JB Pritzker

Pritzker praises Justice Department move to reclassify marijuana

NBC Universal, Inc.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker praised the Biden Administration’s push to reclassify marijuana, with the Justice Department formally making the move on Thursday.

According to officials, the rule change would move marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug, on par with ketamine and specific forms of anabolic steroids.

President Joe Biden discussed the decision in a social media post Thursday, criticizing the “failed approach” to regulations of the drug.

Pritzker, who signed Illinois’ legalization of marijuana during his first term in office, had a succinct reaction to the news.

“At last,” he said.

The president made the official announcement on his social media feeds, criticizing the “failed approach” to regulation of the drug.

“The Justice Department is taking the next step to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug under federal law,” he said. “No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. Today’s announcement builds on the work we’ve already done to pardon a record number of federal offenses for simple possession of marijuana.”

The plan, approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland, does not legalize marijuana outright, according to NBC News, but instead begins a 60-day comment period, followed by a possible review from a judge.

Schedule III drugs are still considered “controlled substances” under federal law, with penalties in place to prohibit unauthorized trafficking.

According to DISA, a company specializing in drug testing services, a total of 38 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, while 24 have authorized it for recreational use, including Illinois.

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