Minority Cannabis Business Association Calls on Biden Administration to Truly Decriminalize Cannabis by Descheduling
Group says re-scheduling is simply a rebranding of prohibition, not the end of it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 8/30/23
Kaliko Castille, Board President
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to reporting today that Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) is recommending that cannabis be reclassified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule III drug, Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) is urging the Biden administration to make good on its promise to decriminalize cannabis by fully removing cannabis from the list of controlled substances.
While the MCBA recognizes the HHS recommendation to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III substance is viewed by some as progress, we must emphasize that reclassification will do nothing to stop arrests of cannabis consumers in states that maintain prohibition. During his 2020 campaign President Biden promised to “decriminalize” cannabis, a pledge that can only be fully realized through the complete descheduling of the substance from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
“Moving cannabis to Schedule III simply re-brands prohibition — it doesn’t end it. Although this decision would lead to much needed tax relief for some cannabis businesses, it would do nothing to remove criminal penalties that still continue to disproportionately impact minority communities” said Kaliko Castille, President of the MCBA. “We urge President Biden to make good on his promise to end arrests for marijuana and fully remove cannabis from the CSA. This is the only way to ensure equity, social justice, and economic opportunities in the cannabis industry.”
The MCBA also maintains that rescheduling cannabis would fail to address the conflicts between state and federal laws. The current situation places an undue burden on states seeking to regulate cannabis within their borders and perpetuates an unjust system that disproportionately affects minority communities – something President Biden has acknowledged in his public statements.
“We have stood by the Biden Administration in their progressive stance on cannabis. Now it’s time for them to stand by their promises,” added Castille.