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Biden's making moves on marijuana. But how big of a deal are they?

Cannabis plants are grown at a Claudine Field Apothecary farm in Columbia County, New York.
Cannabis plants are grown at a Claudine Field Apothecary farm in Columbia County, New York.

Last Thursday, President Biden dropped an October surprise on the nation – announcing that he would pardon all simple marijuana convictions at the federal level

It’s a decision that echoes policy at the state level. Thirty-one states and D.C. no longer prosecute or criminalize a person for possessing small amounts of cannabis. 

Experts say the bigger move was his request for the government to review marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug – a category reserved for dangerous narcotics like heroin. 

Biden has requested the review be “expedited.” But how fast could it happen? And if marijuana is rescheduled, what would that mean?   

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Paige Osburn