U.S. Justice Department Plans To Reschedule Marijuana As Lower-Risk Drug

Another step towards federal legislation of Marijuana might be on the way. This week the Biden administration moved to reclassify marijuana as a lower-risk substance. The historic move would finally acknowledge the medical benefits of cannabis that so many studies have determined already.

The US Department of Justice recommended that marijuana be rescheduled as a Schedule III controlled substance, a classification shared by prescription drugs such as ketamine and Tylenol with codeine. It currently sits as a Schedule I substance. The same category as Heroin, LSD, and MDMA. The formal rulemaking process is lengthy, typically includes a public comment period, and could take months to complete.

The rescheduling of marijuana might mark the beginning of the end of the war on drugs. It could open the doors for Psilocybin and MDMA, which also have had many studies for medical benefits. Last fall, members of the FDA’s Controlled Substance Staff wrote in the documents that the agency recommended rescheduling marijuana because it meets three criteria: a lower potential for abuse than other substances on Schedules I and II; a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the US; and a risk of low or moderate physical dependence in people who abuse it.

Currently, 24 states have legalized cannabis for recreational use. This has led to a multi-billion dollar industry with dispensaries everywhere you look. State-licensed cannabis dispensaries and retail shops are expected to generate $32.1 billion in sales this year.