Rice, Baker Institute expert available to explain DEA cannabis decision

Cannabis research example

An expert on U.S. drug policy from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is available to comment on today’s DEA agreement to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to III.

“The long-awaited announcement by the DEA marks a major shift in U.S. drug policy that will more accurately reflect what we know about cannabis' medical value and potential for misuse,” said Katharine Neill Harris, the Alfred C. Glassell, III, Fellow in Drug Policy at theBaker Institute.

Harris explains that this move is great for research but does not necessarily move states closer to legalizing marijuana.

“If the DEA's recommendation to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III is approved, and it likely will be, researchers should have an easier time studying the plant,” Harris said. “The move to Schedule III would also be a political win for the Biden administration ahead of the November election and could spur states where cannabis is still prohibited to reconsider their laws. The Schedule III designation does not, however, legalize state cannabis markets, and it remains unclear whether the change would allow state-licensed businesses access to banking services.”

To schedule an interview with Harris, or for more information, contact Avery Franklin, media relations specialist at Rice, at AveryRF@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.