HARRISBURG, January 17, 2018 – Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) announced that he is introducing a resolution urging Congress to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule 1 substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“Keeping marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance is causing increasing issues between states’ rights and federal jurisdiction,” Williams said. “States have the right to implement medical and recreational marijuana programs but the overlap with the federal government’s classification of marijuana is interfering with a state’s role in enforcing their own laws.”

Williams said that he is not calling for the wholesale legalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania.  He said the rescheduling of marijuana at the federal level will allow states with medical marijuana programs, like Pennsylvania, to run their programs without federal overreach.

The debate between medical marijuana patients and their second amendment rights have been amplified over the last few weeks due to the overlap of some states legalizing marijuana but the federal government keeping the drug as a Schedule 1 substance, Williams noted. 

As a result of marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification, citizens who are currently legally possessing the drug under state law may be in danger of losing their right to own firearms under federal law.

“The confusion between gun ownership and legally possessing marijuana under state law could be alleviated by reclassifying the drug at the federal level,” said Williams.  “Rather than creating a costly process of individually deciding who gets to access both firearms and marijuana legally, the federal government should move marijuana out of the Schedule 1 category.”

He said that if this were to occur, those who are lawful in possession of the substance do not have to worry about losing their Second Amendment rights. Those who support state regulation of marijuana and state regulation of firearms should agree that this is a sensible solution, he said. 

Williams said that he expects to introduce the measure in the next several weeks and was hopeful that the Senate would consider his resolution quickly.