‘This is the last 4/20’ with marijuana as Schedule 1, congressman predicts

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will sign off on moving marijuana to Schedule 3 of the Controlled Substances Act, one federal lawmaker believes.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat and co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, predicted to reporters on Friday that the DEA would approve health regulators’ August recommendation to reschedule marijuana.

After years of adult-use legalization expanding across the country at the state level, “this is the year we can break the federal logjam” on federal reform, Blumenauer said.

The DEA has been weighing the revolutionary declaration from the federal Department of Health and Human Services that marijuana has medicinal value.

No guess on timing

As for when a decision is coming, the congressman could not offer an estimate.

“One thing is certain,” the retiring Blumenauer said. “This is the last 4/20 celebration that cannabis will be on Schedule 1.”

Though top officials including Vice President Kamala Harris have confirmed the process is ongoing, there’s been no indication as to when a decision is coming or what it will be.

Rumors persist

Rumors swirled this week that the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel had already made up its mind.

Blumenauer also “heard those rumors,” he said Friday, “and as recently as yesterday talked to some high-level people in the (Biden) Administration.

“There is the assumption that this is going to move forward, it’s going to be positive, and it’s going to be embraced.”

Rescheduling could also pave an easier path forward for long-awaited banking reform, he added.

Blumenauer said it’s possible the SAFER Banking Act could be attached to some other, bigger legislation that emerges from the Senate Financial Services and Housing committee, chaired by bill supporter Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat.

“Any Financial Services package will include SAFE Banking,” he said. “We will attach this to any train that’s leaving the station.”

Chris Roberts can be reached at chris.roberts@mjbizdaily.com.