As the debate continues about the potential legalization of marijuana, a Republican Congressman has petitioned the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for an update on President Biden’s review of its scheduling. Knowing that the issue around marijuana is one that sparks strong opinions from all sides, it’s clear that any new information about the President’s intentions on the matter will be taken note of by many.
1. DEA Chief Questioned on Biden’s Marijuana Scheduling Review
Marijuana Scheduling Review
Recent sightings of the DEA Chief surfacing after Joe Biden’s marijuana scheduling review have created significant stir in the political circle. Rumours abound on the implications and outcomes of the review, and how it may affect both the medical and recreational use. The DEA Chief has been gladly taking questions on the subject, trying to keep the public informed.
The review is set to impose critical changes, discussed openly by the DEA Chief. Sensationalized details like possible federal decriminalization, re-scheduling the drug, making it available for medical and recreational use, and extricated policy options are all on the horizon. Many of these are further discussed with different stakeholders, and the DEA Chief has promised to work diligently to make sure a just resolution is reached.
- Marijuana re-scheduling
- Federal decriminalization
- Medical and recreational use
2. GOP Congressman Calls for Action on Cannabis Reclassification
GOP Congressman Justin Amash is leading the charge for a nationwide reclassification of cannabis products. Recently, Amash proposed a bill that would require the federal government to respect state-level cannabis laws, and in doing so, make marijuana products available for research and medical purposes on the federal level.
This move is one in a long line of steps forward for cannabis reform. In the last few years, several prominent politicians, including Amash and presidential candidate Joe Biden, have been vocal in their support for decriminalizing and reclassifying marijuana products. Amash’s bill would take this even further, with the goal of reducing the burden on individuals in states with already lax cannabis laws. The bill would also remove the barriers that have been preventing access to medical marijuana, and ultimately reduce federal regulations for cannabis-based research.
Pros of Amash’s Bill
- State Law Recognition: The bill would require the federal government to respect laws already in place in states that have legalized cannabis. This would prevent individuals from facing legal repercussions for activities they consider safe in their current legal climate.
- Increased Cannabis Research: The bill also streamlines regulation around medical marijuana, meaning it could foster research on the effects of cannabis products more easily.
3. How Decriminalization Could Impact Marijuana Legislation
Decriminalizing marijuana at the state level would be a monumental step in reforming laws surrounding the substance and could have many positive impacts. Here are three ways it could alter marijuana legislation:
- Reduced Enforcement: Decriminalizing cannabis would free up precious resources by reducing or eliminating the need for the enforcement of criminal marijuana laws. Doing so could also help reduce the overflowing criminal justice system by decreasing the amount of people liable to be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for marijuana-related offences.
- Increased Tax Revenue: Along with reducing the burden on law enforcement resources, decriminalizing marijuana would also open up a new revenue stream in the form of marijuana taxes. States that pass this sort of legislation would benefit from the taxation of legal marijuana sales and could potentially invest that money back into their own communities.
- Change in Perception: Legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana would help alter the commonly held view of the substance. Unlike alcohol or tobacco, marijuana has not yet been completely embraced by the mainstream, and reform measures like these could play an important part in convincing people of its many potential benefits.
States that have already implemented decriminalization have experienced positive changes in their legal and cultural landscapes, paving the way for future reforms. The impacts of marijuana decriminalization could open the door for countless possibilities.
4. What Lies Ahead With Biden’s Review of Marijuana Regulation?
President Joseph R. Biden has vowed to make policing reform a pillar of his presidency and is bringing that same mindset to the federal government’s stance on marijuana enforcement. With the signing of Executive Order 13941, Biden has kicked off a 30-day review of marijuana regulation to see how best to make policy changes to promote racial equity and social justice.
The executive order compels the Attorney General to review marijuana enforcement in consultation with several federal agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). From there, the order asks Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to present his findings and recommendations within 30 days on how to best promote equity and social justice in the crafting of marijuana policy.
The potential policy changes discussed could include:
- A permanent descheduling of marijuana at the federal level
- Changes to tax policy that specifically aid minorities who wish to enter the cannabis space
- Reinvesting money saved from reduced enforcement into communities impacted by the War on Drugs
- Education and training programs focused on drug awareness and how to safely consume marijuana
Though no one knows yet for certain what Biden’s review may produce, it has already made a major impact in launching marijuana reform into the national spotlight. With an Attorney General in Merrick B. Garland who, as a senator, voted against an amendment that would have allowed the DOJ more control than states currently enjoy in the regulation of marijuana.
As marijuana reform and scheduling seems to be at the forefront of both public and institutional concerns, Congressman Young’s questioning bears an eye to the Biden administration’s policy review. It will remain to be seen whether or not the DEA will take action on the pertinent issue, as will the future of marijuana policy in the US.