Bonta joins push to reclassify cannabis as safe for medical use

Nearly 40 states allow cannabis businesses to operate.

California is one of a dozen states pushing to reclassify cannabis to be recognized for legitimate medical use. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined a coalition of 12 states last week pushing for the change. 


The big picture: Bonta joined a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) supporting the federal government’s efforts to evaluate and reclassify cannabis. 

  • The letter requests that the DEA reclassify cannabis from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule III substance. 
  • Schedule 1 is reserved for substances with no accepted medical use which are considered highly addictive, while Schedule III recognizes legitimate medical use and lower potential for abuse. 
  • The reclassification would allow cannabis businesses to take certain federal tax exemptions, as well as allow for broader testing on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis. 

What they’re saying: Bonta said in a statement that it is “high time” to reclassify cannabis as dozens of states have either legalized the substance or allowed it for medical use. 

  • “Currently the federal government’s classification considers cannabis as equally dangerous and addictive as heroin or ecstasy; this is simply not the reality,” Bonta said. “There is ample evidence and data to support that cannabis has legitimate medical uses, and its current classification creates barriers for states that have legalized its use and regulated sale. I commend the Biden Administration for their efforts to request this evaluation and urge the DEA to approve this change to allow legitimate cannabis businesses to thrive and states to better protect the legal market.”
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