FDA and DEA Privately Discuss Rescheduling Cannabis

Despite clear evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabis at treating a variety of conditions, the plant has long been classified as a Schedule I drug by the US government, painting it as a substance with a high risk of abuse and no accepted medical use. Recently, however, the FDA submitted a recommendation to the DEA to review the plant’s current status, perhaps an indication that the federal government is considering a change to this outdated and erroneous classification.

The catch: nobody except the FDA and DEA knows what that change would be and what information it will be based on.

Perhaps this is a sign that the FDA and DEA are beginning to cave under the pressure of the general public, the majority of whom support legalization. Given the DEA’s horrible track record with cannabis and patients who use it, however, the secretive nature of this decision is concerning. When considering a change to a drug’s classification via the Controlled Substances Act, the government must take into account a thorough medical and scientific review.

With the closed-door nature of the process, the general public will not know what new information is being considered and what the proposed new classification will be until after the decision has been made.

In an interview with Marijuana.com, who first broke the story, Mike Liszewski of Americans for Safe Access said, “We hope the agencies will become more transparent and give medical marijuana patients the respect they deserve.”

Photo Credit: NCinDC

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