MFI Submits Comment Opposing Biden Admin’s Attempt to Loosen Marijuana Laws

The Biden Administration is moving to loosen federal restrictions on marijuana, rescheduling it from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule III controlled substance – a move that the President is touting to voters as part of his re-elect campaign.

But while this change may play well with some voters, we know from experience in Massachusetts about the serious consequences that making marijuana more available can have, especially on children. That’s why we’ve submitted an official comment to the Drug Enforcement Administration opposing the proposed rule change.

Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, but gave municipalities the option to decide whether to host pot shops. MFI has worked in numerous localities to help ban these shops, achieving some major successes even in areas that voted to legalize marijuana in 2016. Over 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts have now enacted outright bans, with many more enacting restrictive zoning ordinances. These successes show that many people continue to believe that their communities and their families are better off drug-free.

In 2019, scores of highly credentialed Massachusetts healthcare professionals issued a Statement of Concern outlining the public health problems that marijuana legalization had already caused during the short time period it had been legal. Specifically, these healthcare providers highlighted issues such as:

  • Risk of addiction;
  • Impairment of cognitive (intellectual) function; and
  • Increased risk of serious mental health problems including acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations, delusions), paranoia, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and suicide, with growing scientific evidence that daily use of high THC products bring greater risk.

These providers warned, “We are seeing these negative health effects in our patient populations.” Legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts has harmed Massachusetts citizens. Rescheduling marijuana at the federal level would further destigmatize this increasingly potent and dangerous substance and would bring the negative effects we have seen in Massachusetts to other parts of the country. If you want to oppose this reckless measure, you can also submit a comment here.

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