Feds Release Documents Calling for Moving Cannabis to Schedule III

Officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week quietly released hundreds of pages of documents detailing the agency’s recommendation that cannabis be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The recommendations were released following a FOIA request to Texas-based attorney Matt Zorn of the On Drugs Substack, and Zorn promptly released the documents to the public on Saturday.

While the unredacted documents are not laden with new revelations, the release confirms reports from last year that federal scientists were recommending the shift to Schedule III and reveals the federal agency’s reasoning behind the change.

The 252-page document states that despite being the most commonly used illegal drug, cannabis “does not produce serious outcomes compared to drugs in Schedules I or II” and, in fact, “the vast majority of individuals who use marijuana are doing so in a manner that does not lead to dangerous outcomes to themselves or others.”

Additionally, officials highlighted findings that cannabis could carry significant medicinal benefits — this directly contrasts the plant’s current Schedule I classification, which is reserved for “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” While the

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