Sponsored by 17 state lawmakers, House resolution 420 called on federal officials to reschedule cannabis at the federal level.
Referred to the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee on May 30th 2023 and amended on June 7th, House resolution 420 urged the removal of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, listing several points opposing the current placement of cannabis as a drug (1). The bill stated that as of March 2023, 38 states had approved cannabis for medical purposes and 21 states had legalized cannabis for recreational uses.
After providing the definition of a Schedule I substance under the 1971 Controlled Substances Act–a substance considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use–the bill listed medical conditions that scientific research has shown cannabis to be helpful in treating including epilepsy, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (1). It also noted that the World Health Organization and the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs have called for or voted for the rescheduling of cannabis out of restrictive classifications. Also noted was the classification of fentanyl as a Schedule II controlled substance and the 70,000 American deaths in 2021 due to overdoses involving synthetic opioids (1).
“Therefore be it resolved, that the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urge the Congress of the United States, President of the United States, Attorney General of the United States, Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Health and Human Services to remove cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act,” the bill concluded (1).