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The Federal Government May Change Marijuana's Status This Summer

The Drug Enforcement Administration is considering relisting marijuana from its current Schedule 1 status under the Controlled Substances Act. A decision is expected by this summer.


Re-categorizing marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 would open up scientific research for the drug. This change is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. Currently, marijuana is classified as being more dangerous than cocaine and opioid painkillers. It is impossible to die from an overdose of marijuana.

First set in 1970, marijuana's classification under the Controlled Substances Act has become increasingly out of step with scientific research, public opinion, medical use and state law. Citing marijuana's potentially significant therapeutic potential for a number of serious ailments, including chronic pain and epilepsy, organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have called on the DEA to change the drug's scheduling status.

A Schedule 1 classification means that there is no accepted medicinal use of the drug. In marijuana's case, this is simply untrue: the drug is used to treat everything from anorexia to glaucoma and has been for years. There's no reason to keep the drug at Schedule 1, and doing so is impeding important medical research that could change people's lives.

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