Eighteen members of Congress wrote a letter to President Barack Obama requesting that marijuana be reclassified from a Schedule I narcotic under Federal law.

Schedule I drugs are deemed to have no medical value and are considered “most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence,” by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Heroin, LSD and ecstasy are other examples of Schedule I drugs.

The Wednesday letter says the representatives were encouraged by President Obama’s remarks to the New Yorker magazine in January. President Obama said he didn’t believe marijuana was any more dangerous than alcohol and that it is “important for (marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington) to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) headed the letter and these Congress members (all from the House of Representatives) signed along with him:

Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee)

Representative Sam Farr (D-California)

Representative Jared Huffman (D-California)

Representative Mike Honda (D-California)

Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona)

Representative Barbara Lee (D-California)

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-California)

Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-California)

Representative Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts)

Representative Jim Moran (D-Virginia)

Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas)

Representative Jared Polis (D-Colorado)

Representative Mike Quigley (D-Illinois)

Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-California)

Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois)

Representative Eric Swalwell (D-California)

Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont)

Twelve of the representatives are from states that have decriminalized marijuana: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont.

The entire letter can be read in full below, courtesy Representative Blumenauer’s office:


02-12-14 Blumenauer Rescheduling Letter by molliereilly