The bipartisan letter from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), which was signed by 51 other senators, asks Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reconsider his recent decision to rescind the Cole Memo, which had allowed states to legalize marijuana without federal interference.
The federal legalization bill 2021 vote is a U.S. Senate resolution that urges the Department of Justice to decriminalize cannabis.
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) have joined forces to push for cannabis reform. Senators wrote a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Oct. 6 asking it to legalize cannabis at the federal level.
Senators specifically urged US Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has the authority under the Prohibited Drugs Act of 1970 to remove substances off the list of controlled substances, to do so (CSA). However, the attorney general must first certify that the drug has no potential for misuse with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level via this descheduling process would enable states to govern cannabis as they see appropriate, begin to repair the damage created by decades of racial inequalities in cannabis law enforcement, and promote important medical research,” the letter reads. You may act immediately to decriminalize cannabis while Congress works on comprehensive cannabis reform.”
Decriminalization, according to Missouri Medicine, is “the act of eliminating criminal penalties against an act, item, or conduct.” While cannabis would still be illegal on the federal level and not readily available for adult use, individuals would not be punished if they had less than a specified quantity.
In their letter, the senators chastised President Joe Biden for failing to follow through on his campaign pledges to legalize cannabis and erase all previous convictions, something a majority of Americans favor. According to Pew Research Center data, about 91 percent of people in the United States think cannabis should be legal for medicinal or recreational use.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recognizes the medicinal advantages of THC and CBD, according to the letter. “Cannabis’ Schedule I categorization is a major impediment to future medical study since researchers’ access to the drug is severely restricted,” the senators stated.
Booker and Warren have asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to respond by Oct. 20 on whether he would conduct an HHS review, which is the first step towards descheduling a medication.
Gary Miller is an actor, writer, director, comedian, and businessman. Gary, a Veriheal Media Curator, was born and raised in Denver, Colorado.
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