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US takes next step to relax marijuana rules; Biden praises action

The government of Joe Biden, President of the United States, took another step this Thursday (16) to reclassify marijuana as a lower-risk substance, opening a proposal to relax federal rules for public consultation.

Biden classified this measure as “monumental”.

“Today my administration took an important step to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug,” Biden said in a video posted to social media.

“It is an important step towards reversing long-standing inequalities”, he added.

It was the first time the US president had spoken out on the issue since the US Department of Justice recommended in April that marijuana be reclassified as a Schedule III controlled substance, the classification table for prescription drugs such as ketamine and Tylenol. with codeine.

The proposed changes would represent a significant change to federal marijuana law and could provide a political boost to Biden as he struggles to increase his popularity among young voters.

The Democrat has already pardoned those convicted of federal marijuana-related crimes and called on governors to take similar measures.

Next step towards easing restrictions

This Thursday, the Justice Department will take the next formal step in the process of easing federal restrictions on marijuana, according to a government official.

The proposal will be published in the Federal Register, the Official Gazette of the American government, opening a 60-day period for public consultation.

Then, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the federal agency responsible for drug enforcement and control, can appoint an administrative law judge to consider the proposal and make a final recommendation.

The final step occurs when the U.S. Department of Justice makes the final scheduling decision.

“Today’s announcement builds on the work we’ve already done to pardon a record number of federal crimes for simple marijuana possession,” Biden highlighted.

“This builds on the actions we have taken to eliminate barriers to housing, employment, small business loans and more for tens of thousands of Americans,” he added.

“Look, guys, no one should be in jail for just using or possessing marijuana. Period”, he said.

“Too many lives have been destroyed because of a failed approach to marijuana and I am committed to righting these wrongs. You have my word on that,” he concluded.

Although the process of reclassifying marijuana is time-consuming, the president's advisors believe the measure is necessary to place the drug in a more appropriate category.

For more than 50 years, marijuana has been categorized as a Schedule I substance, subject to the most stringent restrictions.

Drugs such as heroin and ecstasy, which are considered to have no medicinal use and a high potential for addiction, are classified as Class I substances.

Biden's advisers also privately recognize the potential political benefit of loosening rules on marijuana, which has gained greater cultural acceptance over the past decade.

Many states in the United States already allow the use of the drug, both for medical and recreational purposes.

Source: CNN Brasil

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