(WFXR) — At the federal level, marijuana could soon go from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. Right now, it’s considered as dangerous and addictive as heroin.

On Thursday, May 16, President Biden announced that he had initiated the formal rule-making process to reclassify the drug. This comes after the Department of Justice announced last month that it planned to reschedule marijuana as a less dangerous drug.

The change would mean the drug is still illegal but would be legally recognized for possible medicinal benefits, and there would be fewer penalties.

“I think what the Biden administration is signaling is that they want to make marijuana used for more medical reasons, they want to decriminalize to a certain extent,” said John Fishwick, the owner and founder of Fishwick & Associates. “I think most folks think though that marijuana is not heroin, those are two different drugs, so I do expect that it will be put in place.”


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In an I-V scheduling system, the former U.S. attorney said a schedule three would be right in the middle. According to the NORML development director JM Pedini, if the reclassification happens, it could mean a break on federal taxes for businesses licensed to distribute cannabis.

“The ability for those businesses to take tax reductions. right now they can not do so, and the belief that is if marijuana is moved from Schedule I to Schedule III — that might be possible. If businesses are able to take these tax deductions, that opens the doors for consumers,” Pedini said.

Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state chapter of Virginia NORML, said this is a step in the right direction. Still, Pedinia said it’s a long way from changing laws or classifications regarding the drug in Virginia.

“Ultimately Congress will need to pass a bill that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act altogether, much like Virginia has done at the state level. It allows states to set their own marijuana policies without the threat of federal interference,” Pedini explained.

According to Fishwick, this move is just a proposal for the public. Ultimately, it could be a long process as citizens still have 60 days after President Biden’s announcement to comment, followed by a possible review from a judge.