Joe Biden announced that his administration is taking significant steps to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug. This change represents the most substantial alteration in federal drug policy in over half a century, and marks a major departure from the long-standing classification of marijuana as a highly dangerous substance with no accepted medical use.

A landmark decision

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has officially proposed the reclassification, which will reduce the legal and regulatory barriers currently associated with marijuana. Schedule I drugs, which include substances like heroin and LSD, are deemed to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

In contrast, Schedule III drugs, such as ketamine and anabolic steroids, are recognized to have medical benefits alongside a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Implications for marijuana policy

This move is part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to address the inconsistencies and inequities in drug enforcement, particularly those that disproportionately impact communities of color.

By moving marijuana to Schedule III, the administration aims to reduce the harsh penalties associated with its use and open up opportunities for more research into its medical benefits.

  • This reclassification will not only facilitate medical research but also potentially ease the legal pressures on marijuana-related businesses and users.
  • The decision could lead to significant economic benefits, including increased investment in the cannabis industry and the creation of new jobs.
  • It will also impact the criminal justice system by reducing the number of individuals incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses.

Next steps in the process

The DOJ has submitted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the Office of the Federal Register, which initiates a 60-day public comment period. Following this, an Administrative Law Judge will review the evidence and make a final judgment, after which the DOJ will publish the final scheduling decision.

A major step towards reform

President Biden, who has been a vocal advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana, emphasized the importance of this move in addressing long-standing inequities in drug enforcement.

He highlighted the administration’s previous efforts to pardon federal offenses related to simple marijuana possession and to remove barriers to housing, employment, and business opportunities for those affected by past convictions.

Personal perspective

Thinking on this landmark decision, I am reminded of the many lives that have been adversely affected by the stringent drug laws of the past. This reclassification not only represents a logical step in recognizing the medical benefits of marijuana but also signifies a crucial shift towards a more equitable and just legal framework.

By embracing this change, we are taking a significant step towards rectifying the injustices of the past and paving the way for a more progressive approach to drug policy.

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Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

About the author:

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of CBD and hemp production. With a career spanning over a decade in the cannabis industry, he has dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of these plants and their potential benefits to human health and the environment. Over the years, Robin has worked tirelessly to promote the full legalization of hemp in Europe. His fascination with the plant's versatility and potential for sustainable production led him to pursue a career in the field.

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