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Marijuana May Be Legal in Some States but Still Not Federally
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Summary: The Drug Enforcement Administration declined the proposal to remove or at least loosen the restrictions on marijuana for medical and research purposes.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has declared that marijuana will stay a Schedule I controlled substance. They state it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” so it will remain in the same category as LSD, ecstasy, and heroin.


Two petitions have popped up asking the DEA to change the designation so that more scientific research could be conducted. The US Food and Drug Administration conducted a “scientific and medical evaluation” for the agency which led to their decision to not change the drugs status. “The DEA and the FDA continue to believe that scientifically valid and well-controlled clinical trials conducted under investigational new drug (IND) applications are the most appropriate way to conduct research on the medicinal uses of marijuana,” said the DEA.

Read Which Celebs Are Making Money off of Medical Marijuana?

Critics of the DEA are upset about the decision because of the cycle marijuana researchers are stuck in. To learn more about marijuana, scientists need to research it but their studies have to be approved by federal agencies like the FDA, DEA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The University of Mississippi contracts with the institute and they hold the only license to grow research-grade marijuana in the country since 1968. Other studies have to obtain their marijuana from the institute, which is focused on the harm and abuse potential of the drug.

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See Supreme Court Votes 6-2 to Toss Lawsuit against Colorado’s Marijuana Laws.

The DEA will allow more “entities to apply to become registered with [them] so that they may grow and distribute marijuana for FDA-authorized research.” The DEA claims they have never stopped a researcher conducting an FDA-approved study that was using marijuana from an NIDA-approved supplier. As of June, there are 483 researchers registered with the DEA to conduct studies approved with the FDA on Schedule I controlled substances.

Do you think marijuana should remain classified as a controlled substance? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about the progression of marijuana’s legalization, read California, 7 Other States to Vote on Legalization of Marijuana.



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