The US Drug Enforcement Agency has announced that marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 drug, saying it has “no medical use or purpose.” The decision keeps weed on the same naughty list alongside drugs like LSD and heroin.
The Obama Administration has turned down a request by two Democratic governors to change the way marijuana is classified under federal drug control laws. So for the time being, marijuana will continue to be designated a Schedule 1 drug, giving it equal status to LSD and heroin.
The DEA said its decision was rooted in science, and that it’s honoring the US Food and Drug Administration’s admonition that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” The agency added that weed has the potential for “severe psychological or physical dependence.”
“This decision isn’t based on danger,” noted DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg. “This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine, and it’s not.”
It was hoped that marijuana would be granted Schedule 2 status, which would ease restrictions on research done to uncover the drug’s medical value. That said, the DEA also announced that it will allow more researchers access to marijuana in an effort to encourage further study.
“President Obama always said he would let science—and not ideology—dictate policy,” noted Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, “but in this case his administration is upholding a failed drug war approach instead of looking at real, existing evidence that marijuana has medical value.”
Indeed, the DEA’s decision is perplexing given just how much research is being done into marijuana and its potential health benefits. This decision, it’s safe to say, can’t possibly stand the test of time.