The government has re-affirmed that they believe marijuana is as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than cocaine and methamphetamine, and has no medicinal benefits whatsoever, even though half of U.S. states agree that it does. The Drug Enforcement Agency declined to re-schedule cannabis, keeping the drug listed as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act alongside heroin, ecstasy, and LSD. Cocaine and methamphetamine are both classified as "Schedule 2" drugs.
The DEA did, however, loosen rules on institutions growing marijuana for research purposes. Currently, only one facility is allowed to do so. They also announced that marijuana is not a "gateway drug."
Regardless of one's opinion regarding whether or not marijuana should be legal for recreational use, to say it has no medicinal benefits at all is simply a denial of fact. Thousands of epileptics have utilized high-CBD and low-THC strains of the drug to stop their seizures. Others use it for pain relief or to reduce muscle spasms without having the devastating side effects of legal opioid drugs. Families dubbing themselves "medical refugees" have completely uprooted their lives to move to a state where medical marijuana is legal--that's not a decision someone makes lightly. A study out of Israel, where researchers are actually allowed to study marijuana's medicinal properties, indicated that the drug may cause complete remission of Crohn's disease. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) used a cannabis-infused wax treatment to successfully treat his arthritis. Clearly, there are at least some medicinal uses of the drug. To say otherwise is codswallop.
Despite the DEA's announcement, eight states are voting on marijuana-related measures this November. Maine, Massachusetts, California, Nevada, and Arizona will be considering full legalization, and Arkansas, Montana, and Florida are considering medical marijuana bills.