The DEA’s approval for the study involves the smoking of cannabis as a treatment option for American military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This approval for research has been quite the change for the DEA, especially considering comments made by DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg to CBS last November. Rosenberg has laughed at the idea of smoking marijuana as a form of medicine, “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”
The recent approval marks a clear shift in the attitude the DEA has taken towards cannabis in the past months. In addition to this shift in consideration of the opportunities for cannabis, the DEA also announced earlier this month it’s planning to consider the rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug. Alongside cannabis in the Schedule 1 category include substances like LSD and heroin, which the U.S. government labels as some of the most dangerous drugs and have “no currently accepted medical use…”
The approval goes to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), an organization that has been researching the legal uses for cannabis as well as other mind-altering substances. MAPS is funded with a $2.2 billion grant from Colorado’s state health department. For five years MAPS has been working toward this approval, having already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S.Public Health Service in 2011, and 2014, respectively.
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