DEA is working ‘quickly’ on marijuana rescheduling, Vice President Harris says

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(This story has been updated with background on a 2021 comment by the vice president.)

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is “working as quickly as possible” on potentially rescheduling marijuana, according to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Harris commented on marijuana still being a Schedule 1 drug during a Friday marijuana reform roundtable with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and some who have received pardons from President Joe Biden for MJ offenses, according to news outlet Politico.

“Marijuana is considered as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than fentanyl, which is absurd, not to mention patently unfair,” Harris said during a roundtable set up to discuss the administration’s plans for marijuana reform.

“I’m sure (the) DEA is working as quickly as possible and will continue to do so, and we look forward to the product of their work.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended in August that the DEA reschedule marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3.

It’s unclear when the DEA began its review of rescheduling, but the agency confirmed in January it was “conducting its review.”

However, not known when the DEA will announce its recommendation, or what the agency will recommend.

Still, the Biden administration hopes its work thus far on marijuana reform – which includes instructing the HHS to examine rescheduling and issuing pardons and – will persuade more young and Black voters to support Democrats in the upcoming federal election, according to Politico.

“I believe that the promise of America includes equal justice under the law,” Harris said at the roundtable, alluding to the disproportionate impact marijuana laws have had on minorities in the United States, CNN reported.

“And, for too many, our criminal justice system has failed to live up to that core principle,” she added.

“And I say that with full knowledge of how this system has worked, including my experience as a prosecutor.”

Harris’ comments are a far cry from 2021, when the vice president said marijuana reform wasn’t yet a priority for the Biden administration.