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Republican Congressman Reintroduces Bill To Move Cannabis to Schedule III

While many supporters are calling for federal decriminalization of cannabis, one Republican congressman wants to downgrade marijuana from schedule I and schedule III. This would enable research to progress at a quicker pace, and offer several other benefits.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Florida), reintroduced H.R. The Marijuana 1-to-3 Act or H.R.610 was introduced Jan. 27. This is four years ago, after seven similar bills were filed previously. According to a press statement. 

The bill would direct the Attorney General of the United States to amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to move cannabis from schedule I to schedule III of the Act—within 60 days of the bill’s enactment.

The bill doesn’t go as far as others that would end the federal prohibition of cannabis via decriminalization or other routes. The bill will protect federal workers who use cannabis as Schedule I and II substances are not prohibited. The bill would allow cannabis companies to be exempted from Tax Code 280E and makes research much easier.

Rep. Steube submitted a similar bill Sept. 12, 2019. The Marijuana 1-to-3 Act of 2019 would also lower cannabis’s schedule 1 status to make it more accessible for research.

“As marijuana is legalized for medical and recreational use across the United States, it is important that we study the effects of the substance and the potential impacts it can have on various populations,” Congressman Steube said in 2019. “By rescheduling marijuana from a schedule I controlled substance to a schedule III controlled substance, the opportunities for research and study are drastically expanded. With this rescheduling, researchers can now access federal funds to research this substance and determine its medical value.”

According to the congressman, current conditions are limiting research into cannabis.

“We hear every day about the positive health benefits of marijuana. Whether it’s young children with seizure disorders, or veterans suffering from chronic pain, it is clear that there are medical benefits to marijuana and I think it’s time we remove the bureaucratic red tape that prevents us from thoroughly studying this substance,” continued Steube.

This bill is a small step in the right direction, given that federal and state laws are quite dissimilar.

President Joe Biden authorized an administrative review of the potential for rescheduling pot under the CSA. 

Rep. Steube’s other bills which were announced at the same time as the Marijuana 1-to-3 Act include one that would strip Disney of copyright protections and specifically target what he calls “big tech” and “woke” organizations, per the announcement. 

“The Republican majority in the 118th Congress is working to make our government accountable to the people,” said Rep. Steube. “I am reintroducing eight bills that will remove special privileges for Big Tech and woke organizations, cut taxes for Americans and prevent their money from being spent on cruel dog testing, and hold our government accountable while improving efficiency!” 

Rep. Streube has a controversial position on issues such as transgender rights. He pushed for guns to be allowed in airports, along with mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking. He would have proposed stricter sentences to sell, make, and deliver cannabis and other drugs in his 2017 bill. 

The bill was sent to the Committee on Energy and Commerce on January 27th, along with the Committee on the Judiciary.