Wyden, Merkley applaud Biden administration move to reschedule cannabis as less-dangerous drug


WASHINGTON (KTVZ) Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., released the following statements Thursday after the Biden administration announced it is officially moving to reschedule cannabis as a Schedule III substance:

Wyden said: “It’s official, the Biden administration has taken a historic step toward ending reefer madness and bringing common sense to federal cannabis policy. Now it’s time to follow the lead of 24 states and more than half the country by decriminalizing and putting in place smart federal regulations. Leader Schumer, Senator Booker and I have the bill to do it.”

Merkley’s statement:

“I pushed the Biden administration to make good on the President’s commitment to address the harms done by the criminalization of cannabis and move swiftly to remove marijuana’s Schedule I status, and it’s good to see action taken. The Biden administration rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III is welcome news and an important step in the right direction. We cannot let up momentum, though. Cannabis has not been descheduled, so we still have work to do.

“U.S. physician groups, state and national advocates, and broad public opinion all strongly support full legalization. While we continue to push for complete descheduling of cannabis, there are steps we must take in the meantime to protect legal cannabis businesses, users, and community members. Critically, that includes passing my SAFER Banking Act to ensure legal businesses are able to access banking and financial services. We must recognize that banking for many state-legal cannabis businesses will continue to be inaccessible, and forcing businesses to operate in all-cash is an invitation to money laundering and crime in our communities. Previously, Oregon media reported on how the current system has led to a spate of dangerous robberies in our communities. The SAFER Banking Act remains unequivocally necessary.