Department of Justice pushes to reclassify marijuana

MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – A major shift may be moving in on US drug policies. The DOJ is pushing to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 narcotic to a Schedule 3.

The new classification would house the drug in the same category as steroids.

Half of all US states have legalized cannabis.

Mississippi is not one of those states. Our state does allow medical use of marijuana, but recreational use is still a crime.

Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Scott and Lowndes County Public Defender Donna Smith shared their opposing thoughts on the issue.

“Every crime scene that we go to, there’s one common denominator…and that’s marijuana. When we find a shooting has occurred in the community, we go to that scene and there’s usually marijuana on the scene or the remnants of marijuana that’s been there. That common denominator…it scares me to know that there’s gonna be an increase in violence in our community because of the change of the classification of this drug,” said Hawkins.

“It’s going to open up, particularly for the poverty-stricken who can’t afford the expensive medications that some of us need. And for brown and black communities where the drug is more prevalent – Let me rephrase that, for brown and black communities where they are more prosecuted for this than the white community is,” said Smith.

Moving from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 would not release people incarcerated for possession.

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