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The US Department of Health is urging the DEA to relax cannabis regulations

In a move that could reshape US drug laws, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has asked the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to reconsider the current classification of cannabis. As of now, cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which groups it with other substances like heroin that are considered to have a high risk of abuse and no medical value. The HHS proposal seeks to move cannabis to Schedule 3 status, which would place it in the same category as substances with a lower risk of dependence, such as ketamine and certain medications that contain codeine.

The DEA appeal comes a year after President Biden ordered a comprehensive review of whether cannabis should be given a less severe classification. Passing this reclassification could pave the way for more scientific research into cannabis and ease banking restrictions for companies in the sector, which currently face legal hurdles that make them cash-only operations.

While the HHS proposal falls short of completely removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, a step some advocates have been pushing for, it does represent a significant shift in the federal attitude toward the drug. The DEA will begin its review process, which will decide the fate of this much-debated substance.

Public sentiment has swung increasingly in favor of legalizing cannabis, and the plant is now legal for adult recreational use in 23 states and Washington, DC, and for medical purposes in 38 states.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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