NewsKamala Harris Challenges Marijuana Scheduling At Roundtable

Kamala Harris Challenges Marijuana Scheduling At Roundtable

Marijuana, despite having an approved medicinal use, is deemed more dangerous than heroin, under current scheduling.

Vice President Kamala Harris called attention to what she said is the absurdity of the scheduling of marijuana at a White House roundtable on March 15. As CNN reported, Harris noted that the fact that marijuana is scheduled as a more dangerous drug than fentanyl, the class of opioids currently at the center of a renewed overdose crisis, doesn’t make sense.

“Marijuana is considered as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than fentanyl, which is absurd, not to mention patently unfair,” Harris said. “I’m sure DEA is working as quickly as possible and will continue to do so and we look forward to the product of their work.”

Happening Now: Tune in as I convene a roundtable conversation about marijuana reform with Fat Joe, Governor Andy Beshear, and individuals who have received pardons for prior marijuana convictions https://t.co/CA6Ej3WEA7— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) March 15, 2024

Harris, who met with rapper Fat Joe and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, along with individuals who have received pardons for marijuana-related convictions at the roundtable, alluded to the role she played as a prosecutor in putting people behind bars for marijuana-related offenses.

“I believe that the promise of America includes equal justice under the law. And for too many, our criminal justice system has failed to live up to that core principle.”

Harris continued, “And I say that with full knowledge of how this system has worked, including my experience as a prosecutor. I believe – I think we all at this table believe – nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed.”

She concluded, “And what we need to do is recognize that far too many people have been sent to jail for simple marijuana possession.”

Despite having an approved medicinal use, marijuana is deemed more dangerous than heroin under the current scheduling.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, Vice President Harris’s declaration represents a significant policy shift for her, and the paper declared that she owes the public an explanation of how she arrived at that conclusion.

Harris remarked on March 15, “I cannot emphasize enough that they need to get to it as quickly as possible, and we need to have a resolution based on their findings and their assessment.”

A New Jersey-based marijuana advocate, Chris Goldstein, was at the roundtable and he told Marijuana Moment that hearing Vice President Harris’s call for action meant something to him. Goldstein also told the outlet that though Harris’s call for legalization was not recorded by the media because it happened during the closed door session, that doesn’t make it any less meaningful. 

“Saying those words out loud—saying it in the Roosevelt Room—it did feel very meaningful,” Goldstein said. ”The greatest thing about the meeting today was it did not feel like a one-time event. Everything about today—and there were some words expressed about doing more things like this—the White House wants to engage on this policy consistently. That’s clemency, criminal justice, marijuana legalization.”

Goldstein added, “They want to be right in it, and right now the White House has an important role to play and they’re doing it.”

RELATED CONTENT: New Win For Marijuana: Washington, D.C. and Oregon Vote to Legalize Marijuana

Source: Black Enterprise

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