President Joe Biden's administration is moving to loosen federal restrictions on marijuana ahead of the 2024 presidential election, reports the Washington Examiner.
The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday sent its recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug, a move seen by many as political ahead of the election to incentivize young voters to turn out and vote.
Schedule I indicates a drug has a high risk of abuse and no medical benefits.
"I think the administration wanted this to be done before the presidential election so they can see it through and it couldn't be derailed by a new administration," Kris Krane, director of cannabis development for KCSA strategic communications, told the Examiner. "And I think this will be quite a popular move."
A Pew Research survey released in November of last year showed a steep rise in public support for marijuana legalization, with 68% of adults saying the drug should be legal.
Some Republicans support the effort. But on the campaign trail, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has reaffirmed his opposition to marijuana legalization, arguing that the reform has led to an increase in the illicit market in Colorado.
"I think what's happened is this stuff is very potent now," DeSantis said during a recent campaign event in Iowa. "I think when young people get it, I think it's a real, real problem, and I think it's a lot different than stuff that people were using 30, 40 years ago.
"I think when kids get on that, I think it causes a lot of problems and then, of course, you know, they can throw fentanyl in any of this stuff now."
Ohio Republican Attorney General Dave Yost said the move "maybe makes sense in individual cases."
Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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