Biden Wants to Make Weed a Little More Legal Under Federal Law

Tom Williams/Getty Images
Tom Williams/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday announced its support for the Justice Department to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug under federal law, loosening the currently strict regulations on the substance.

Under the reclassification, marijuana would join the same category as prescription drugs including ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone. It would no longer be classified alongside Schedule I substances like heroin and LSD.

In a video posted to X, President Biden called the move “important” for “reversing long-standing inequities.”

“Look, folks, no one should be in jail simply for using or possessing marijuana,” Biden said. “Far too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana.”

The president cited past work he had done to offer mass pardons for people federally convicted of marijuana possession, characterizing the reclassification as a step toward righting the federal government’s past over-criminalization of the drug. Schedule III classification could make it easier for researchers to access cannabis and could help the legal cannabis market, although opponents say it would only help profiteers try to get more people addicted.

The Biden campaign also hopes the president’s stance on marijuana will be popular with young voters.

His opponent, Donald Trump, hasn’t made public any stance on the move to reclassify marijuana.

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