Can Eric Holder change the federal drug classification of marijuana?
Published on 2/27/15
New Attorney General Eric Holder believes congress should reclassify marijuana. Some say he himself has the authority to reclassify, though it seems unclear as to exactly how. It turns out he can add and reschedule drugs, but it must be requested by the human services secretary or in response to a public petition. In addition, he must gather data and scientific and medical evaluation from the HHS secretary before doing so. The issue at hand is that the current scheduling of marijuana does not allow govt. funded research to provide sufficient evidence for reclassification.
“The attorney general was addressing the fact that the administration can’t change the classification of marijuana unless HHS or the FDA find a ‘currently accepted medical use,’” said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the Department of Justice. “The attorney general believes that a political and policy issue of this magnitude deserves input from Congress and that, absent new medical findings, congressional action is currently the best avenue for reclassification.”