DEA declines to reschedule marijuana, saying drug has no accepted medical use

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration filed documents with the Federal Register on Thursday outlining its denial of petitions to reschedule marijuana.

The filings, which are expected to be published Friday, included the rescheduling decision, a rejection of the medical use of marijuana, statements of principles on industrial hemp, and a move to allow more entities to cultivate marijuana for research purposes.

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 22: A marijuana plant is displayed during the 2016 Cannabis Business Summit & Expo on June 22, 2016 in Oakland, California. Policy makers and innovators gathered for the three-day long Cannabis Business Summit & Expo. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A marijuana plant is displayed during the 2016 Cannabis Business Summit & Expo on June 22, 2016 in Oakland, California

The filings, which are expected to be published Friday, included the rescheduling decision, a rejection of the medical use of marijuana, statements of principles on industrial hemp, and a move to allow more entities to cultivate marijuana for research purposes.

The filing was anticipated. News and details of the announcement started to leak on Wednesday evening and into the night, with DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg telling National Public Radio:

“This decision isn’t based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine,” he said, “and it’s not.”

In denying the rescheduling, the DEA cited marijuana’s high potential for abuse, its lack of currently accepted medical use and accepted safety use under medical supervision, according to the filings.

“As detailed in the (Department of Health and Human Services) evaluation, the drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible; there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available,” Chuck Rosenberg, DEA’s acting administrator, wrote in the filings.

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The DEA’s denial of the petitions was rooted heavily in the recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the HHS, which both conducted scientific and medical evaluations and eventually determined that marijuana should remain a Schedule I substance, DEA officials said.

“We are truly tethered to the science, bound by statute,” Russell Baer, a DEA spokesman, said Thursday morning in an interview with The Denver Post.

Read the full story at The Cannabist

Syndicated from Denver Post



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