The Drug Enforcement Agency has had the same stance on marijuana for many years, arresting those that choose to use it on the basis that it was a dangerous drug. Unfortunately for the organization, recent studies have suggested marijuana is not as dangerous as it was once thought to be. This has led the general public has been skeptical of the DEA’s ideals regarding the plant.
The DEA has listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug for decades. That places it alongside dangerous drugs such as heroin. In fact, methamphetamine is considered less dangerous by the DEA’s current standards. The current scheduling does not reflect the levels of danger [or lack thereof] of these different drugs. However, that may change soon.
The agency plans to consider the rescheduling of the drug in the first half of 2016, according to their statements to the public. Drug rescheduling is not a common occurrence. In fact, a reschedule from Schedule I to Schedule II has only taken place five times in the history of the agency.
Unfortunately, the rescheduling is not yet set in stone and some are still skeptical of how the DEA may handle the issue at hand. They have rejected a number of petitions to reschedule marijuana in the past, including one as recent as 2011. The DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg accurately describes the agency’s overall outlook on cannabis.
“We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether or not we want to legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine. That’s a joke. My view is that we will support any legitimate research into the efficacy of marijuana for its constituent parts as a medicine. But I think the notion that state legislatures just decree it so is ludicrous,” Rosenberg stated.
Cannabis enthusiasts have a long road ahead of them if they hope to see the future of marijuana change. The coming months will tell how serious the agency is about their claims to the public.