DEA Expected To Reclassify Cannabis In ‘Historic’ Shift

People celebrate 420 at Washington Square Park in New York City on April 20, 2024. (Photo by Leonardo Munoz / AFP) (Photo by LEONARDO MUNOZ/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:31 PM – Tuesday, April 30, 2024

As he pursues reform proponents in order to uplift his reelection campaign, President Joe Biden has requested a review of marijuana laws, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is now anticipated to legally reclassify the drug as “less restricted.”


Cannabis will be federally reclassified from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, with cited research into its “therapeutic qualities” that could pave the way for legal prescriptions to replace a patchwork of state regulations, according to the Associated Press.

“The states where recreational weed is [already] legal are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington,” CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, longtime supporters of legalizing marijuana criticized the move as a stopgap, pointing out that drugs like ketamine and codeine cough syrup are still illegal and subject to sanctions for users and distributors.

“Moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough,” the national group Students for a Sensible Drug Policy stated. “Make no mistake, Schedule III is not legalization, and it is not decriminalization. It will not stop arrests, especially of young people.”

Marijuana, along with heroin and LSD, was classified as a Schedule I narcotic for over fifty years, meaning that the government felt that the drugs had no recognized medical benefit and a high potential for abuse.

However, drugs classified as Schedule II and III are still subject to rigorous regulations.

As a senator in the 1980s and 1990s, Biden wrote some of the strictest federal drug regulations in the country. Despite the fact that 24 states, three U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., permit recreational marijuana use in defiance of federal law, Biden still claims to oppose the federal legalization of the substance.

Due to the major public support for cannabis legalization—with 70% of respondents to a November Gallup poll supporting the idea—national legalization is generally believed to be inevitable with time.

A federal cannabis legalization bill is being sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), even though he ironically demanded that the FDA investigate Logan Paul’s PRIME energy drink for its caffeine levels in 2023. However, the legalization bill is unlikely to succeed anytime soon because of resistance from other politicians.

Around 2,700 people are currently still behind bars for dealing cannabis, according to The Post.

Additionally, on the last day of his presidency in 2021, Trump commuted the life sentences of seven marijuana offenders, two of whom had been imprisoned due to Biden’s 1994 criminal law. Trump commuted the prison sentences of paraplegic Michael Pelletier, 65, and Corvain Cooper, 41, among other prisoners.

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