Democratic candidate for Senate John Fetterman called on President Joe Biden to use his authority to deschedule marijuana from its classification as a Schedule I drug and work to decriminalize marijuana.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website, “drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence.”
Examples of Schedule I drugs are heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.
These drugs are considered drugs with no currently accepted medical use. Substances in Schedules II through V have accepted medical uses and may be dispensed by prescription for medical purposes.
Other examples of scheduled drugs includes:
Schedule II: Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Demerol, OxyContin, fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin
Schedule III: Tylenol with codeine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.
Schedule IV: Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Tramadol
Schedule V: Robitussin AC, Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin
As of February, 37 states, three territories and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of cannabis products. As of the end of May, 19 states, two territories and D.C. have enacted measures to regulate cannabis for adult non medical use.
“It’s long past time that we finally decriminalize marijuana,” said Fetterman. “The president needs to use his executive authority to begin descheduling marijuana, I would love to see him do this prior to his visit to Pittsburgh. This is just common sense and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support decriminalizing marijuana.”
Biden’s schedule calls for the President to be in Pittsburgh next Monday and possibly attend the city’s famed Labor Day parade
“I don’t want to hear any bullshit coming out of Dr. Oz’s campaign trying to conflate decriminalizing marijuana with seriously harmful crime,” Fetterman continued. “Are we supposed to believe that neither he nor any members of his staff have ever used marijuana? As mayor of Braddock, I made it my mission to combat serious crime. I know firsthand what real crime looks like. Marjiuana does not fit the bill. It’s time to end the hypocrisy on this issue once and for all.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, “either Congress or the executive branch has the authority to change the status of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Congress can change the status of a controlled substance through legislation: Congress included Congressional Research Service 3 marijuana in Schedule I by legislation when it enacted the CSA, and has more recently passed legislation to impose controls on other substances, including synthetic cannabinoids and fentanyl analogues.”
In 2019, Fetterman traveled to all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties on a marijuana legalization listening tour, which found that a substantial majority of Pennsylvania residents favored legalization. Following the conclusion of Fetterman’s listening tour, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he supported marijuana legalization.