Congressman Steve Cohen Demands The Obama Administration Reschedule Marijuana

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director September 13, 2011

    Tennessee Congressman Steven Cohen (D) is urging the Obama administration to rethink its support for the criminal prohibition of marijuana. Rep. Cohen is a longtime critic of marijuana prohibition (Watch him grill FBI Director Robert Mueller over the claim that cannabis is a ‘gateway drug’ here) and a primary co-sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.

    This week, Rep. Cohen sent a letter to Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske calling on the agency to support changing marijuana’s status as a schedule I prohibited drug and to respect the laws of states that have legalized it for its medical utility.

    “There is no evidence that marijuana has the same addictive qualities or damaging consequences as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine,” states Cohen, “and should not be treated as such.”

    He adds: “We should not deny the thousands of Americans who rely on the benefits that marijuana provides. I strongly recommend that this administration allow states that have chosen to legalize medical marijuana to enact strong regulations without fear of prosecution. [W]e should not interfere with the will of the people to enact these compassionate laws.”

    You can view the entirety of his letter below:

    85 responses to “Congressman Steve Cohen Demands The Obama Administration Reschedule Marijuana”

    1. Neal Smith says:

      There is absolutely no justification for prohibition of Marijuana. Not physically, not mentally, not morally.

    2. Seth says:


    3. Nick says:

      I think its funny this is coming from a state that neither has a medical marijuana program itself, nor a decriminalized status to allow those who are using medically to avoid jail time. Get real, work on your state before you work on the country. The only way it will change federally is after all states have changed their opinion.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Rep. Cohen is a federal Congressman, hence his call to amend federal law. State lawmakers amend state laws, not federal lawmakers.]

    4. THANKS CONGRESSMAN STEVE COHEN for your compassion.blessed B

    5. Retired Navy says:

      At least we have one TN congressman with a brain and a set.

    6. Derp says:

      Your face when cocaine and methamphetamine are only schedule II substances

    7. Ramos says:

      *hands clapping*

      The beauty of this whole thing will, of course, be the response. I’m quite proud of Cogressman Cohen for defending the will of the people. A real American in office, it seems?

    8. Jayden says:

      I bet the tobacco and alcohol people are arranging this guy’s impeachment, or non reelection. This is a major political gamble, and to him I thank very much for taking the risk no one else will.

    9. Michael says:

      To “Nick”: Tennessee is either the second or third largest producer of Marijuana in the Union every year. It would have vast economic benefits for his state.

    10. Dennis Laws says:

      A politician with a brain. Wow didn’t know one existed. Go Congressman Cohen.