Friday, August 5, 2011

DEA denies request: Marijuana stuck at schedule 1

The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis submitted its request to the Drug Enforcement Administration to reschedule marijuana nine years ago.

"They felt as though there was some sort of evidence, there was some sort of scientific evidence, that suggested that marijuana could be used as medicine," says Dawn Dearden, DEA Spokesperson.

At the end of last month, the DEA denied this request-leaving marijuana in the same drug category as heroin. DEA listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it's not considered legitimate for medical use and has high potential for abuse.

"There's like eight factors that we look at, when we look at scheduling a drug. Its potential for abuse, the scientific evidence of any sort of pharmacological affects that it might have, any sort of scientific knowledge regarding whether the drug can be used safely for any sort of medicine or anything like that. The history and pattern of abuse-I mean there's a whole litany of [the factors DEA looks at]," Dearden said.

So in this case, DEA studied marijuana and found it didn't have any medicinal use. The Food and Drug Administration also studied it and determined the same thing.

"There is a high potential for abuse for marijuana. We know that the science isn't there to back it up-that marijuana can be used as medicine. We know that, the FDA has said that and as far as we're concerned, nothing really has changed regarding marijuana's potential for abuse-either before this petition was filed or after it. It's still a Schedule I drug, it's still illegal under federal law," Dearden said.

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