BRADDOCK, PA – Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman on Thursday released the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services sent a recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recommending that the agency reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I drug to Schedule III:
“For many, many years now, I have been pushing for decisive action on marijuana. Nearly one year ago to the day, I met with President Biden in Pittsburgh and requested that he and his administration do something on marijuana policy.
“Yesterday’s move is a massive win for the Biden administration and a strong step in the right direction on marijuana policy. I’m glad to see that the administration agrees with what we have known for a while: marijuana should not be a Schedule I drug.
“Moving marijuana from Schedule I will have huge benefits for people across Pennsylvania and this country, especially our veterans who rely on it as treatment for conditions like PTSD.
“But we should also be clear that we have been in this exact spot before, with science on the side of rescheduling, only to have the DEA and its destructive ‘War on Drugs’ mindset block reform. That must not happen again.
“This decision is long overdue and a step in the right direction, but it cannot be the last action we take on marijuana policy. In the Senate, I will keep fighting to go further, to legalize marijuana and restore the lives of the countless people across this country who have lost their futures from the use of a plant and the failed ‘War on Drugs.’”
In 2021, Sen. Fetterman threw his support behind a Senate letter urging President Biden to pardon those convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses. And Sen. Fetterman, when meeting with President Biden in Sept. 2022, pushed him to use executive authority to begin rescheduling and decriminalizing marijuana. Just one month later, President Biden began that process by announcing an expansion of federal marijuana pardons, a decision influenced by Sen. Fetterman’s advocacy, along with the beginning of the federal review of marijuana’s scheduling classification. In 2019, Fetterman traveled to all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties on a marijuana legalization listening tour, which found that a substantial majority of Pennsylvania residents favored legalization. Following the conclusion of Fetterman’s listening tour, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he supported marijuana legalization.