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DEA Likely to Reschedule Marijuana Based on Congressional Report

DEA Likely to Reschedule Marijuana Based on Congressional Report

According to a report from the Congressional Research Service (the Report), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is likely to follow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). According to the Report, the DEA confirmed in a 2020 congressional hearing that it will be bound by the FDA’s recommendation, “and if past is prologue, it could be likely that DEA will reschedule marijuana according to HHS’s recommendation.” The FDA operates under the umbrella of the HHS, so the Report interchanges references to whether the recommendation comes from the HHS or the FDA.

In October, President Biden requested that the DOJ and the HHS evaluate marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance under the CSA. Schedule III substances are considered to have an accepted medical use and a relatively lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule I and II substances. 

If Congress removed marijuana from Schedule I, it might place marijuana on one of the other schedules of controlled substances, create another schedule or separate classification for marijuana under the CSA, or remove marijuana as a controlled substance altogether.

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