Colorado’s Attorney General Leads Call For DEA To Reschedule Marijuana


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Colorado’s Attorney General Leads Call For DEA To Reschedule Marijuana
Colorado’s Attorney General Leads Call For DEA To Reschedule Marijuana

A group of a dozen U.S. attorneys general, led by Colorado’s Phil Weiser, are calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to reschedule cannabis.

In a letter sent to the DEA on Friday, the attorneys general said they support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III, citing public safety and advocating for legal businesses. Their pleas echo Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who in December voiced support for a federal rescheduling.

Attorneys general from Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Rhode Island signed the letter.

“As state attorneys general, we have a responsibility to protect consumers and defend public safety. The undersigned are also particularly concerned about the illicit market, unregulated intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids, and the continuing proliferation of dangerous opioids,” the letter reads in part. “State-sanctioned cannabis markets provide access to regulated products that are clearly safer to what individuals can buy on the street – and supporting the effective operation of these regulated markets thus fits with our commitment to addressing the opioid crisis and rising overdose deaths.”

In August, the DEA said it would review its classification of marijuana after a letter from the Department of Health of Human Services urged them to do so. Marijuana is currently listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it is considered by the U.S. government to have no accepted medical use as well as a high potential for abuse.

Colorado legalized weed for recreational purposes 10 years ago, and since then 23 other states have followed suit. Additionally, cannabis is available for medicinal use in 38 states.

Market regulations in legal states, such as seed-to-sale tracking systems, serving size limits and policies to limit underage sales, make the substance safer, the AGs wrote. Businesses that touch Schedule I and Schedule II substances are also subject to additional tax restrictions that burden legal cannabis operators and stifle opportunities for them to invest in public health and safety measures, they added.

“Colorado is committed to protecting the integrity of its first-in-the-nation regulated cannabis market,” Weiser said in a statement. “We recognize that there are health and safety risks raised by the use of cannabis and we must continue to take them seriously and address them. We also are confident that a well-regulated market for cannabis products best protects consumers, and this action of rescheduling cannabis will better enable the market to function.”

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