A bipartisan coalition of 18 federal lawmakers sent a letter today to President Obama, urging him to put an end to cannabis prohibition by removing it as a Schedule 1 substance.
“Dear Mr. President: We were encouraged by your recent comments in your interview with David Remnick in the January 27. 2014 issue of the New Yorker, about the shifting public opinion on the legalization of marijuana”, begins the letter. “We request that you take action to help alleviate the harms to society caused by the federal Schedule 1 classification of marijuana.”
The letter continues; “Lives and resources are wasted on enforcing harsh, unrealistic, and unfair marijuana laws… Classifying marijuana as Schedule 1 at the federal level perpetuates an unjust an irrational system. Schedule 1 recognizes no medical use, disregarding both medical evidence and the laws of nearly half of the states that have legalized medical marijuana.
We request that you instruct Attorney General Eric Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule 1 and 2.”
The letter states that billions of dollars are spent each year arresting hundreds of thousands of people, and also notes that African Americans are roughly four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than someone who’s Caucasian.
The Congressmen and Congresswomen who signed on to the letter: Earl Blumenauer (Or.), Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Sam Farr (Calif.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Mike Honda (Calif.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (Calif.), James McGovern (Mass.), Jim Moran (Va.), Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Jared Polis (Colo.), Mike Quigley (Ill.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), and Peter Welch (Vt.).