Feds Reject Loosening Legal Restrictions Against Marijuana

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Photo by MarihuanayMedicina via Flickr

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes, reports NPR. DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg says the decision is rooted in science. Rosenberg gave “enormous weight” to conclusions by the FDA that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and by some measures, it remains highly vulnerable to abuse as the most commonly used illicit drug across the nation. “This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine,” he said, “and it’s not.”

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, alongside heroin and LSD, while other highly addictive substances, including oxycodone and methamphetamine, are regulated differently under Schedule II of the law. Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, said in a statement that the decision was disappointing. “President Obama always said he would let science — and not ideology — dictate policy, but in this case his administration is upholding a failed drug war approach instead of looking at real, existing evidence that marijuana has medical value,” he wrote.


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