US Department of Justice Officially Confirms Marijuana is Being Moved to Schedule III

An official with the Department of Justice (DOJ) has officially confirmed reports that marijuana is being moved to Schedule III.

Earlier today it was reported that the Biden Administration would be rescheduling marijuana following an over eight month review by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Now, the DOJ has confirmed these reports for the first time.

“Today the Attorney General circulated a proposal to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III”, says DOJ Director of Public Affairs Xochitl Hinojosa. “Once published by the Federal Register, it will initiate a formal rulemaking process as prescribed by Congress in the Controlled Substances Act.”

Once published in the Federal Register and given approval by the White House Office of Management and Budget, a 30-day public comment period will begin, followed by an official hearing. Unless the DEA pulls an unprecedented 180 and reverses its decision, marijuana will be rescheduled after these steps are completed.

Under current law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, rendering it illegal for all purposes. By reclassifying marijuana to Schedule III, it will effectively be legalized nationwide for prescription use. This change will also provide numerous federal protections to state-legal medical marijuana patients and businesses, which are currently unavailable under the existing classification.

The DEA’s review of marijuana’s scheduling status was prompted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting the change in August. HHS conducted their own year long review after an executive order from President Biden, issued in late 2022.

For a list of the 10 biggest implications of marijuana being moved to Schedule III, click here. For a list of the 10 states next in line to legalize marijuana, click here.

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