Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is pressuring the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for answers regarding their lack of transparency surrounding the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug.
According to Rep. Gaetz’s press release, President Joe Biden (D) sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting them to “begin the process of descheduling marijuana as a Schedule I drug.”
Despite this effort from the President, the Biden Administration has not removed the drug from the Schedule I list. Additionally, HHS has not provided a timeline regarding when the descheduling will take place.
In a letter to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, Rep. Gaetz stated that Biden’s actions have been “reassuring” on this matter, but further action is needed.
“While it is reassuring that President Biden has formally requested that the process of descheduling marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs commence, it was concerning to hear you say that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not provided a timeline for sending you its descheduling recommendation based on its review. When I asked if you would encourage HHS to give you that timeline, you responded: ‘I will ask,’” wrote Gaetz.
He would go on to mention that transparency with Congress is important.
“I believe it is important for the administration to be transparent with Congress regarding where the process of descheduling marijuana stands. Therefore, in order for the House Committee on the Judiciary to continue oversight of this matter, I request the following information and answers to the following questions by September 15, 2023:
- Provide a copy of the letter you referenced that President Biden sent to the Secretary of HHS and the Attorney General asking that the process of descheduling marijuana begin.
- Have you asked HHS for its timeline for getting you its recommendation on the descheduling of marijuana? If so, what was HHS’ response? In the case that you received a timeline, provide that timeline.”
According to Statista, 51% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats support the legalization of marijuana.