In a big blow to cannabis legalization lovers this week, the DEA announced that cannabis will remain illegal under federal law. The DEA has decided to loosen restrictions on growing cannabis for the purposes of research, which is good for scientists who want to study the benefits of cannabis.
The DEA stated that cannabis has “no current accepted medical use…there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available.”
The reason why there is inadequate scientific data on the efficacy of cannabis is because the federal government only allows almost no research to be conducted on the subject under the Controlled Substances Act. Currently, the DEA only allows one facility in Mississippi to grow cannabis for scientific purposes.
The DEA also stated that cannabis has a “high potential for abuse” and “psychological dependence.” The agency did say in their statement that they don’t believe cannabis is a gateway drug, so at least there’s that.
Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority had this to say, “President Obama always said he would let science — and not ideology — dictate policy, but in this case his administration is upholding a failed drug war approach instead of looking at real, existing evidence that marijuana has medical value.”
The DEA’s announcement will probably not change much. The states that want to legalize cannabis will legalize, and those that don’t will not. Now that there will be more research conducted on cannabis, there’s a possibility that the DEA might change its position in the future.
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