DOJ Proposes Rule To Reclassify Marijuana


Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed Thursday its move to change the federal status of marijuana, proposing to reclassify it from Schedule I to Schedule III, ABC News reported.

The Biden administration filed a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” with the Office of the Federal Register, seeking to reclassify marijuana, according to ABC. If sanctioned, this adjustment would reduce federal penalties associated with marijuana possession. The proposal is currently undergoing a 60-day public comment period. After this period, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may select an administrative law judge to assess the evidence and issue a final recommendation regarding the scheduling of marijuana.

President Joe Biden has voiced his support for the proposal, highlighting its role in correcting past injustices tied to marijuana laws.

“Look folks, no one should be in jail for merely using or possessing marijuana. Period,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “Far too many lives have been upended because of a failed approach to marijuana, and I’m committed to righting those wrongs.”

Since its passage in 1971, the Controlled Substances Act has classified marijuana alongside highly dangerous drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine. The DEA categorizes Schedule III drugs as those with a moderate to low risk of physical and psychological dependency. Such drugs include ketamine, Tylenol with codeine, anabolic steroids and testosterone, ABC News stated. (RELATED: Prime Minister Back Peddles On Legalizing Weed As Crime Rises After Decriminalization)

The White House had previously directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October to evaluate the potential rescheduling of marijuana.

“In 2023, HHS conducted a scientific and medical evaluation of marijuana based on a comprehensive review of available data at that time and recommended that marijuana be transferred to Schedule III,” the proposed rule says, ABC News reported. Following a thorough review of the available scientific and medical data, HHS in 2023 recommended the reclassification of marijuana to Schedule III.