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Tags: harris | biden | federal law | marijuana

VP Harris Pushes for Relaxed Federal Marijuana Laws

By    |   Friday, 15 March 2024 10:01 PM EDT

Vice President Kamala Harris denounced the current federal classification of marijuana as "absurd" during a White House gathering on Friday, Politico reported.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on cannabis policy alongside Democrat Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and others, Harris expressed anticipation for the Drug Enforcement Administration's forthcoming decision on whether to reschedule the substance.

"I’m sure the DEA is working as quickly as possible and will continue to do so, and we look forward to the product of their work," Harris said, addressing the audience that included individuals previously pardoned by President Joe Biden for minor cannabis offenses.

The vice president's remarks coincide with mounting expectations surrounding the DEA's impending verdict on a proposal to reclassify marijuana, or cannabis with over 0.3 percent THC, to a less stringent schedule under the Controlled Substances Act.

Presently categorized as a Schedule I narcotic — on par with LSD and heroin — marijuana is deemed to lack acceptable medical applications and possess a high potential for abuse.

The White House event underscores the Biden administration's intent to spotlight its endeavors to reform federal marijuana policies, particularly in the lead-up to the presidential election. Biden recently highlighted his initiatives to pardon federal marijuana offenders and ease federal cannabis regulations during last week's State of the Union address.

With 70% of Americans supporting marijuana legalization, this stance resonates strongly, especially among young voters, a pivotal demographic where Biden faces challenges in maintaining support.

In October 2022, Biden issued two executive orders pardoning individuals convicted of certain nonviolent federal marijuana offenses and directing the Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate whether marijuana warrants reclassification within the federal controlled substances list. By late 2023, HHS had forwarded a recommendation to the Department of Justice urging marijuana be placed in a less restrictive category. Yet the nation still awaits the DOJ's final decision.

Biden further broadened his pardon decree in December, expanding eligibility to a larger population, a group Harris estimated to be in the "tens of thousands."

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Vice President Kamala Harris denounced the current federal classification of marijuana as "absurd" during a White House gathering on Friday, Politico reported.
harris, biden, federal law, marijuana
331
2024-01-15
Friday, 15 March 2024 10:01 PM
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