Sen. Wyden reacts to reports the DEA will reclassify marijuana

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is speaking out following reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration is set to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance.

As reported by NBC News, by rescheduling cannabis, the drug would now be studied and researched to identify concrete medical benefits, opening the door for pharmaceutical companies to get involved with the sale and distribution of medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

For the $34 billion cannabis industry, the move would also eliminate significant tax burdens for businesses in states where the drug is legal, notably getting rid of the Internal Revenue Services code Section 280E which currently prohibits legal cannabis companies from deducting what would otherwise be ordinary business expenses.

The Department of Justice’s rescheduling decision could also help shrink the black market which has thrived despite legalization in states like New York and California and has undercut legal markets that are fiercely regulated and highly taxed.

Wyden calls the reclassification of cannabis a “huge shift in policy”, he says it will open up medical research and no longer allow legal businesses to be treated like criminals.

“I’m not going to let today’s news slow this movement down, because there’s more to be done to rectify the harms of the failed War on Drugs,” Wyden said. “Cannabis should ultimately be descheduled with strong federal regulations put in place to protect public health and safety. Leader Schumer, Senator Booker and I have just the bill to do it.”




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