A marijuana leaf.
Illinois lawmakers Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky are among 18 U.S. Representatives who have sent a letter to President Obama asking him to direct Attorney General Eric Holder to remove marijuana from the most restrictive list of banned substances.
The letter, distributed by Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer, argued that including marijuana in the Schedule 1 list of banned drugs, along with heroin and LSD, disregards the laws of 20 states that allow pot to be used for medical purposes, including Illinois. Schakowsky of Evanston and Quigley of Chicago, both Democrats, signed the letter.
“We request that you instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II,” the letter said. “Furthermore, one would hope that your Administration officials publicly reflect your views on this matter.”
In January, President Obama said marijuana use is no more dangerous than alcohol, though he also said he hoped his children will avoid its use.
Schedule I drugs are regarded as having no legitimate medical use by federal authorities. The move is seen by some as among the biggest efforts yet on Capitol Hill urging the federal government to legalize marijuana.