U.S. Senator And Congressman Push for Full Marijuana Legalization, Not Rescheduling

Marijuana Legalization: A Puff of Change in the Air

If you’ve been keeping up with the buzz around marijuana lately, you might have noticed a significant shift in the air. It’s not just the sweet scent of cannabis wafting around; it’s the winds of change blowing through the world of marijuana legalization. In this blog, we’ll take a laid-back yet serious look at the current state of affairs when it comes to the push for full marijuana legalization.

Why the Fuss About Marijuana Legalization?

Let’s face it, the marijuana scene has seen its fair share of highs and lows. For years, it was labeled as a Schedule I substance alongside the likes of heroin and cocaine. But times are changing, and not only because some of us have grown a little grayer around the edges.

Recently, there’s been a recommendation to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act. This move would represent a significant shift in how the federal government views cannabis. Now, you might be wondering why this is a big deal.

The Descheduling Debate: A Heated Toke

Enter Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, both hailing from New York, who are pushing for more than just rescheduling. They want marijuana to be completely descheduled. In other words, they want to kick the bucket and let the green leaf fly free.

“I think it’s clear: It’s time to legalize marijuana and expunge non-violent marijuana convictions,” Gillibrand says. “It’s time to make sure that and the economic benefit resulting from legalization lift up the Black and brown communities most harmed by the failed war on drugs. And it’s time to give scientists and policymakers the freedom and data they need to make more informed decisions about the ’s regulation.”

Nadler chimes in, “Marijuana never should have been placed on the most restrictive schedule of the Controlled Substances Act—alongside substances such as heroin and cocaine. I appreciate the administration’s decision to review the status of marijuana, and I strongly urge the administration to deschedule it completely. It is time to end the prohibition and of marijuana at the federal level.”

A Rocky Road Ahead: Will It Happen?

But before you break out the celebratory joint, there’s a bit of a cloudy forecast. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has historically been a tough nut to crack when it comes to loosening cannabis restrictions, even through rescheduling. So, will they heed the recommendation to move it to Schedule III? That’s the million-dollar question.

Nadler believes there’s hope, saying, “The Biden administration can deschedule it without legislation, and I’m hopeful that now that they’ve come part of the way, we can persuade them to go the rest of the way.”

Biden’s Stance: Where Does He Stand?

Now, let’s talk about the man in the hot seat—President Joe Biden. He directed the scheduling review and campaigned on decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level. But, and it’s a big but, the has made it clear that he’s personally not a fan of full legalization.

Evidence from the States

Enter the states, specifically New York, where Senator Liz Krueger championed marijuana legalization. She believes that they’ve shown it’s possible to legalize cannabis without the sky falling.

At a recent briefing, Senator Cordell Cleare emphasized the importance of their efforts, saying, “Your presence here today is saying something. It’s doing something. And we have to continue to organize that voice.”

Advocates in the Mix

Advocacy groups like the Drug Alliance (DPA) and Empire State NORML have thrown their weight behind the push for descheduling. They argue that marijuana laws should be rooted in equity, health, safety, and dignity.

“As a country, we have made progress toward addressing the racist, hideous legacy of marijuana criminalization, and the lifelong collateral consequences caused for many of our loved ones,” DPA said in a statement. “However, as long as marijuana remains on the Controlled Substances Act, the harms of federal marijuana criminalization will persist.”

Congressional Insights

Congressional researchers have also weighed in, highlighting the limitations of simple rescheduling. State cannabis markets would still run afoul of federal law, and certain marijuana-related activities would remain subject to criminal penalties.

The Push and Pull Continues

It’s not just one side of the fence on this issue. Advocates push for Schedule III or complete descheduling, while prohibitionists want cannabis to remain in Schedule I.

Democratic state attorneys general have urged the DEA to move forward with federal marijuana rescheduling, calling it a “public safety imperative.” On the flip side, former U.S. attorneys and even former DEA heads have voiced opposition to rescheduling, citing concerns about drug schedules and criminal penalties.

A Presidential Letter

The governors of six U.S. states—Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Louisiana—sent a letter to Biden, urging him to reschedule marijuana by the end of the last year.

And the Beat Goes On

The cannabis reform movement keeps on grooving, with and advocates alike pushing for change. Two GOP senators filed legislation to prevent from rescheduling cannabis without congressional approval, while a coalition of 14 Republican congressional lawmakers has urged the DEA to “reject” the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana.

In Conclusion

So, there you have it, a whirlwind tour of the marijuana legalization landscape. From Schedule I to Schedule III, from prohibition to advocacy, the winds of change are blowing strong. Whether or not we’ll see a full embrace of marijuana legalization at the federal level remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure, the conversation is far from over.

And before we wrap things up, a tip of the hat to Kyle Jaeger for keeping us all informed on this ever-evolving topic. Thanks to his reporting, we’re all a little more clued in on the journey towards marijuana legalization. Stay tuned, folks, because the ride is far from over.

Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

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