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Federal Recommendation to Relax Marijuana Restrictions Sparks Controversy Among Lawmakers


In a tweet, Becerra stated the objective of this move is to "alleviate the burden placed on Americans by the current classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug." 

He further emphasized the scientific basis of the recommendation, affirming that the decision was informed by extensive scientific evaluation and consideration of potential public health implications. 

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a vocal advocate for marijuana legalization, praised the recommendation as an "important step" towards addressing the "profound injustices" associated with marijuana prohibition. 

Booker, however, urged Congress to enact comprehensive marijuana reform, asserting that rescheduling alone would not rectify the harm caused by marijuana criminalization. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), while supportive of the recommendation, expressed concern over potential overregulation of the marijuana industry, calling for a balanced approach that respects individual liberty and state rights. 

Debate surrounding the classification of marijuana has been a contentious issue within the U.S. Cannabis Council and beyond, with advocates arguing that the current Schedule I classification is out of step with contemporary scientific understanding and public opinion. 

Rescheduling marijuana to a Schedule III substance represents a seismic shift in federal drug policy, with potential implications for criminal justice, public health, and the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

While this recommendation is viewed as a positive development by many, it is ultimately up to the DEA to decide whether to implement the change. 

The DEA has not yet provided a timeline for when it will review the HHS recommendation.

The congressional response to this announcement signals a continuing shift in the national conversation around cannabis, with bipartisan support for reevaluating the legal status of marijuana.


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