House Bill Proposes Reclassification of Marijuana to Schedule III Substance

On Thursday, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) submitted a proposal, a duplicate of a measure he sponsored before Congress recessed in December, to change marijuana’s classification under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), according to a Marijuana Moment article by Kyle Jaeger. According to the publication, the bill is the first marijuana reform proposal of the new Congress.

Steube’s bill would offer some protections to federal employees who use marijuana, undo tax roadblocks for businesses, and make scientific research easier, Marijuana Moment noted. In addition, removing marijuana from Schedule I would end threats made by the United States Postal Service against news publishers over the mailing of newspapers containing cannabis advertisements, the publication explained.

Reportedly, however, the rescheduling proposal would not do away with federal criminal penalties. Activists contend that anything short of cannabis’s complete removal from the CSA would still hinder businesses compliant with state law, Marijuana Moment reported.

The bill is considerably less sweeping than proposals like last year’s MORE Act, which died in the GOP-controlled Senate after winning U.S. House of Representatives approval. Now, with Democratic control in both chambers, marijuana advocates’ hopes are even higher for comprehensive reform, the news outlet explained.

But caveats abound. President Joe Biden is allegedly opposed to adult-use legalization, in contrast to Vice President Kamala Harris, who, however, indicated that she would not necessarily lobby the president to adopt a pro-legalization viewpoint, Marijuana Moment clarified. Advocates are hopeful that a bill removing marijuana from the CSA and “promoting social equity,” will win legislative approval and soon move to the president’s desk, the article stated.