FDA to Review Schedule 1 Status for Cannabis


The Food and Drug Administration will review the status of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug. A request for a review was filed with the agency by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The FDA still considers cannabis to have no medical benefit. However, 23 states now have legalized medical marijuana, and two states have legalized the substance for recreational use. Re-classification of cannabis could help reconcile federal and state laws, and re-apportion funding to other programs.
Schedule One drugs carry the greatest penalties for use and possession. Medical research on these substances is also tightly regulated. Other schedule one drugs on the federal list include heroin and LSD.
The FDA considered re-scheduling cannabis in 2001 and 2006. Both of those times, the agency chose to the maintain current policies.
Recent polls now show a majority of Americans now support the full legalization of cannabis. Medical marijuana and decriminalization enjoy even higher approval levels from the general public.
The agency now states on their Web site they are “aware that there is considerable interest in its use to attempt to treat a number of medical conditions.”
John Mica, a Republican representative from Florida, said that re-scheduling of cannabis would have “big implications.”
Announcement of the review was made in recent written comments to Congress by Douglas Throckmorton of the FDA.
The agency will consult with the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the National Institutes of Health, before making their recommendation. There was no timetable given for the decision process.
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