As President Obama’s second term comes to an end, some of his supporters expected plans to work on marijuana reform. It has been confirmed, by the President, that he has no plans in his end of term priorities to work on marijuana reform, according to Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen.
Cohen asked the President near the beginning of his first term in office about rescheduling marijuana. He was less than impressed with the President’s answer, as the President responded with: “If you get me a bill, and get it on my desk, I’ll probably sign it.”
White House Press Secretary John Earnest says that any forward motion, or motion of any kind regarding marijuana reform, would have to happen through Congress.
President Obama has continuously attempted to ‘pass the buck’ to Congress on this issue. According to Rep. Earnest, “There are some in the Democratic Party who have urged the President to take this kind of action.” He claims that the President’s response was, “If you feel so strongly about it, and you believe there is so much public support for what it is that you are advocating, then why don’t you pass legislation about it and we’ll see what happens.”
Over the last 20 years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been given numerous petitions to reschedule or remove marijuana from the dangerous drugs list. All petitions, thus far, have been rejected. A new petition is being reviewed, but the general consensus is that the outcome will be the same and that marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 controlled substance, according to The Washington Post.
A poll conducted by CBS News in 2015 showed that 84-percent of Americans support marijuana legalization for medical use by qualifying patients. A Gallup poll showed that 58-percent of Americans support full legalization.
The DEA, along with a vast amount of the American people, agree that marijuana does not belong in the same controlled substance category as drugs like heroin and LSD. Many people agree that marijuana is safer than alcohol. Rescheduling marijuana may take some time, but with continued public advocacy and increasing studies showing factual results, it could happen sooner rather than later.