Nine Former DEA Administrators Urge Agency to Hold Public Hearing on Marijuana Rescheduling

A group of former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) leaders has called on the agency to hold a public hearing on a proposal to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

In a recent federal filing, the former officials described the move as “likely the most consequential rulemaking DEA has ever attempted.”

The group, which includes six former DEA administrators and three former acting administrators, emphasized the need for a hearing in light of the ongoing drug overdose crisis in the United States. “Given the magnitude of the impact of the proposed rule and considering we face an unprecedented drug overdose crisis in this country, we write to emphasize that a hearing on this rulemaking is in the public interest,” they stated.

The former DEA officials highlighted the need for more data and scientific analysis to determine whether marijuana should be placed in Schedule III. “As DEA made clear in the Proposed Rule, additional data and rigorous scientific analysis is needed to determine whether marijuana is appropriately placed into Schedule III,” they wrote. They argued that a hearing would be the best forum for evaluating the conflicting claims about marijuana’s effects, potential for abuse, and public safety implications.

The DEA officially published their rescheduling proposal in the Federal Register on May 21. Since then, over 20,000 comments have been submitted, with the vast majority in support of either rescheduling marijuana, or descheduling it.

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