The Battle Over Legalizing Marijuana Continues
Marijuana continues to be in the headlines after legalization in Washington and Colorado, Obama’s references to whether or not his administration will pursue those who violate the federal laws against its use and the latest ruling by an appeals court to reject the change in classification for the drug are top news headlines.
Despite efforts by those who believe the drug is safe for medicinal and even recreational use, the DEA believes it still has a high potential for abuse and therefore the classification that it currently has no acceptable medical use stays in place. As a result, marijuana will continue to be treated by the federal government as a drug akin to LSD and heroin.
While those battling the drug war on the home front appear to be satisfied with the ruling, those who wish to conduct research believe their hands remain tied. According a recent ABC News report, the restrictions meant to protect the people are the very restrictions that make it difficult to perform the necessary studies to convince the DEA that the drug should be moved into a different category.
Essentially, the DEA wants FDA approval before removing marijuana from Schedule I classification. The research that the FDA needs completed to be able to provide approval cannot be conducted because of the current laws in place. The argument was made by the Drug Policy Alliance, suggesting that the federal government is responsible for blocking the research that needs to be completed.
While a number of studies have been completed or are underway, the biggest obstacle observed by opponents to the DEA classification is the fact that the studies must have FDA approval before they can begin. This is perceived by many to be a conflict of interest.
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