Wyden: Federal Law ‘Behind the Times’ with DEA Decision Not to Reschedule Marijuana

Washington, D.C. – After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today announced it would not reschedule marijuana from the most restrictive federal drug class, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement:

“The DEA's decision flies in the face of choices made freely by voters in Oregon and many other states about the legality of marijuana. The bottom line is the DEA is keeping federal law behind the times,” Wyden said. “The one piece of good news in today’s announcement is that fewer research restrictions on marijuana will give the federal government the evidence it needs to reduce barriers to the potential medical benefits of marijuana and to treat legal businesses fairly.”

In December, Wyden and several other senators called on three federal agencies to consider rescheduling marijuana and to reduce restrictions on medical marijuana research. The letter was a follow-up to one sent last year and was also signed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J.

In response to those requests, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced earlier this year that they would release a determination this year about whether to reschedule marijuana.

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