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State lawmakers call on Congressional delegation to reschedule marijuana

Delaware Public Media

Several state lawmakers are urging Delaware’s Congressional delegation to support the rescheduling of marijuana.

Only four states have yet to legalize any sort of cannabis use, but marijuana is still classified federally as a Schedule I drug, defined as a drug with no medical use.

State Rep. Jeffrey Spiegelman says nearly all 50 states have medical markets, so marijuana’s current classification is wrong. He adds it makes it difficult for colleges and universities to conduct medical studies on cannabis too.

“So you've got the federal and state governments absolutely head to head on this issue," Spiegelman says. "And frankly, I think the federal government is in the wrong. I think we should be studying this.”

Spiegelman and State Sen. Eric Buckson authored a letter to Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper and Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester, asking them to support federal legislation to reschedule marijuana.

The letter has bipartisan support with 14 other lawmakers signed on. It notes most financial institutions are unwilling to accept the risk of banking with state-legal cannabis businesses, meaning many medical marijuana distributors are forced to operate in cash – creating a public safety threat.

Spiegelman says the letter also seeks support for the federal SAFE Act, which would protect banks that do business with legal cannabis operations.

“Certainly that is a step in the right direction, I mean again, this is the only medication that I would get for which I would have to pay cash," Spiegelman says. "And so having this to allow the businesses, the Department of Finance, and patients as well as now recreational users, will be able to avail themselves of modern banking technology.”

That’s why Spiegelman says they are urging the delegation to also support the SAFE Act, reintroduced in Congress last week, to protect banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses from being penalized by federal regulators.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.