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Why is the Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendation to move marijuana to Schedule III significant?

This is the first time an agency with regulatory authority over marijuana has recommended a different category. Since it was first put on the list of controlled substances back in 1971, marijuana has been categorized in the most severe category we have for drugs in the US, Schedule I. That has limited research, and treated it exclusively as a controlled substance, in which possession or use is punishable as a criminal offense. Convictions have broad impacts, affecting job prospects, housing, and educational opportunities long after any criminal sentence is over.