Biden’s Health Secretary Pick Could Help Reclassify Marijuana

MJ moment

President-elect Joe Biden has picked the current attorney general of California to lead serve as the next federal secretary of health and human services, a position that could play a central role in loosening laws prohibiting marijuana. That seems to be good news for legalization advocates, as Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) has a considerable record supporting cannabis reform and working to protect California’s legal program from federal interference. What’s yet to be seen is who President-elect Biden will nominate as U.S. attorney general—a position that’s also significantly consequential when it comes to marijuana’s classification and enforcement of drug laws. Before getting into the details of Becerra’s record, here’s why the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is important to enacting a cannabis policy change at the federal level: While the Justice Department plays a key role in marijuana’s federal scheduling, a medical and scientific review by HHS is binding on the attorney general’s subsequent classification decision. In other words, HHS is a key player in enacting reform through the available executive process. And Becerra has made clear that he feels federal marijuana policy needs to change, even if he hasn’t weighed in specifically on scheduling. As far as Biden in concerned, he feels marijuana should be placed in Schedule II, the second most restrictive category under the Controlled Substances Act. But advocates argue that does not go far enough and could have an inadvertent, adverse impact on state-legal markets. They’re pushing him to adopt a policy of complete descheduling, which would be accomplished if a bill approved by the House last week makes it through the Senate and onto the president’s desk. But even if Congress doesn’t advance cannabis legalization though the whole legislative process, the next administration can enact some amount of reform on its own,…

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Source : Biden’s Health Secretary Pick Could Help Reclassify Marijuana

reposted by Cannabis News World

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