Government-Sponsored Study Destroys DEA’s Unjustified Classification of Marijuana_Featured_, Politics Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
Stephen C. Webster
A government-sponsored study published this month in The Open Neurology Journal concludes that marijuana provides much-needed relief to some chronic pain sufferers and that more clinical trials are desperately needed, utterly destroying the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) classification of the drug as having no medical uses.
While numerous prior studies have shown marijuana’s usefulness for a host of medical conditions, none have ever gone directly at the DEA’s placement of marijuana atop the schedule of controlled substances. This study, sponsored by the State of California and conducted at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, does precisely that, driving a stake into the heart of America’s continued war on marijuana users by calling the Schedule I placement simply “not accurate” and “not tenable.”
Reacting to the study, Paul Armentano, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told Raw Story that the study clearly proves U.S. drug policy “is neither based upon nor guided by science.”
“In fact, it is hostile to science,” he said. “And despite the Obama Administration’s well publicized 2009 memo stating, ‘Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration,’ there is little to no evidence indicating that the federal government’s ‘See no evil; hear no evil’ approach to cannabis policy is not changing any time soon.”
Schedule I is supposedly reserved for the most inebriating substances that the DEA believes have no medical value, including LSD, ecstasy, peyote and heroin.* As the DEA describes it: “Drugs listed in schedule I have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and, therefore, may not be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use. In contrast, drugs listed in schedules II-V have some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use.”
And that’s the problem, the study’s authors portend.
“The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area,” they wrote. “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking. It is true cannabis has some abuse potential, but its profile more closely resembles drugs in Schedule III (where codeine and dronabinol are listed). The continuing conflict between scientific evidence and political ideology will hopefully be reconciled in a judicious manner.”
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