DEA Refuses to Scale Back Fed. Restrictions On Marijuana
Aug 13 2016 by Kathy Alvarado
"Schedule I drugs are the most risky drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence".
The U.S. government will announce on Thursday that it will allow more research into marijuana but has rejected requests to relax the classification of the substance as a unsafe, highly addictive drug with no medical use, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The DEA's decision will be published Friday in the Federal Register.
However, the DEA did, in a separate proposal also issued Thursday, announce a policy change that may increase the amount of research conducted on marijuana.
In a column published Friday on CNN.com, the renowned physician and chief medical correspondent voiced his displeasure over the DEA's actions this week to lift restrictions on marijuana research while failing to reschedule cannabis from its current Schedule I classification. Now only researchers at the University of MS have the government's permission to grow pot.
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The agency said it has never stood in the way of a researcher conducting an FDA-approved study using marijuana from the NIDA-approved supply of the plant.
Despite that, more than two dozen states and Washington D.C. have laws allowing for medical use of the drug. "If those studies show medical value, marijuana rescheduling will be more likely".
An employee places marijuana for sale into glass containers at The Station, a retail and medical cannabis dispensary, in Boulder, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.
"As states continue to legalize medical and recreational marijuana across the country, there is more that the federal government must to do to provide states with legal certainty and empower the operation of safe systems across the country". More than half the states have legalized the drug for either medicinal or recreational use.
For years, the University of MS has been the only institution authorized to grow the drug for use in medical studies.
Despite that, proponents of medical marijuana research welcome the federal government's decision to allow more universities to grow the drug.