The wait for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) ruling on whether or not to reschedule marijuana is over.
The DEA is expected to announce Thursday it will not reschedule marijuana from its current Schedule I classification, The Washington Post reported late Wednesday.
In a small victory for rescheduling proponents, the DEA will allow more places to grow marijuana to be used for research. Currently, the University of Mississippi holds an exclusive contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to grow weed for medical research.
“This decision… is further evidence that the DEA doesn’t get it,” Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer told WaPo. “Keeping marijuana at Schedule I continues an outdated, failed approach—leaving patients and marijuana businesses trapped between state and federal laws.”
A Schedule I classification, as defined by the DEA, means pot has “no currently accepted medical use” and is among the “most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules.” Marijuana sits alongside heroin and LSD in that classification.
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) vehemently disagrees with the notion that pot has no medical value.
“[The] DEA’s decision flies in the face of objective science and overwhelming public opinion,” a statement released by the NCIA read. “The reality is that half of U.S. states have already passed effective laws allowing patients legal access to medical cannabis, and it is changing lives.”
“Continuing marijuana prohibition forces critically ill people to suffer needlessly, leaves life-changing treatments undeveloped, and keeps patients and providers in limbo between state and federal laws,” the statement concludes.
The Schedule I classification runs counter to some evidence that marijuana does indeed have medical value.
Ben-Gurion University in Israel reported in May that marijuana had proven effective in helping those suffering from pain and nausea, and in July the Senate heard testimony from doctors from various fields who said that, at least in some cases, marijuana does have medicinal value.
Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, calls the decision a “flat earth” position.
In May of 2015, President Barack Obama voiced his support for medical marijuana.
“I’m on record as saying … I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue,” Obama told CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.
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