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Congressman Don Young to President Biden and Vice President Harris: Keep Your Promise, Engage on Cannabis Reform

Washington, D.C.   Today, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala D. Harris, urging them to remove cannabis as a Schedule I substance and to engage in legislative efforts to reform federal cannabis policies. Click here for the full letter.

Under current law, cannabis is classified as Schedule I substance alongside significantly more dangerous substances such as Heroin and LSD, and above far more dangerous drugs such as morphine, methadone and cocaine in the Schedule II category. This classification prevents cannabis from being accepted for medical use, causing research restrictions and preventing patients, including veterans, from accessing it.

Excerpts from the letter:

“Dear President Biden and Vice President Harris,

As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, we once again urge you to reschedule cannabis under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

Currently, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I substance, alongside significantly more dangerous substances such as Heroin and LSD, and above far more dangerous drugs such as morphine, methadone and cocaine in the Schedule II category. As a Schedule I substance, cannabis is not accepted for medical use on the federal level, which has caused significant research restrictions and continues to thwart the treatment of a wide range of patients, including those suffering from cancer as well as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to those living with Multiple Sclerosis and seizure disorders. To be clear, we do not negate the benefit of traditional therapies, but question why the federal government continues to bar access to innovative, proven - and in many cases - safer alternatives.

As both legislative chambers continue to debate the merits of various common-sense proposals on the issue of cannabis reform and a complete end to federal prohibition garners more and more bipartisan support, your administration’s absence from these debates and lack of action on the topic is of serious concern.”

Read the full letter here.

Background:

  • Earlier this month, Congressman Don Young and his fellow Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs David Joyce (R-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, urging him to swiftly implement proposals to allow veterans to access medical cannabis. Click here for more.
  • On November 16th, Congressman Don Young helped introduce the States Reform Act with Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC), Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA), Congressman Peter Meijer (R-MI), and Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL). This legislation would protect state-legal cannabis policies by ending federal marijuana prohibition. Click here for more.
  • In May, Congressman Don Young helped Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH) introduce the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act. This bill ends federal marijuana prohibition by removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Click here for more.
  • In April, Congressman Don Young introduced the Gun Rights and Marijuana (GRAM) Act, legislation to secure the Second Amendment rights of Americans living in jurisdictions with legal adult-use and medicinal marijuana. Click here for more.

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