DEA Marijuana: Federal Agency To Potentially Remove Drug From Schedule 1 Category

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), will determine in the first half of 2016 whether marijuana should remain in the Schedule 1 drug category. Marijuana was put in the Schedule 1 category in 1970. In 2001 and 2006, petitions were rejected by the DEA in which reclassification could have been accomplished.

In order to be classified by the DEA as a Schedule 1 drug, three standards need to be met.

  1. The drug or substance must have a high potential for abuse
  2. The drug or substance has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the United States
  3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or substance under medical supervision.

DEA List Of Schedule 1 Drugs

  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Mescaline
  • MDMA
  • GHB
  • Ecstacy
  • Psilocybin
  • Methaqualone
  • Khat
  • Bath Salts

The feeling across the country is changing regarding the use of marijuana. Countless studies have been done that have shown that marijuana has many positive uses in medicine. We have seen many states in the country legalizing marijuana for medical use and a handful of states legalizing the drug for recreational use. Each year more states hold ballot measures to determine if or how marijuana should be used for legal purposes. The fact that marijuana has been shown to serve a purpose in medicine should automatically qualify for removal from Schedule 1 based on the criteria set forth by the DEA on what drugs qualify for being put in the most dangerous category.

Changing which category marijuana is under could be a scientific boom for the drug. Due to it being a Schedule 1 drug, it is very difficult to do testing with marijuana to determine all of the potential medical benefits that it could have. Currently, the marijuana that is used for medical testing is only grown in one place, the University of Mississippi. If the DEA were to move it down to Schedule 2, it will be much easier to do medical research on it. Schedule 2 drugs include drugs that have been proven to have an accepted medical use.

The head of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg, is dead set against marijuana being reclassified based on his comments in November.

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not. We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke. There are pieces of marijuana — extracts or constituents or component parts — that have great promise medicinally. But if you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana — which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana — it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.”

Medical Problems That Can Be Treated With Marijuana

  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Crohns Disease
  • Parkinsons Disease
  • PTSD
  • Nausea Associated With Chemotherapy

More and more politicians are getting on board with the legalizing of marijuana movement. The current memo that has been sent to the DEA to have them reschedule marijuana was drafted and signed by Silvia Burwell of the Department of Health and Human Services and Michael Botticelli of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The memo can be read in its entirety by clicking here.

Will we see the DEA finally move marijuana off of the Schedule 1 list or will they once again deny the petition?

[Photo by AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana]