Marijuana Remains Classified as a Schedule I Drug by the Federal Government in the U.S.
Although many held onto hope that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was going to re-schedule marijuana this year, it has not happened. Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug which means that the federal government considers marijuana to be a dangerous drug categorized with drugs like heroin. Consequently, the federal government continues to suggest that marijuana has no medicinal value and is addictive with a high potential for abuse. Politicians and lawmakers, such as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, have reported that additional information must be gathered on the effects of marijuana. It continues to be a Catch 22 though since little research can be completed without the federal government first re-scheduling, and re-scheduling appears unlikely without more research and data to analyze. Marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, the government’s most restrictive category, for close to 50 years. It will likely remain there until its medical utility is proven via clinical trial results that can be reviewed and replicated, likely by the (FDA) Food and Drug Administration.
Will the President Prompt Marijuana Classification Change?
It also does not appear likely that President Obama will attempt to make any changes to the classification of marijuana prior to exiting the White House. He has recently stated that reclassifying marijuana is a job for Congress and that legislative change should stem from Congress. As far as the presidential candidates that might take office next, both seem to imply that they are pro-medical marijuana. Clinton’s camp has relayed that steps should be taken to make marijuana use legal on a state by state basis. Clinton has stated that she believes individual states should have authority on this decision. Trump’s stance appears similar in that states should have authority to legalize medicinal cannabis. It should be noted that both candidates are well aware of the recent Quinnipiac Poll numbers showing approximately 90 percent of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana for adult use.