The DEA Decision
Senator Sanders and other Democrats have criticized the DEA’s recent marijuana decision. Earlier this year, the DEA said in a letter that they would decide whether or not to reschedule marijuana. The decision is in, and it looks like we won’t be seeing marijuana moved from schedule I, leaving it ranked amongst the most harmful substances in America.
The DEA claims the reason marijuana will remain on the schedule I list is because there is “no currently accepted medical use in the United States.” Senator Bernie Sanders and many Americans see this as a flat out lie. This blatant disregard for the needs and the wants of the people is leading Democrats to speak out against the DEA.
Bernie Sanders calls the DEA decision ‘Absurd’
It comes as no surprise that Senator Sanders is unhappy with the DEA’s decision. Senator Sanders was the first major party presidential candidate ever to be in favor of re-scheduling marijuana, bringing major attention to the issue.
On social media, after the DEA announcement Sanders tweeted that “keeping marijuana in the same category as heroin is absurd. The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana.”
He followed this tweet with another saying, “if we are serious about criminal justice reform, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substance Act.”
Perhaps the best point Senator Sanders makes is when he tweeted, “people can argue about the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but everyone knows it’s not a killer drug like heroin.”
Other Democrats Agree with Bernie Sanders
Rep. Barbara Lee, a Democratic congresswoman, spoke in support of legalizing medical marijuana when she tweeted, “Politicians aren’t doctors or scientists. Marijuana research prohibitions are outdated, unscientific, & dangerous for those who need #MMJ.”
Similarly, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said, “it is ridiculous to classify marijuana alongside other Schedule I drugs like heroin. This is further evidence that it is past time that Congress legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol, using Colorado as an example.”
Democrat Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon state was the only member of the Senate to endorse Sander’s presidential bid. He explained how the DEA’s decision was negatively impacting states like his own.
“In Oregon alone, it is estimated that the marijuana market could bring in close to half a billion dollars in revenue, all in cash, during its first 14 months of legal sales,” said Merkley. “The federal government shouldn’t force Oregon’s legal marijuana businesses to carry gym bags full of cash to pay their taxes, employees, and bills. Expanding access to marijuana for research is helpful but doesn’t solve these problems. It’s clear now that Congress must take action to end the confusing patchwork of state and federal laws and regulations so that businesses in states that have legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana can access banking services, additional federal research can be conducted, and Veterans Affairs doctors can finally discuss medicinal marijuana with patients.”
Democrats decided during the Democratic platform in July that they would be backing the de-scheduling of marijuana. The democratic stand on marijuana is starting to show with several Democrats beginning to publicly criticize the DEA for stalling marijuana legalization.