Senators Put Pressure on DEA to Reschedule Marijuana

A group of U.S. Democratic senators is putting pressure on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to remove marijuana from its list of the most dangerous drugs.

DEA spokesman Russ Baer told the Wall Street Journal the agency will announce a decision “sometime soon” about whether it will reschedule marijuana from a federally prohibited substance to something less restrictive. But he did not expect a decision by June 30, countering widespread speculation in the cannabis industry.

Baer explained the DEA is in the “final stages” of its deliberations.

In a letter, eight Democratic senators urged the DEA and its parent agency, the Department of Justice, to drop marijuana from its Schedule I list of controlled substances. The Schedule I classification undermines research on marijuana’s potential health benefits, they wrote.

The Food and Drug Administration provided the DEA a “binding assessment” nine to 12 months ago about whether marijuana should be considered to have medical value. Schedule I drugs have no “currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Other drugs on the list include heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

The FDA assessment is the main factor on which the DEA will make its decision, Baer said. Nevertheless, the law requires the DEA to do its own analysis, he added.


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11 comments on “Senators Put Pressure on DEA to Reschedule Marijuana
  1. Emily M on

    Why is the DEA the group responsible for scheduling decisions? It doesn’t seem to be prudent to make the agency responsible for enforcement the one in charge of this. It’s a clear conflict of interest since the size of their budget is determined by the perceived threat of the drugs they are scheduling. It should be no surprised they have have been dragging their feet to reschedule it for so long now. In addition to expecting cannabis to be rescheduled we should also expect a more neutral 3rd party to be placed in charge of the scheduling determination itself.

    • Lawrence D. Goodwin on

      The answers to your questions can be found when studying the creation of the Drug Enforcement Administration in the early 1970s. The DEA bureaucracy was set up at the behest of President Richard M. Nixon, one of the most corrupt presidents ever, who oversaw the consolidation of previously disjointed federal/state/local anti-drug efforts—that is, before he resigned the nation’s highest office in disgrace. Nixon had completely ignored the 1972 recommendation from the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse to decriminalize the substance. Ever since, a vast network of conflicting interests have been empowered to willfully suppress America’s entire cannabis industry (manufacturing, medicine, nutrition and, yes, adult recreation). Roll the f#%$ over, Dick Nixon. It’s time to put your delusions to rest forever.

    • bigmoe on

      I agree. They are basically letting cops decide what the laws should be. Under the Constitution, only congress has the right to legislate law and the president either vetoes it or not. No agency of the government should have the right to dictate law.

      • Joe Smitty on

        I agree with bigmoe, get it out of the DEA,s hands and put it where it should of been in the frist place with congress, who has the power to put it in congress,s hands, they better get going or we will vote there ass out of office.cannabis should have never been a schedule 1drug, make it legal and be done with it.

  2. Seth Tyrssen on

    Emily’s right — it’s a bit like putting the foxes in charge of the hen house — but only goes half way. “Marijuana” is a SACRED HERB to many of us, and shouldn’t be on their damn list at all. Demand total, across-the-board legalization. End of story.

  3. Jordan Dietrich on

    Good point, Emily.
    Cannabis shouldn’t even be on the drug schedule at all, in my opinion. It’s not a narcotic, an intoxicant, or a synthetic compound.
    Granted it is a naturally occurring mind-altering substance, but that classification would be: herb.
    Regulation, sure, “controlled substance,” no.

  4. Michael David on

    That is a perfect question. I agree with Emily. This is clearly a conflict of interest. Congress is responsible for lawmaking. These senators should be part of that themselves. Even if congress believed they didn’t know enough about the issue and needed to seek outside advisement on how good or bad something is, such advice should never be taken from the agency responsible for enforcing the law in question. Determining these things should be coming from an unbiased source. Such as a seperate agency, not connected to law enforcement, that is charged with conducting real life research. Research that would include good and bad findings. Research that is not funded from a potentially biased source. Those conducting the research should be able to remain diplomatic about the findings and not allow personal beliefs, bribes, or anything else to steer them from actual truths.

    Allowing the DEA to determine how good or bad a “drug” is seems a little to convenient to me.

    I wonder just how many Americans know that “drug” scheduling is done by the same agency that enforces the very same laws. MAYBE MORE OF THEM SHOULD.

  5. kathleen chippi on

    REMOVE CANNABIS FROM SCHEDULE! Schedule II legalizes for big pharma only, does not allow for home grows, ignores 10,000 recorded years of recorded human use (research), is unscientific and is still inhumane….

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