DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) plans to decide that whether marijuana should reclassified under the federal law in “the first half of 2016,” said the agency in a letter to the senators.
DEA, responding to a 2015 letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren along with 7 other Democratic senators advising the federal govt. to enable the research into the medical benefits of marijuana, does not indicate whether it’ll reclassify marijuana as less hazardous.
U.S. has 5 categories to classify the illegal drugs or the chemicals that can be recycled to make them. Schedule I is kept for drugs that DEA considers to have uppermost potential for abuse & no “current accepted medical use.”
For Decades Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades. Rescheduling marijuana however would not make it legal, but it may ease the restrictions on the research & reduce penalties for marijuana offences.
“DEA understands the widespread interest in prompt resolution to these petitions & hopes to release its determination in first half of 2016,” said the Drug Enforcement Administration
This is not the 1st time that DEA has been asked to review marijuana’s classification. In 2001 & 2006, DEA had considered the petitions, but then decided to keep marijuana as a Schedule I substance.
Rosenberg, Sylvia Burwell, secretary of HHS, and Michael Botticelli, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, signs the DEA response. In addition to Warren, letter was sent to Democratic Senators Jeffrey Merkley, Barbara Mikulski, Ron Wyden, Edward Markey, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Barbara Boxer.
Tom Angell, who is the founder of Marijuana Majority, that is a marijuana reform group, had said that there was “absolutely no reason marijuana should remain in Schedule I.”
“Almost half the states in country have the medical cannabis laws & the major groups like American Nurses Association & the American College of Physicians are on board,” said Tom Angell in a statement. He also said that Obama administration must use its power to make the modification “before this president leaves office.”