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Bay Area Lawmakers Demand Change To ‘Unjust And Irrational’ Federal Marijuana Policy

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Marijuana is poured from a jar at at medical marijuana dispensary. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Marijuana is poured from a jar at at medical marijuana dispensary. (David McNew/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS SF) – The current federal policy on marijuana “perpetuates an unjust and irrational system,” according to a letter signed by 17 members of Congress, including four Bay Area representatives.

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) along with Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) and Mike Honda (D-San Jose) joined the petition asking President Obama to instruct the Attorney General to reclassify marijuana.

Based on the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, the drug is currently considered a Schedule I drug (with no currently accepted medical use in treatment according to the CSA), grouped with drugs such as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. By comparison, drugs such as cocaine (used as a topical anesthetic) oxycodone and codeine are classified as Schedule II. According to signing members, “this makes no sense.” B

“Lives and resources are wasted enforcing harsh, unrealistic and unfair marijuana laws,” the members wrote. “We request that you instruct Attorney General (Eric) Holder  to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way. “Classifying marijuana as Schedule I at the federal level perpetuates an unjust and irrational system. We request that you instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II.”

The lawmakers said they were compelled to write when Obama himself said during an interview that public sentiment on marijuana use was changing and compared the drawbacks of its use to alcohol.

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