Congressman Blumenauer Calls Marijuana Schedule III Status 'A Revolutionary Step' But 'Not Quite What We Wanted,' Here's Why

Zinger Key Points
  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer says “Schedule III is not quite what we wanted – marijuana shouldn’t be scheduled at all."
  • More needs to be done, the congressman said in the memo, as moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III is “far from sufficient."

Prompted by Attorney General Merrick Garland's proposal to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, continues to push President Joe Biden's administration to put an end to the failed federal prohibition of cannabis.  

In an updated cannabis policy memorandum issued on Tuesday, Congress' top cannabis advocate signaled optimism.  

"Schedule III is not quite what we wanted – marijuana shouldn't be scheduled at all — but it is nonetheless a revolutionary step that sends a signal about the imperative of ending the failed war on drugs," Blumenauer wrote. "Each year, I release a memorandum outlining the path forward to end the federal prohibition of cannabis. With the DOJ's announcement, this updated memo reflects my optimism for the path ahead and details the work that remains."  

Blumenauer reiterated there are currently 38 states that have legalized medical cannabis and 24 states with legal recreational marijuana. Moreover, seven in 10 Americans now think marijuana use should be legal, he cited a recent Gallup poll's results, which reflect "historic support for an end to the draconian federal prohibition of cannabis."

Still, more needs to be done, the congressman said in the memo, adding that moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III is "far from sufficient."

See also: DEA And Cannabis Rescheduling: A Rollercoaster Ride You Don’t Want To Miss, But Keep Your Seatbelts On


"While Schedule III ends criminal penalties attached to Schedule I for marijuana offenses, it does not end mandatory minimums specific to marijuana as a controlled substance or other federal criminal penalties for possession, production, or distribution," Blumenauer explained.

He called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (H.R. 5601), the SAFE(R) Banking Act (H.R. 2891), the Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee Appropriations Language and Veterans Equal Access Act (H.R. 2431) "long overdue reforms."

Cannabis rescheduling seems to be right around the corner. Want to understand what this means for the future of the industry? Hear directly for top executives, investors and policymakers at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, coming to Chicago this Oct. 8-9. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.

Now read: Cannabis Reform A Priority For Congressional Progressive Caucus And More News From South Carolina, Utah, Montana & Maine

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticscannabis congresscannabis reschedulingEarl BlumenauerJoe Bidenmarijuana legalizationMerrick Garland
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