HHS Recommends Rescheduling of Marijuana

Reclassification could loosen restrictions
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On Jan. 12, officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the full text of the HHS letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recommending that marijuana be reclassified from Schedule I to Schedule III.

The hundreds-page document outlines the findings the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used to determine this conclusion of reclassification.

In 2022, President Joe Biden asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to initiate the administrative process to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.

“Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the classification meant for the most dangerous substances,” Biden said. “This is the same schedule as for heroin and LSD, and even higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetaminethe drugs that are driving our overdose epidemic.”

Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, which lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which doesn’t allow it to be considered legitimate or prescribed by a doctor for medical use.

The DEA will have the final decision in the rulemaking process to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III.

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