DEA To Reclassify Marijuana As Less Dangerous Drug In Historic Policy Shift

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is set to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, marking a historic shift in American drug policy that could have far-reaching effects across the country. The proposal, which still requires review by the White House Office of Management and Budget, would acknowledge the medical uses of cannabis and recognize its lower potential for abuse compared to some of the nation’s most dangerous drugs.

Under the new classification, marijuana would move from Schedule I, alongside heroin and LSD, to Schedule III, alongside ketamine and some anabolic steroids. This follows a recommendation from the federal Health and Human Services Department. The reclassification would not legalize marijuana outright for recreational use but would ease restrictions on research into its medical applications and potentially reduce the tax burden on businesses operating in the industry.

Once the proposal clears the White House review, the DEA will open a public comment period before eventually publishing the final rule. The move comes after President Joe Biden called for a review of federal marijuana law in October 2022 and moved to pardon thousands of Americans convicted federally of simple possession of the drug.

Critics argue that the DEA’s decision doesn’t go far enough, as marijuana would remain a controlled substance subject to rules and regulations. However, the reclassification is seen as a significant step forward in reshaping national drug policy and could pave the way for further reforms.

On the other side of the topic, the issues not being discussed are the many risks associated with the habitual use of marijuana. While critics of marijuana proliferation may be brushed aside by some as “squares” or uneducated on the topic, there is a growing body of research showing that the habitual use of marijuana can lead to heart problems and mental health issues that shouldn’t be overlooked when discussing drug policy.