Colorado has become the fourth State in the US to send a letter to the US Drug Enforcement Administration asking them to downgrade marijuana from a Schedule I Narcotic to a Schedule II Narcotic. Schedule I drugs are listed by the DEA as having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical value. Drugs such as Heroin and LSD fall into this category.
Schedule II drugs on the other hand, while still having a high potential for abuse, are recognized as having a legitimate medical value. The Governors of Washington and Rhode Island already filed formal requests with the DEA and Vermont filed one shortly afterward.
Sixteen States and Washington DC currently have laws on the books legalizing marijuana for medical use. The Federal Government still does not recognize those state laws and in fact has even raided marijuana dispensaries in those states where the drug is provided.
Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project told CNN, “I don’t think that we’re going to see to much change in Washington’s position on this until public opinion and state-level support reaches a little bit higher a tipping point,”
The DEA said it would give the petitions due consideration, but that is the same line it usually gives to other groups before it rejects similar applications.
In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected any argument that marijuana should be made legal for medical use. It stated that “no sound scientific studies” prove its effectiveness. State laws authorizing it “are inconsistent with efforts to ensure that medications undergo the rigorous scientific scrutiny of the FDA approval process,”
It is interesting to note that thousands of medical organizations support the legalizing of medical marijuana, including the federal government’s own National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the National Institutes of Health.
How do you feel about medical marijuana?