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420 with CNW — Opponents of Cannabis Rescheduling Slam Process FDA Relied On

Representatives of the prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) have expressed their disapproval of the government’s plan to categorize cannabis as a Schedule 3 substance. They criticized the move as politically driven and not based on scientific evidence. The group is now exploring all legal avenues to challenge this change and is rallying its supporters to oppose it.

Kevin Sabet, SAM president and CEO, spoke during an online meeting, expressing strong disapproval of the federal officials behind the rescheduling proposal. He argued that the recommendation seemed outdated and inappropriate for 2024. Sabet emphasized that the process is far from over and that a lot of actions can be taken against the proposed change.

The organization’s executive vice president, Luke Niforatos, encouraged opponents of the reform to contact policymakers and voice their concerns. He suggested that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had already indicated ways for advocates to push back against the recommendation.

SAM has been disseminating allegations that DEA officials might be against the proposed adjustment ever since the government unveiled its rescheduling proposal in April. Sabet mentioned hearing that DEA director Anne Milgram had not signed off on the proposal, suggesting internal disagreement. Instead, U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland signed the proposed rule, raising further questions during a congressional hearing, where Milgram declined to comment on the matter.

During the SAM event, Sabet acknowledged that substances with proven medical use shouldn’t be in Schedule 1, the most restrictive category of the CSA. However, he criticized the review process by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which concluded cannabis has proven medical uses. He argued that the process seemed to approve substances based on popularity rather than scientific merit.

Many of the ramifications of officially classifying marijuana as Schedule 3 are still unknown, according to Sabet. One potential change is that state-licensed cannabis businesses could claim tax deductions, which might lead to the industry’s expansion. He and other panelists warned that this could result in increased marijuana use, more access for teenagers and greater risks on the roads. Sabet also downplayed the idea that rescheduling would significantly ease restrictions on marijuana research.

Looking ahead, SAM hopes the DEA might reject the recommendation or consider moving cannabis to Schedule 2. Sabet referenced international law interpretations that seem to require keeping marijuana in Schedule 1 or 2. In 2016, the DEA denied an earlier petition to reschedule cannabis, citing international treaty obligations.

Sabet expressed doubt that rescheduling would prompt the FDA to interfere with state-licensed marijuana markets. However, Niforatos urged followers to press the federal government to utilize postponement as justification for taking action against legally operating states.

The recommendation to reschedule cannabis was officially proposed last month, initiating a public comment period expected to generate diverse responses. Cannabis reform advocates plan to leverage this opportunity, with some supporting reclassification and others pushing for complete descheduling. SAM and other prohibitionists, meanwhile, are expected to continue opposing the policy change via lobbying and potential litigation.

Marijuana companies such as Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) may have expected this pushback against the rescheduling of cannabis at the federal level, and they will be following the process as it unfolds now that the authorities have opened a comment period regarding the proposed policy change.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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