Prohibition on Marijuana

The prohibition on marijuana has gained lots of controversy as more states continue to fight back against the federal government. There are 25 states along with the District of Columbia that have passed medical or recreational laws regarding marijuana. Other state and federal government agencies are fighting against the legalization of marijuana. It seems that on a legal basis that at least 50% of American states are looking to end the prohibition of marijuana.

The federal government does not allow the use, sell, or research of marijuana for medical purposes. Their stance is that the marijuana has no therapeutic value. Marijuana has not been proven scientifically to be of medicinal benefit to users according to the FDA and DEA. The federal government highly restricts scientific research in this field because of the classification with the DEA. As you can see this political nightmare is what is controlling the prohibition on marijuana. As many researchers and doctors have suggested via their own patience testimonies and outside research has proven that marijuana is a treatment for a variety of conditions.

The National Conference of State Legislatures proposed a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I. The DEA turned down the request that would have removed marijuana from the Schedule I. They claim it is classified as having no currently acceptable medical use. The government continues their claim even against a growing number of those who want to legalize it for the treatment of a various conditions. Marijuana is classified to be on the same level as heroin and meth.

This decision will continue to be a federal issue for the government in the future. With 25 states and the District of Columbia passing laws allowing medical or recreational use of marijuana to some form. This issue will not be going away. It seems that the people that elect these officials are rarely being heard by the people they represent. All though some members have tried to fix this in Congress, the opposition from federal agencies makes it extremely hard to navigate. There has been absolutely no change federally, for states seeking to exert their rights as a state. Many members of congress have called for its reclassification by asking the federal government to remove cannabis from Schedule I.

Since little research is allowed on the subject, the DEA and FDA continues to make the claim that the science doesn’t support it. Recently, there was a policy change that would increase the amount of research conducted on marijuana. The DEA have extended the amount of facilities allowed to grow marijuana for research studies. This will include studies for chronic pain, epilepsy, and many other treatments. Currently there is only one University that holds an exclusive contract to study and grow marijuana for research purposes. This is controlled by the NIDA.

If cannabis was to be moved to a Schedule II it would allow the medical marijuana community to properly research it. The FDA and NIDA would then be forced to take medical marijuana research seriously. This would help overcome the lack of research that visibly affecting policy change. The ongoing battle with the FDA is it’s conclusion that medical and scientific data are yet to prove the safety and effectiveness as a medicine. This is what legally, prohibits the DEA from reclassifying the drug.

A narcotic painkiller is a Schedule II drug. The epidemic of addiction from pain medications is considered to be safer than marijuana, according to the DEA. A Schedule II drug is considered to have a high potential for abuse. This may lead to psychological and physical dependency. Yes, marijuana is considered to be more dangerous that narcotic pain meds. This is the type of government thinking we have going on.

All though it’s a step in the right direction the decision to allow more facilities to grow marijuana for research, it doesn’t go far enough in the legalization process. By keeping marijuana at a Schedule I this continues a failed approach for those that are patients and business owners in this field. Many people are stuck between state and federal laws.

The FDA is trying to address the issue that cannabis and its extracts are safe for medical use, but this does not mean there not prone to abuse. With 25 states allowing the use of cannabis for health reasons, the time for change is happening. It’s unclear under the rules, what will be the research regulations and how many facilities would be allowed to cultivate marijuana for research. With the federal government finally ending the monopoly with the only research facility granted a permit. This will allow a broader use of products for research since growers could apply directly now to the DEA and not NIDA.

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