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420 with CNW — Three Changes That Could Happen Post-Marijuana Reclassification

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is planning to reclassify cannabis, marking a significant shift in American drug policy that could have widespread implications nationwide. Melba Pearson, a legal expert specializing in civil rights and criminal law, shared insights on the potential changes following the reclassification.

Working at Florida International University’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, Pearson directs prosecution projects, focusing on technical assistance, training and community engagement in prosecution. She previously served as deputy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

Pearson noted the magnitude of the proposal, highlighting its potential impact despite not legalizing recreational cannabis outright. She noted the increasing number of states permitting recreational cannabis sales, suggesting that the reclassification could encourage more states to consider legalization.

The reclassification is expected to open doors for new research opportunities on cannabis, addressing past challenges in securing funding due to its classification. Pearson expressed hope that states would review criminal sentences related to cannabis use, potentially revisiting convictions and facilitating record expungement to support individuals’ rehabilitation.

Drawing parallels with sentencing disparities in drug offenses such as crack cocaine and cocaine, Pearson suggested that states might reconsider cannabis convictions deemed unjust in light of changing laws. Notably, possession of marijuana in Florida can still result in misdemeanor charges depending on the quantity, despite the legalization of medical marijuana through Amendment 2 in 2016.

Looking ahead, Florida voters will decide on recreational cannabis legalization in November, requiring a minimum of 60% support to pass the amendment.

A number of other states may hold public votes, with South Dakota currently gathering signatures to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In Nebraska, a cannabis advocacy group is collecting signatures in a bid to place two ballot proposals this year: one that would legalize medical marijuana and another that would permit commercial businesses to cultivate and sell it. The effort comes after two prior unsuccessful attempts.

Elected officials in other places, including Tennessee, are still hesitant to support marijuana use for either recreational or medical purposes. Republican speaker of the Tennessee Senate, Randy McNally, had previously declared that he would not back changes to state law until cannabis is reclassified by the federal government.

Nonetheless, the impending reclassification decision reflects ongoing shifts in public attitudes toward cannabis and could signal further changes in drug policy at both the state and federal levels. When federal reforms are enacted, the cannabis industry, including established enterprises such as Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF) could revisit their roadmaps and find ways to leverage the improved regulatory landscape.

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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