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(WNY News Now) – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance. Unlike other Schedule I substances, like heroin, marijuana is not associated with the same acute health risks and potential for addiction and abuse. It is also shown to be effective in treating chronic pain, PTSD, and other debilitating conditions. Rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III would reduce obstacles to its prescription and encourage investment and research into additional medical uses.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “While I continue to believe that marijuana should be descheduled entirely, I am urging the DEA to, at a minimum, consider rescheduling it from Schedule I to a Schedule III substance,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Marijuana is simply not comparable to other Schedule I substances like heroin, LSD, and MDMA. Moreover, marijuana enforcement has for decades disproportionately targeted communities of color. This means that people of color are more likely to have criminal records for marijuana possession and to face needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities as a result. It is past time to end overly restrictive federal marijuana policy and I urge the DEA to do so immediately.”

 The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) categorizes controlled substances into five schedules, with Schedule I classification being the most restrictive. Schedule I classification is characterized by its stringent criteria of having no recognized medical utility and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I is the same classification used for heroin and LSD, and an even higher classification than medical fentanyl and methamphetamine – drugs that currently pose a serious public health crisis in our communities.

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