Bernie Sanders expressed his dissatisfaction with a decision by the Drug Enforcement Agency to leave marijuana as Schedule I drug on Thursday.
Set to be published in the Federal Register on Friday the DEA decision rules that under the Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is still a "dangerous" and illegal drug without an acceptable medical use, despite petitions to reschedule the substance.
Sanders responded to the news on Twitter, calling the DEA decision "absurd" and called on the federal government to remove the "federal prohibition" on marijuana.
Keeping marijuana in the same category as heroin is absurd. The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 11, 2016
The senator also argued that the removal of the drug from the Controlled Substance Act would be a "serious" step in achieving criminal justice reform.
If we are serious about criminal justice reform, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 11, 2016
Sanders introduced legislation last November, as he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act, modeled after a 2013 bill introduced by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.
Sanders joined a number of other Democratic members of Congress criticizing the DEA's decision, including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who tweeted Thursday that keeping marijuana on the Schedule I drug list hinders medical marijuana research.
Time for #DEA to remove marijuana from Sched 1 to expand #medicalmarijuana research & ensure families in need get legal access to treatment.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 11, 2016