Biden Administration considering loosening marijuana restrictions

President Biden's administration has moved one step closer to relaxing federal restrictions on marijuana

The Department of Health and Human Services is now recommending the Drug Enforcement Agency reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug. 

The potential change would mean marijuana would move from being considered a dangerous substance to a lower-risk category. 

"It takes it from Schedule I – which is heroin, LSD, meth, ecstasy, peyote; you know, all of this, these types of things – and drops it down to Schedule I, which again is things like Tylenol with codeine. You can buy Tylenol over the counter, but you can't buy Tylenol with codeine over the counter," said Jeffrey Hoffman, a cannabis attorney and legalization activist. "They should be completely removing it from these schedules. Over half the country thinks this is legal in state laws. The federal government just needs to catch up with what the states are already doing." 


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The D.E.A. will begin its own review on the recommendation to re-rank marijuana. Currently, as a Schedule I drug, it's a federal crime to possess marijuana. 

The Biden Administration's move has not been met with uniform praise.

 "Cannabis use disorder is real," said Dr. Alexandra Stratyner, a psychologist and addiction specialist. "In other words, marijuana, which many of us were taught in our health courses in high school, was not addictive. Absolutely is addictive. Schedule one substance is extremely hard to research. So it's very, very challenging for researchers to do studies looking at cannabis, its impact, both potentially its medicinal impact, but also potentially its abuse impact. Very hard to study this."