Biden AG Pick Merrick Garland Wants To Defer To DEA On Marijuana Science And Classification

MJ moment

President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly set to nominate Judge Merrick Garland—who seems to feel that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) should be deferred to when it comes to the science and classification of marijuana—to serve as the next U.S. attorney general. But according to press reports, he’s also selecting two civil rights activists who embrace cannabis legalization to serve in other top posts at the Justice Department. Together, the picks could have far-reaching implications for marijuana policy. Garland, who was previously nominated by President Obama to serve on the Supreme Court only to have his nomination blocked by Senate Republicans, hasn’t made his views on cannabis issues especially clear. But his judicial record indicates that he believes in deference to DEA when it comes to drug scheduling. And that could be a problem for efforts to reclassify cannabis given the agency’s strong opposition to such a move for decades. The principal concern for reform advocates when it comes to Garland’s in a 2012 federal lawsuit case over DEA’s denial of a marijuana rescheduling petition. He was one of three judges on a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit panel that upheld the denial, and his commentary during the oral arguments suggests he feels DEA is the appropriate agency to weigh cannabis science and set scheduling policy. In the case, the court was responsible for examining whether DEA had meaningfully considered the therapeutic potential of cannabis before deciding it should remain in its restrictive category. The agency has repeatedly maintained that marijuana should be kept as a Schedule I drug because, it claims, the plant has no proven medical value and a high risk potential. “Don’t we have to defer to the agency” when it comes to evaluations of research into marijuana’s therapeutic value? Garland asked the…

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Source : Biden AG Pick Merrick Garland Wants To Defer To DEA On Marijuana Science And Classification

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