Eighteen Congressmen have written a letter to President Barack Obama asking for marijuana to be rescheduled from its current Schedule I classification. Schedule I is the most stringent classification, signifying that marijuana has no recognized medical value and is considered dangerous and addictive.
The letter requests marijuana to be given a classification lower than Schedule II in order to allow both medical and recreational marijuana businesses to access tax benefits.
The bi-partisan group wrote, “You said that you don’t believe marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol: a fully legalized substance, and believe it to be less dangerous ‘in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. This is true. Marijuana, however, remains listed in the federal Controlled Substances Act at Schedule I, the strictest classification, along with heroin and LSD. This is a higher listing than cocaine and methamphetamine, Schedule II substances that you gave as examples of harder drugs. This makes no sense.”
The letter was drafted by Representative Earl Blumenauer, who has argued in the past that the Obama administration can reschedule marijuana much more quickly than Congress could. Obama recently told reporters that Congress would need to pass legislation to reschedule marijuana, and the DEA would then act upon that legislation.
In addition to Blumenauer, the members of Congress who signed the letter to Obama are Reps. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., Mike Honda, D-Calif., Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., James McGovern, D-Mass., James Moran, D-Va., Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, Jared Polis, D-Colo., Mike Quigley, D-Ill, Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., and Peter Welch, D-Vt.
The Obama administration has yet to comment on the letter.