Bernie Sanders Criticizes The ‘Absurd’ DEA For Refusing To Reclassify Marijuana

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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sharply criticized the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for refusing to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. In Thursday press release, the DEA stated that marijuana must “[remain] a Schedule I controlled substance because it does not meet the criteria for currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse.”

After the DEA announced their decision, Sanders tweeted, “People can argue about the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but everyone knows it’s not a killer drug like heroin.”

New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand concurred in a tweet of her own, pointing out that keeping marijuana classified as a Schedule I substance will hinder research into its medical benefits.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley — whose home state legalized recreational marijuana use — called on his fellow legislators to step in. “It’s clear now that Congress must take action to end the confusing patchwork of state and federal laws and regulations so that businesses in states that have legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana can access banking services, additional federal research can be conducted, and Veterans Affairs doctors can finally discuss medicinal marijuana with patients,” he said.

Democratic members of the House of Representatives added their voices to the fight as well. Los Angeles Rep. Ted Lieu said in a statement, “The DEA should be spending its limited resources on targeting high priority narcotics rather than erecting roadblocks to medical marijuana.” Rep. Jared Polis from Boulder, Colo. echoed those sentiments in a statement of his own. “The Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision to keep marijuana as a Schedule I drug is frustrating, unscientific and, frankly, out of touch,” Polis said. “It is ridiculous to classify marijuana alongside other Schedule I drugs like heroin.” Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee called research prohibitions “dangerous.”

(Via Washington Post)