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18 Representatives push for reclassification of marijuana

(Psychoactive Images, 2009 Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported)
(Psychoactive Images, 2009 Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported)
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Updated: 2/13/2014 8:29 am
WASHINGTON (KSNV MyNews3) -- Today, 17 Democrats and 1 Republican in the House of Representatives wrote to ask President Obama to reclassify marijuana, saying that the drug's Schedule I classification -- the harshest level classification possible -- "makes no sense" in comparison to the Schedule II classification of cocaine and methamphetamine.

The letter made mention of the President's statements in a January 27 interview with to the New Yorker, in which he said he doesn't think marijuana, which he admits to having used when he was younger, is more dangerous than alcohol. He also mentioned that he considered meth and cocaine "harder drugs."

The representatives requested that the president instruct Attorney General Eric Holder to either delist or reclassify marijuana in accordance to his statements in the magazine. Holder has the power to reclassify drugs without a congressional action, according to the Controlled Substances Act.

However, in a recent interview with CNN, the president denied that he would move to change the classification of marijuana on his own.

"What is and isn't a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress."

When interviewer Jake Trapper replied that the DEA decides on a drug's classification, the president held his ground.

"It's not something by ourselves that we start changing," President Obama said. "No, there are laws undergirding those determinations."

The letter also mentioned how the enforcement of marijuana laws hurts minorities more than whites.

"According to the ACLU, black Americans are nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite comparable marijuana usage rates," the letter said.

The president agreed with these sentiments in the New Yorker interview, saying "Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties."


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