In Potential Blow To Emerging Cannabis Industry, President Biden Moves To Reschedule (Not Deschedule) Cannabis, Making It Accepted Prescription Medication



Editor’s note: Staten Islander News has previously covered the issues related to rescheduling, as opposed to  descheduling, which can have many unintended consequences as outlined by Empire State NORML: “The repeal of cannabis prohibition through rescheduling does not promote New York’s stated goal in the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”), of redressing the harms of the War on Drugs.

“Rescheduling cannabis as a Schedule III medicine may be the catalyst to the unintended consequence of creating a national medical monopoly that could supplant the existing cannabis industry found in New York and more than 40 other states which has produced more than half a million jobs and billions of dollars of revenue.

“Such an industry contraction and concentration of the ownership of the means of production to the medical industry could stifle competition and inhibit strain development and cannabinoid innovation richly found in the existing and ongoing market. Preservation of the state economies built around the cannabis industry and continued participation of the diverse pool of independent operators and entrepreneurs across the nation should be a greater priority than solely bestowing alleviation from IRS Code 280e to a chosen few. The potential for that devastating consequence can be avoided by descheduling cannabis and allowing the states to continue in their missions to foster existing markets while promoting at a more grass roots level the health and welfare of their cannabis consuming constituents.” – Empire State NORML

As Senator Gillibrand has previously stated: “While I continue to believe that marijuana should be descheduled entirely, I am urging the DEA to, at a minimum, consider rescheduling it from Schedule I to a Schedule III substance.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement about the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) moving to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance:

I’m grateful that the DEA is heeding my call to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III substance,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As most Americans realize, marijuana is simply not comparable to other Schedule I substances like heroin and LSD.

“And while I continue to believe that marijuana should be descheduled entirely, this is an important first step to remedying decades of unjust federal marijuana policy. I applaud this move and will continue working in Congress to legalize marijuana and expunge the records of Americans with prior marijuana possession convictions.” 

Gillibrand has repeatedly called on the DEA to reclassify marijuana. She has also cosponsored the Marijuana Justice Act, landmark legislation that would legalize marijuana and help reverse decades of failed drug policy that has disproportionately hurt communities of color and low-income communities, and the SAFE Banking Act, which would ensure that legal cannabis businesses have access to critical banking and financial services.

Banner Image: Marijuana plant. Image Credit – Esteban López


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