JustLeadershipUSA Continues to Urge Biden Administration to Deschedule Rather Than Reschedule Marijuana

April 30, 2024

Today, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced that they will send a proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, which is a less restrictive class. JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), as one of the only groups of formerly incarcerated individuals that is also a core member of the Marijuana Justice Coalition, takes the position that under Schedule III — or any other schedule under the CSA — marijuana will remain federally criminalized. In fact, rescheduling will not:

  • End marijuana arrests;
  • Release anyone in prison for marijuana;
  • Restore rights and access to public benefits, such as housing assistance;
  • Shield state marijuana regulatory programs or their patients or consumers;
  • Stop the deportation of noncitizens for state-legal marijuana activity;
  • Protect workers in the marijuana industry; or
  • End this country’s failed approach to marijuana or right the wrongs of criminalization.

JLUSA’s position is that rescheduling marijuana is insufficient to bring relief to our communities, especially communities hardest hit and directly impacted by the “war on drugs” and the criminalization of marijuana.

We continue to urge the Biden Administration to expand pardons and commutations for marijuana, end marijuana-based deportations, and direct each federal agency to develop administrative reforms to begin to restore access to public benefits for those with previous marijuana convictions.

We continue to urge Congress to pass comprehensive descheduling legislation. Such legislation must provide relief from previous marijuana convictions, restore rights and benefits to people impacted by marijuana criminalization, reinvest in communities disproportionately harmed by criminal enforcement, and create a regulatory framework rooted in equity that prioritizes public health, workplace safety, and fair economic opportunities for small businesses. Descheduling legislation like the Marijuana Opportunity and Reinvestment (MORE) Act (H.R. 5601, 118th Congress) and the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (S.4591, 117th Congress) would go a long way to accomplishing these objectives.

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