Justice Department Moves To Reclassify Marijuana

(IntegrityPress.org) – The Biden administration is taking steps to reclassify the popular drug marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III. The reduction in severity would lessen some federal penalties for criminal behavior involving trafficking large quantities of the drug across state lines or into the country from abroad, but will likely have little to no impact on regular American users.

The process hasn’t been finalized yet, and many have criticized the move as a public relations vehicle to recruit stoned voters. The Biden campaign has used the issue as a foil to criticize Trump, highlighting that he did not legalize weed or reduce the scheduling of the drug during his administration.

Many marijuana advocates have highlighted that the drug is virtually harmless when compared to other Schedule I substances. The classification is typically reserved for drugs that serve no medical purpose and have a tendency to be severely habit forming and deadly, like heroin. The reclassification would drop marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, placing it alongside medically valuable drugs like ketamine and codeine, but still within the realm of regulation at the federal level.

State law has largely regulated or deregulated the drug at the local level. New Yorkers have complained about the appearance of dozens of marijuana stores around Manhattan, with the observation that some aren’t technically legal. The juxtaposition of legally recognized weed distributors alongside completely unregulated illegal shops has made a mockery of the process, but local law enforcement seems unwilling to do anything and many locals operate under the presumption that “weed is legal now.”

The major impact of the rescheduling is national and legal recognition of the fact that the drug has medical value. Its impact on seizure disorders as well as an alternative treatment for pain has been well-established for decades in the medical field. The rescheduling would also make it easier for scientific and medical research to occur with the drug as the regulations involved are much less stringent and grants are disbursed from national entities like the NIH.

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