Marijuana is listed as a schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act, which puts it in a class with heroin and worse than cocaine. Congress created the act and has the power to change it. The DEA and the FDA can also make changes and are widely thought to be the only government bodies in charge of the list. However, Congress in 2005 added a restriction for pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, demonstrating its power to alter the act.
Wednesday, Cohen joined a group that wrote a letter requesting President Obama to push Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in an appropriate way.
Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado introduced a bill, H.R. 499, in February of 2013 that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. It was referred to a subcommittee and has not come up or a vote. There does not appear to be enough votes for it to pass, so it has stayed on the sidelines.
In sponsoring the Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act, Rep. Cohen said, "My bill would give the ONDCP the freedom to use science -- not ideology -- in its recommendations and give the American people a reason to trust what they are told."
-- Written by Debra Borchardt in New York