Anti-Pot Org Claims DEA Administrator Was Not Included in Rescheduling Decision

Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, claims DEA head Anne Milgram did not sign off on rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III.
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As the federal government moves to reclassify cannabis and put it in a slightly less restrictive category, the plot thickens. On Monday, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) co-founder Kevin Abraham Sabet­ Sharghi, Ph.D., aka Kevin Sabet, posted on X allegations that claim the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) head Anne Milgram “did not sign” the order to reschedule cannabis under Schedule III.

“I can now say with full confidence that the Administrator of DEA, Anne Milgram, did NOT sign the rescheduling order, breaking with five decades of precedent and established law and regulations (two confidential sources inside DEA and another outside DEA with intimate knowledge tell me).”

The Associated Press reported on April 30 that the DEA will be rescheduling cannabis, moving the plant from Schedule I to Schedule III, following a lengthy process. In October 2022, President Joe Biden directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review cannabis’s classification under Schedule I, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value, and media reports indicated that the DEA agreed to the changes.

The Drug Report indicates that this is the latest development in a multi-year process that has ruffled feathers on both sides of the debate. 

Milgram testified before Congress on Tuesday at a budget hearing, but initially declined to comment on the Schedule III announcement because it is inappropriate for her to respond to questions because the rulemaking process is ongoing. The topic of the budget hearing is the DEA’s funding request for Fiscal Year 2025.

“It’s hard to overstate how deeply political and flawed this makes the rescheduling process look,” Sabet said in a statement. “DEA Administrator Anne Milgram should be commended for standing up for science and truth, over the profit-driven pot industry. Her courage will show she was on the right side of history. It’s equally hard to overstate what a botched process the Biden Administration’s rescheduling review has been from the outset. This unprecedented action by the Attorney General reflects a process poisoned by political considerations and conducted with a pre-determined outcome.”

A commenter pointed out that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland probably signed it himself. “Yes, obviously he did,” Sabet replied. ‘But the statute says he designates this to DEA. and for the first time this didn’t happen. not saying this means it won’t be done, just saying this breaks big time from precedent (so it’s not just the decision that’s the outlier, but the process too).”

Assuming there are no more major changes to the narrative, the reclassification process now heads to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review the change.

Who is Kevin Sabet?

Sabet is a former drug policy adviser to the White House under several administrations, and is often vocal about his opposition to cannabis reform in the US. He co-founded SAM with Patrick Kennedy and advises in direct opposition to pro-cannabis legalization groups (think Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and Drug Policy Alliance.)

What exactly has he said regarding cannabis? Sabet has claimed that cannabis lowers the IQ of users, and that today’s cannabis is 10 times stronger than in the ‘60s. It’s also not the first of Sabet’s claims regarding the rescheduling of cannabis.

Sabet recently debated National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Deputy Director Paul Armentano on C-SPAN on May 2. During the interview, which you can watch in full here, a caller “Luke” called in with a troubling tale about suicide and schizophrenia: 

“I live here in Colorado and we have recreational and medical marijuana,” the caller said. ”Recently, a neighbor of mine let me know that her son died by suicide after legally using medical marijuana here in Colorado. I was curious that she said he had a psychotic break and that is what led to it. I was curious, what are we saying [about] science on marijuana and schizophrenic psychosis, and did the Biden administration consider this as it relates to the decision to move to marijuana to Schedule III? Was that in the rationale? I just wanted to learn more about that.”

But Armentano didn’t take the bait and said the “caller” was actually SAM Deputy Director Luke Niforatos: “To set the record straight, that caller was the deputy director of Kevin’s organization, so that was a planted call,” Armentano said during the debate. “But I’m happy to address the issue the caller brought up.”  MPP Director of State Policies Karen O’Keefe posted the interaction.

Given Milgram’s recent testimony in a recent budget hearing, we’ll probably hear more about the facts regarding the rescheduling of cannabis at the federal level in the upcoming next few weeks.

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2 comments
  1. The problem is we keep giving Kevin Sabet the microphone.

    There is no more debate for Kevin and SAM, cannabis can, has been and is currently used as medicine in the United States of America. The CSA is a failure.

  2. HOW THE HELL DID A LAW ENFORCEMENT BODY GET THE POWER TO CHANGE THE LAW IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    It’s shameful that any law enforcement body (which are not qualified in any way in medicine or science) is given the power to change or even influence laws.
    A law enforcement body’s job is to enforce the law and nothing else.
    The ignorant opinions of a biased group of enforcement officers has no place influencing the law in a truly democratic society.
    As to scum of the earth like Kevin Sabet; it’s no surprise at all that he literally resorts to lying, because the truth abourt cannabis is no where near as bad as he wants it to be LOL

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