U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has been pretty accepting of marijuana legalization, and now he's taking his views a step further by saying America should reclassify cannabis.
Adams has made a number of recent statements advocating for a change in classification for marijuana. Under current U.S. law, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has the highest possible restrictions on it. Adams says that this classification makes it incredibly difficult to study marijuana, so people aren't getting a full understanding on the drug's benefits and side effects. Adams has also raised issues about the criminal justice aspect of keeping marijuana a Schedule I substance as well.
"Just as we need to look at criminal justice laws, rules and regulations, we need to look at health laws, rules and regulations, and that includes the scheduling system," Adams said during a conference on drug recovery. "I'll take it somewhere else, marijuana. We need to look at the way we schedule different medications across the board, because one of the concerns that I have with marijuana is the difficulty that the folks have to do research on it, because of the scheduling system."
Adams statement comes at the same time that a recent congressional report said that the cannabis industry in the U.S. will earn around $11 billion this year and will make around $23 billion by 2022. But if the U.S. were to legalize the drug nationally now, those numbers could become even greater.
Unfortunately the Surgeon General is largely a ceremonial position, so don't expect any concrete policy changes to come about from Adams' support.