Representative Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, has once again reached out to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), seeking updates on the agency’s review of cannabis scheduling.
Blumenauer pushed for updates and clarity on the review. Recall that in December, the DEA told Blumenauer in a short and somewhat vague letter that it has “the final authority to schedule, reschedule, or deschedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act, after considering the relevant statutory and regulatory criteria and HHS’s scientific and medical evaluation.”
“What is DEA’s planned deadline to publish its draft rule on the scheduling of marijuana for public comment?” Blumenauer asked, pressing for a proper timeline. He also had very specific questions about the DEA’s process particularly in “ensuring the agency’s review incorporates the status of marijuana under state laws and regulations in its scheduling decision,” and in communicating developments and receiving feedback from its partners in Congress during the review.
Acknowledging a recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reclassify cannabis to Schedule III, Blumenauer argued that such a move, while positive, falls short of what is necessary to amend the issues stemming from federal prohibition. He advocated for the complete removal of cannabis from the scheduling system, criticizing the current approach as outdated and misaligned with public opinion.
“Appropriate enforcement should be centered on advancing public safety, not unjust criminalization. Marijuana’s continued inappropriate scheduling is both arcane and out-of-touch with the will of the American people. I look forward to your response and DEA’s continued communication to work transparently and proactively with Congress to adopt this crucial step,” he wrote.
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