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News | October 12, 2022
1 minute read

De- Or Reclassification? Bob Hendricks Talks With FOX 17 on the Future of Cannabis

President Joe Biden’s announcement of a federal pardon for those convicted of marijuana possession under federal law surprised a lot of people last week – including Warner Norcross + Judd LLP cannabis attorney Bob Hendricks.

The president’s request to have the U.S. attorney general review how marijuana is classified opened the door for larger discussions, Hendricks told FOX17 in an interview last night – but is not without potential unintended consequences.

Hendricks told the reporter: “For the President to say, ‘It just doesn’t make sense the way it is right now’ to me, that is an invitation for a serious review of where we are and it’s an invitation for people to begin talking in great detail about, ‘Well, if where we are today isn’t good, where should we be that would be better for our nation?’ ”

That could lead to talk of declassification of cannabis, which is considered a Schedule 1 substance under federal law, meaning it has no accepted medical use and a high risk of abuse, according to Hendricks. Cannabis is currently ranked in the same category as LSD and methamphetamines but changing to a lower schedule under the Controlled Substances Act could bring unintended consequences – and more federal oversight.

“If the goal is to repeal the prohibition of marijuana and to allow the states to regulate marijuana use both medical and adult use, moving it from schedule I to schedule II, III, IIII or IV will have no effect whatsoever,” Hendricks told the FOX17 reporter.

Hendricks released a detailed review of Biden’s Oct. 6 announcement yesterday. He is planning an additional update that will review the legal and scientific complexities associated with de- or rescheduling cannabis.