A group of 29 lawmakers are urging President Biden to understand the necessity of federally descheduling cannabis after Biden announced plans in October to direct Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to launch a review of how cannabis is scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Brian Mast, R-Fla., as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., led 24 of their colleagues in submitting a letter calling on Biden’s administration to deschedule cannabis.

“The instruction for the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice to review the scheduling of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act was necessary and welcome,” the lawmakers wrote in the Dec. 22 letter. “However, it is time to deschedule marijuana. While Congress works to send you a comprehensive legalization bill, the administration should recognize the merits of full descheduling.”

RELATED: To Reschedule or Deschedule? Plant-Touching Businesses Weigh In

“Marijuana does not belong in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, a classification intended for exceptionally dangerous substances with high potential for abuse and no medical use,” the lawmakers continued. “The decision to schedule marijuana was rooted in stigma rather than an evidence-based process, and it is time to fully remedy this wrong. Descheduling marijuana can uphold federal and state authority to regulate cannabis, while also authorizing states that wish to continue to prohibit cannabis production and sales the right to do so.”

The letter comes just days after lawmakers failed to reach a deal to include the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in this year’s $1.7 trillion federal spending package. The legislation would have allowed federally regulated banks to work with state-legal cannabis businesses.

“Descheduling also provides the clearest path to address the legal uncertainty facing small businesses in states with regulated cannabis markets by creating opportunities for regulating and taxing commercial marijuana activities,” lawmakers wrote in their letter this week. “Over 400,000 employees are supported by the legal cannabis industry and estimates suggest an employment potential of approximately 1.5 million to 1.75 million workers in a mature U.S. legal cannabis market. The industry also sold a combined $24.6 billion worth of cannabis products last year and generated over $3.7 billion in tax revenue from sales. These numbers suggest that descheduling cannabis will have positive economic and employment benefits for millions of people.”

Generated by Feedzy