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Pressure Piles on DEA to Make a Decision on Cannabis Rescheduling as 21 Senators Demand Action

Pressure is mounting on the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to come forward with its decision on cannabis rescheduling as 21 US lawmakers call for immediate action.

Frustrated lawmakers have made another attempt to force the DEA’s hand in making a decision whether to move cannabis from a Schedule I substance, alongside heroin, to a Schedule III substance, alongside codeine.

The letter, which was sent to the DEA’s Administrator Anne Milgram on April 24, was led by long-time cannabis reform advocate Earl Blumenauer, alongside Elizabeth Warren, John Fetterman and Barbara Lee.

They called on the administration to ‘make good on the President’s commitments’ to reform cannabis, highlighting the opportunity to ‘resolve more than 50 years of failed, racially discriminatory marijuana policy’.

Furthermore, they criticized the organization’s lack of transparency and seeming lack of progress on the issue so far.

“It’s time for the Drug Enforcement Administration to act,” the letter read.

“Although some at the DEA have indicated that the agency’s review of an HHS scheduling recommendation often takes up to six months, almost eight months have now passed since the DEA received HHS’s recommendation. While we understand that the DEA may be navigating internal disagreement on this matter, it is critical that the agency swiftly correct marijuana’s misguided placement in Schedule I.”

It follows a similar letter sent by 12 senators in January, once again led by Senator Warren,  demanding they respond to six questions regarding where the current review of rescheduling stands, what evidence the agency is using, and what the timeline looks like, among other issues.

While the senators gave the DEA until February 12 to respond, the deadline came and went with no response. A response was eventually issued on April 16, but failed to answer any of the senators questions.

“DEA’s response did not answer the senators’ questions and simply noted that, currently, the agency is ‘carefully following’ the procedures for taking scheduling actions ‘as it conducts an administrative review of the scheduling of marijuana,’” a press release issued by Warren’s office on April 25 stated.

The White House is also making increasing reference to their commitment to cannabis reform, as speculation mounts it could be a crucial vote winner for the Biden campaign.


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