Senators Blast Biden Administration’s ‘Extraordinarily Disappointing’ Marijuana Stance

Senators Blast Biden Administration’s ‘Extraordinarily Disappointing’ Marijuana Stance
MJ moment

A coalition of six U.S. senators are renewing their call for the Biden administration to deschedule marijuana and grant mass pardons for people with federal cannabis convictions, calling the Justice Department’s response to an earlier request for action “extraordinarily disappointing.” In a letter that was sent to President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on Wednesday, the senators made a dual request: first, that the attorney general work independently to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and second, that the president issue mass clemency for people with non-violent federal marijuana convictions. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) signed the new letter. The senators said that DOJ took six months to respond to a previous October 2021 letter urging the attorney general to use his authority to unilaterally start the process of federally descheduling marijuana. The “half-page response” was “extraordinarily disappointing,” they wrote. In its April 2022 response letter, DOJ cited the fact that HHS has yet to determine that cannabis is a safe and effective therapeutic treatment option. The senators said the agency used that “as the sole rationale for the DOJ’s lack of action” which “ignores the ability of the DOJ and Drug Enforcement Administration to begin the descsheduling process and act independently of an HHS determination.” The senators explained how Garland is actually empowered under the CSA to request an HHS scientific review of cannabis. A subsequent descheduling recommendation would be binding on DOJ; but even if the recommendation is to keep cannabis in Schedule I or move it to a lower schedule, that’s not binding on the attorney general, who could then start a rulemaking process to remove marijuana from the CSA…

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Source : Senators Blast Biden Administration’s ‘Extraordinarily Disappointing’ Marijuana Stance

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