Marijuana Won’t Be Rescheduled, But DEA Opens The Door for Future Research

As reported by Reuters,  the Drug Enforcement Administration denied a formal petition from the governors of Washington state and Rhode Island and declared Thursday that marijuana will remain illegal for all purposes and will remain classified as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

This classification of drugs places marijuana on the same level with substances such as heroine, LSD, Ecstasy and cocaine. Like marijuana, these drugs are deemed to have no medical purposes and clinical medical research to study the drugs effects on the body are all but prohibited.

Despite suggested evidence that cannibus can be used as an effective cancer remedy, the DEA states that there is “no currently accepted medical use” of marijuana because “the drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible; there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available.

The irony of these statement is, of course, no adequate studies on marijuana exist because cannibus is a schedule 1 substance and studies are therefore prohibited. The DEA goes on to add how “there is no evidence that there is a consensus among qualified experts that marijuana is safe and effective for use in treating a specific, recognized disorder.

Concluding that  “At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.

Though medical marijuana has been embraced by 26 states across the country, 4 states have fully legalized marijuana and 7 more states will be voting for full legalization this November, marijuana remains illegal on the federal level. The DEA happens to be a federal organization so it follows suit that they would reach this decision.

Despite their hard-line stance against marijuana and the War on drugs, the DEA did make a historical first step towards opening the doors up to marijuana research – albeit an incredibly small one. The only marijuana farm allowed under federal law exists in Mississippi and the DEA announced Thursday that it will now allow researchers to purchase marijuana from this facility strictly to study the possible medical benefits of the drug – opening the door up for future research.

In addition to this, the DEA also went on to debunk the long standing myth that marijuana is a “gateway drug“, stating that there is “Little evidence supports the hypothesis that initiation of marijuana use leads to an abuse disorder with other illicit substances.” A small, moral victory for marijuana activists I suppose.

A recent Gallup poll found that 33 million adults across the country admit to using marijuana on a regular basis, nearly double the amount just 3 years ago. There is no doubt the political tide and societal attitude towards marijuana is changing. Though individual states are slowly moving in a more accepting direction, the federal government remains defiant. Who knows what new research opportunities will yield for the future of the industry. For the time being, today’s announcement serves a small victory for marijuana advocates.


This article (Marijuana Won’t Be Reschedules,But DEA Opens The Door for Future Research) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article using a creative commons license with attribution to Brian Dunn and Alternative Medi4



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