DEA Considers Reclassification of Marijuana
According to reports, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is seriously considering a reclassification of marijuana, which would make it (in a legal sense) less dangerous and less serious than heroin.
There has been what many have called a growing “heroin epidemic” in the United States over the last decade. It’s an extremely addictive drug that has been linked to thousands of deaths across the country. Marijuana, on the other hand, has not been linked to any overdose deaths and is already legal recreationally in four states and the District of Columbia, and medically in several more. However, it is still considered a DEA Schedule I substance — the same classification given to heroin and the other most dangerous illegal drugs available, including LSD and ecstasy.
Should the DEA decide to reclassify marijuana, it would be considered a Schedule II drug. These are drugs the agency still considers dangerous, but somewhat less so. Schedule II drugs are deemed to have legitimate medical uses.
Why is the DEA considering reclassification?
Top DEA officials have long argued there is no legitimate medical benefit to marijuana, but the tide seems to be turning. In the states that do allow medical marijuana, it is most often prescribed to treat epilepsy and the various side effects of chemotherapy.
The Schedule I classification, however, makes it very difficult for scientists to research these potential medical benefits. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reportedly provided the DEA with a thorough report on the safety and potential medical benefits of marijuana, along with reclassification recommendations.
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