With the proposition of legalizing recreational marijuana in California (Proposition 64) set to hit the ballets this year on Nov. 8, the DEA feels as if cannabis should still remain classified as a schedule 1 drug.
As of Aug. 11, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has decided marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 drug, leaving it in the same category as substances such Heroin and Ecstasy.
“DEA has denied two petitions to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA),” according the DEA’s website.
According to Drugs.com, Scheduled 1 drugs are substances that “have a high potential for abuse” and “has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.”
But countless studies done throughout the years prove other- wise when it comes to marijuana having medical benefits.
The results of these studies conclude marijuana has the ability to treat illnesses varying from mental disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, to phys- ical ailments such as Arthritis and possibly even immune illnesses like cancer.
“Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids (an active ingredient in marijuana) may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells,” according to National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute cancer.gov. One would think with marijuana being available as a medicinal alter- native in states including California,
Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware, the DEA would consider the results of these studies and see marijuana has medicinal bene ts.
What’s keeping the DEA from removing cannabis from Schedule 1 classification?
Why does the DEA suggest marijuana is more dangerous than cocaine and methamphetamine, which are classified as Schedule 2 drugs?
It’s odd one of the reasons marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug is because it has “a high potential for abuse,” (source?) when the drugs are being prescribed by pharmaceutical companies to thousands of people every day are being abused, resulting in numerous fatalities.
As of 2014, there have been over 28,000 deaths due to overdose from prescription opioids, according to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). However, people are starting to choose marijuana over these pills.
“Because chronic pain is a major indication for medical cannabis, laws that establish access to medical cannabis may change overdose mortality related to opioid analgesics in states that have enacted them,” according to an article on JAMAnetwork.com.
An article on the Drug Policy Alliance website (drugpolicy.org) written in 2014 did a follow up on the concluding results of the article on JAMAnetwork.com.
“The authors showed that although opiate overdoses rose in states without medical marijuana laws during 2009-2010, they dropped by approximately 25 per- cent in states with medical marijuana laws during that same period,” the article said.For any type of food or drug to become available for public consumption, it must rst be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The DEA has the final say in whether or not it becomes avail- able, providing the manufacturing services and licensing prescribers, according to fda.org.
This means the FDA has a say in which drugs pharmacies and doctors can prescribe to patients.
“ e FDA has not approved marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication,” according to fda.org.
What is keeping the FDA from approving marijuana as a safe and beneficial substance?
A pro t margin on the British Broadcasting Corporation (bbc.com) displayed what were said to be the ve largest industrial sectors in 2013, consisting of pharmaceutical companies, banks, carmakers, oil and gas and media.
Pharmaceutical companies come in rst, bringing in a significantly bigger pro t margin than Banks in the U.S, ranking highest at 42 percent in pro t, with the Banks in second at 29 percent.
If marijuana was to be removed from its Schedule 1 drug classification, it would eventually become fully legal, leading to a signi cant drop in the pro t margin of these pharmaceutical companies.
Not only would legalization of cannabis affect the sales of opioids; the sales of anti-depressants and benzos such as Xanax would likely be affected as well, for marijuana can also be used for anxiety and depression.
Marijuana has the potential to lessen the rate of overdoses and provide medical patients a safer alternative when medicating.