The U.S. Health Department advocates for relaxed regulations regarding cannabis.

The U.S. Health Department advocates for relaxed regulations regarding cannabis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has asked the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to relax federal regulations on cannabis. The drug is illegal at the federal level, even though 40 of the 50 U.S. states have passed laws legalizing its use in some form.

Cannabis Currently belongs in the same class of drugs as heroin and LSD. If the DEA changes its classification, it could mark the biggest change in U.S. drug policy in decades.

Cannabis classification

Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has no medical use and a high potential for abuse. The change would align it with drugs categorized as having a low potential for dependence and abuse. Ketamine, anabolic steroids and drugs containing up to 90 milligrams of codeine per dose fall into that classification.

Last year, President Joe Biden asked his Attorney General and Secretary of Health to oversee an investigation into whether cannabis should be included as a minor drug. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted a proposal to the DEA on Tuesday. As part of this process, HHS conducted a scientific and medical evaluation for DEA’s consideration.

The recommendation means that cannabis would not be completely removed from the schedule of the Controlled Substances Act. However, cannabis would be moved from schedule 1 to schedule 3 of this schedule. This could facilitate additional research and allow the banking industry to operate more freely in this industry. Currently, most marijuana businesses in the U.S. are forced to operate with cash due to tax laws that prohibit banks from handling money generated from cannabis sales.

Polls show that a majority of Americans support some form of legalization of the drug. Cannabis is legal for recreational use by adults in 23 states, including all West Coast states and Washington DC. It is permitted for medical use in 38 states.

Source: (EN)

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