DEA declares drug has ‘no accepted medical use’
Marijuana has been ruled one of the most dangerous drugs and has no medical use, the government has announced.
The decision marks the end of a lengthy government review, which found the drug ‘has a high potential for abuse’ and ‘no accepted medical use’.
The weed will remain a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroin, despite growing support for legalization, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced in August.
The DEA will allow more research into its possible medical benefits.
The decision comes a day after President Obama’s daughter Malia was accused of smoking marijuana after a video of her puffing on a suspicious cigarette at a festival was released.
The DEA’s announcement sparked outrage in the burgeoning cannabis community that now covers more than half the US, and Bernie Sanders slammed the verdict on Twitter.
Sanders tweeted: ‘People can argue about the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but everyone knows it’s not a killer drug like heroin.’
President Obama is yet to comment on the decision.
Attitudes towards cannabis have transformed in the last few years, with the drug’s medicinal value driving legalization efforts.
The US government has poured millions into researching the drug, and a number of papers have concluded that CBD – an active ingredient in marijuana – can aid treatment of ailments from anxiety to cancer.
But that momentum has been stunted by the DEA’s conclusion, which cites scientific evidence purportedly showing no real medical value.
‘We are tethered to science and bound by statute,’ DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said Thursday.
Joel Milton, CEO of cannabis branding company Baker, slammed the supposed evidence as nonsense.
‘They’re saying there are no medical benefits. We crossed that hump years ago,’ Milton told Daily Mail Online.
‘State by state progress has shown the very obvious medical benefits of cannabis.
‘Each state [with legal marijuana] has a government body that is very clear about what can be done.
‘We need to move forward and not inhibit all of the businesses that are up and running.’
More than half the states have legalized the drug for either medicinal or recreational use.
And the cannabis industry has thrived under the Obama administration, however, after the verdict, marijuana proponents slammed Obama for passing the buck to the DEA.
David Bienenstock, Head of Content, HIGH TIMES, a 42-year-old media company that reports on the industry, said:
‘Allowing the DEA to set our national policy on cannabis flies in the face of the very rational, science-based approach that the Obama administration has been promising for eight years, and yet again has failed to deliver.
“Does anyone on earth beside the DEA actually believe that marijuana should be classified alongside heroin in Schedule I as an incredibly dangerous drug with no medicinal value?
‘Perhaps the DEA should spend more time reading the latest research on this plant’s incredible medical efficacy, and less time plotting how to bust peaceful citizens for weed.
‘At least the DEA finally stood up to dispel the myth that marijuana is a gateway drug. It’s about time.’
The DEA said it plans to make it easier for researchers to study marijuana’s possible medical benefits by expanding the number of entities that can legally grow marijuana for research purposes.
Currently only researchers at the University of Missouri are allowed to grow marijuana, as part of a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Allowing for further research is the latest step forward in the federal government’s evolving position on marijuana, although legalization advocates claim it doesn’t go far enough.
The DEA’s latest review of marijuana’s classification was prompted by requests from the former governors of Rhode Island and Washington.
They requested that marijuana be considered a Schedule II drug, along with cocaine, morphine and opium.
The decision was announced in a lengthy notice in the Federal Register.
Written by Mia DeGraaf for The Daily Mail. ~ August 11, 2016.
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