Department of Justice Publishes Proposed Rule in Federal Register To Reclassify Cannabis

in Culture

The federal government is finalizing the reclassification of cannabis. The U.S. Department of Justice published a proposed rule in the U.S. Federal Register to reclassify cannabis from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and move it to Schedule III.

For over 50 years, cannabis has been classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, a classification reserved for drugs with “no medical value.” Many critics from the cannabis industry have criticized the reclassification, saying that only decriminalization is enough and that moving cannabis to Schedule III only puts it in a slightly less restrictive category.

Then on Oct. 6, 2022, President Biden asked the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to launch a review of how cannabis is classified. After receiving HHS’s recommendations last August, the Attorney General first sought legal advice from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Then, based on the HHS’ medical and scientific determinations, and OLC’s legal advice, the Attorney General exercised his authority under the law to initiate the rulemaking process to reclassify cannabis.

The proposed rule was first announced by the DOJ Office of Public Affairs on May 16, and follows a series of recommendations and approvals.

“The Department of Justice proposes to transfer marijuana from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to schedule III of the CSA, consistent with the view of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use as well as HHS’s views about marijuana’s abuse potential and level of physical or psychological dependence,” the proposal for the federal register reads. “The CSA requires that such actions be made through formal rulemaking on the record after opportunity for a hearing.”

“If the transfer to schedule III is finalized, the …

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Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times

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