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Doctors for Drug Policy Reform Applauds Progress in Ending Cannabis Prohibition

Now we press on with our mission, supported by a majority of Americans in both main political parties, to deschedule cannabis and remove it from the Controlled Substances Act entirely.”
— Dr. David Nathan
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, May 3, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Doctors for Drug Policy Reform (D4DPR), the global voice for physicians and other health professionals dedicated to advocating for evidence-based drug policies that prioritize public health, harm reduction, and social equity, welcomes the recent developments in Washington, D.C., aimed at dismantling cannabis prohibition. The Drug Enforcement Administration's recommendation on April 30 to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III marks an important step forward, recognizing the therapeutic value of cannabis and enabling the cannabis industry to deduct business expenses. However, even under Schedule III, federal restrictions on the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis products (except those with FDA approval) would persist.

“In the course of dismantling the misguided prohibition of cannabis that started in 1937, there have been numerous mileposts that have pointed us toward the evidence-based regulation of this unique plant. History will doubtless memorialize the rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III as one of the most important changes made at the federal level,” said Dr. David Nathan, founder, former president, and board member of D4DPR. “Now we press on with our mission, supported by a majority of Americans in both main political parties, to deschedule cannabis and remove it from the Controlled Substances Act entirely. Our nation must regulate cannabis in ways that enable its use as a medication, allow consenting adults to use it responsibly, and protect our youth from the potential harms of underage use.”

In a pivotal move on May 1, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) unveiled the groundbreaking Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA). This legislation, if enacted, would deschedule cannabis, effectively removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. It would establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for the cannabis industry, ensuring the flourishing of state-approved medical and adult-use cannabis programs without the looming threat of federal intervention. Additionally, CAOA would facilitate research by easing regulatory constraints and it includes provisions for expunging past cannabis-related offenses, a crucial step toward rectifying the harms of decades-long criminalization.

Despite bipartisan support for cannabis legalization, securing the necessary 60 votes in the Senate remains a formidable challenge. As healthcare professionals and advocates for evidence-based policy, D4DPR remains optimistic but recognizes the concerted effort required to push this legislation across the finish line.

"The momentum toward ending cannabis prohibition is encouraging. CAOA presents a comprehensive approach that addresses the regulatory gaps and social injustices perpetuated by current drug policies,” said Dr. Bryon Adinoff, current board president of D4DPR. “We urge policymakers from both sides of the aisle to prioritize this critical issue for the advancement of public health in our communities."

About Doctors for Drug Policy Reform
Doctors for Drug Policy Reform is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for evidence-based drug policies that prioritize public health, harm reduction, and social equity. We bring together healthcare professionals, researchers, and policymakers to promote sensible drug policies grounded in scientific evidence and compassion. For more information, please visit www.d4dpr.org.

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