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By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

DEA Won't Reclassify Medical Marijuana as Schedule II, Despite Governors' Petitions

New rules will allow more medical marijuana research.

 

August 12, 2016

DEA 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 dangerous, highly addictive drug with no medical use, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

In a sudden reversal, the US Drug Enforcement agency has refused to reclassify marijuana as a schedule 2 drug. This would've allowed experimentation and even prescription edibles and other cannabis products.

The DEA has decided to stick with its current classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug. This seems to be political which is ironic since Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both admitted to using marijuana at some point in their lives, and libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson actually owned a pot farm.

The DEA announced on Thursday that it will allow more research into marijuana but has rejected requests to relax the classification of the substance as a dangerous, highly addictive drug with no medical use, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

In 2011, two former State governors presented a petition asking that marijuana be moved to schedule II. At this time, the DEA has sent emails to news organizations that it will have a major announcement on marijuana tomorrow. Officially the content of that announcement has not been released, but people with knowledge of the matter have said the content of the announcement will be a few significant changes.

Marijuana is legal with a prescription in 25 American states, and as a practical matter, US federal agencies do not normally enforce marijuana laws in those states. In California, an initiative is on the November ballot to completely legalize recreational marijuana. Four states already allow recreational marijuana use.

marijuana has been classified as a "Schedule I" drug with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," on par with heroin. The government has repeatedly rejected appeals over the years to reclassify marijuana. Loosening that definition could encourage scientific study of a drug that is being used to treat diseases in several U.S. states despite little proof of its effectiveness.

Sources told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the FDA concluded marijuana has no accepted medical value, dooming the rescheduling petition. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/08/10/u-s-affirms-its-prohibition-on-medical-marijuana/

“This decision isn’t based on danger,” DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg told National Public Radio. “This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine, and it’s not.”

The decision angered marijuana supporters.

“DEA’s decision flies in the face of objective science and overwhelming public opinion,” National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith said in a statement late Wednesday

The DEA 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 dangerous, highly addictive drug with no medical use, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

There is genuine sentiment in Congress to provide some relief to those well, seeking relief. Bernie Sanders repeatedly said that Marijuana laws should be entirely up to the States. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) decision not to remove marijuana as a “Schedule 1” narcotic, thereby preventing doctors from prescribing marijuana to patients for medical use.

“The DEA's refusal to reclassify marijuana to permit medical use is a cruel decision that ignores the suffering of patients who find well-documented relief in medical cannabis products. It also shows a profound disregard for where the medical community and the American public stand on the issue. Medical decisions should be made between a patient and his or her doctor--not the government. The DEA should be spending its limited resources on targeting high priority narcotics rather than erecting roadblocks to medical marijuana.” Lieu said in a statement.

 

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