On Thursday, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) sent a letter to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram regarding the Biden administration’s process to deschedule marijuana.
Rep. Gaetz’s letter follows up on Administrator Milgram’s July 27th testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance. During the hearing, Administrator Milgram informed Rep. Gaetz that President Biden had sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) asking them to begin the process of descheduling marijuana as a Schedule I drug. At the time, Administrator Milgram also committed to asking HHS for their timeline for providing their recommendation on the descheduling of marijuana. Accordingly, Rep. Gaetz is requesting a copy of the referenced letter and HHS’ response to Administrator Milgram’s request be provided to his office by September 15th, 2023.
Dear Administrator Milgram,
I write with requests for additional information related to your July 27, 2023, testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance.1 In response to my questioning as to why the Biden administration has not removed marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs, you stated that the “President had sent a letter to the Secretary of HHS and to the Attorney General to ask for the scheduling/descheduling process to begin.”
While it is reassuring that President Biden has formally requested that the process of descheduling marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs commence, it was concerning to hear you say that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not provided a timeline for sending you its descheduling recommendation based on its review. When I asked if you would encourage HHS to give you that timeline, you responded: “I will ask.”
I believe it is important for the administration to be transparent with Congress regarding where the process of descheduling marijuana stands. Therefore, in order for the House Committee on the Judiciary to continue oversight of this matter, I request the following information and answers to the following questions by September 15, 2023:
1. Provide a copy of the letter you referenced that President Biden sent to the Secretary of HHS and the Attorney General asking that the process of descheduling marijuana begin.
2. Have you asked HHS for its timeline for getting you its recommendation on the descheduling of marijuana? If so, what was HHS’ response? In the case that you received a timeline, provide that timeline.
Please provide your response and any other correspondence related to this matter to my Legislative Director, Jim Beley, at [email protected].
Member of Congress