Biden administration makes effort to ease federal law on marijuana possession

Decision on whether to remove marijuana from fed's Schedule I category could come before 2024 presidential election

Published: September 1, 2023 7:38am

Updated: September 1, 2023 7:41am

The Biden administration is making efforts to loosen federal law on marijuana possession– removing it from the Schedule I drug classification that also includes heroin and LSD. 

The category is for drugs that authorities find to have no accepted medical use and the high potential for abuse.

The effort underway includes the Department of Health and Human Services asking the Drug Enforcement Agency to easing restrictions on marijuana following a review of the its classification under the Controlled Substances Act, according to CNBC

Many states have legalized the sale and possession of marijuana or at least stopped making a police priority of enforcing federal law.

Marijuana is legal in 39 states medically and 23 states recreationally.

Marijuana has since the 1970s been a Schedule I drug and ranks higher than fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine, CNBC also reports.

The DEA will consider moving marijuana to a Schedule III drug – along with ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone, which authorities consider to have a moderate-to-low potential for physical or psychological dependence.

A decision could come before the 2024 presidential election.

However, the cultivation, production and sales would still be in violation of federal law. 

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