Biden endorses cannabis reclassification, slamming ‘failed approach’

Home US & World Biden endorses cannabis reclassification, slamming ‘failed approach’
Biden endorses cannabis reclassification, slamming ‘failed approach’

The US justice department has formally moved to reclassify cannabis as a less dangerous substance – the country’s biggest drug reform in over 50 years.

President Joe Biden hailed the step as “an important move toward reversing longstanding inequities”.

It’s a turnaround for a politician who three decades ago crafted a tough crime bill that’s now politically divisive.

But it could help Mr Biden, a Democrat, shore up wavering support among younger voters in an election year.

Thursday’s plan does not legalise marijuana outright for recreational use as is currently the law in 24 US states and the District of Columbia. Thirty-eight US states have also legalised marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“Far too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” Mr Biden said on Thursday on X, formerly Twitter, in a departure from his usual reticence on cannabis policy.

“I’m committed to righting those historic wrongs. You have my word.”

The administration’s proposal would shift pot from a Schedule I controlled substance, its most restrictive category, to Schedule III.

The federal government would no longer view the drug alongside other dangerous and habit-forming substances like ecstasy, heroin and LSD.

Drugs in the Schedule III category are seen as having a low or moderate risk of abuse. They include anabolic steroids, ketamine and testosterone.

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