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In a letter to the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, the agency has asked for more info on cannabis's scheduling and about the limits on medical cannabis research. The 25 page letter by the agency was obtained.
Because cannabis is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance it can’t be used for research and couldn’t be dispensed at pharmacies. Its use has been more restricted than other drugs that are in the four lower classifications that also include cocaine and meth (Schedule II controlled substances)
And while medical marijuana is federally prohibited, it is however legal in 23 states and Washington DC, this means that cannabis dispensaries and growers acting within the laws of the stare can be still raided by the police. In California's Emerald Triangle medical cannabis farmers have accused the law enforcement of running amok with commando style raids.
In the response to a question about the time line for the agency’s assessment of the Schedule I classification, the 4 April had said “DEA understands the widespread interest in the prompt resolution of these petitions and hopes to release its determination in the first half of 2016.”
Also the letter has stated that the Food & Drug Administration has concluded a review of the safety of cannabis and the recommendation has been sent to the DEA. The FDA's recommendation was not disclosed in the letter that was signed by Sylvia Burwell, US department of health and human services secretary: Michael Botticelli, the director of the National Drug Control Policy, and chuck Rosenberg who is the acting admin of the DEA.
This is the latest development in Warren's challenge to the federal cannabis laws. In February Warren had written a letter to the director of CDC, Thomas Friedan, asking for the agency to consider the role medical cannabis could play in combatting the huge opioid crisis it faces.
The letter had also just come after a weekend protest where hundreds smoked weed outside of the White House with almost no law enforcement crackdown, and while carrying a massive fake joint which said Obama: Reschedule Now.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for president has said that she thinks cannabis should be reclassified from Schedule I to Schedule II while the fellow democrat Bernie Sanders introduced legalization in November 2015 to remove cannabis from the federal drug Schedule completely.
None of the 3 remaining republicans support legalization though they do however support the rights of the states to decide.
Donald Trump, GOP frontrunner said “Marijuana is such a big thing,” “I think medical should happen – right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”
Did any of you take place in the protest? If so we would love to hear your experiences. What are your opinions on the DEA changing the Schedule?