Last Friday, the Drug Enforcement Administration rejected a petition that sought to reclassify marijuana. The petition came from the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis and had been in front of the DEA for nine years.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has rejected a nine-year-old petition seeking to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, holding that it meets the three criteria for placing a substance in Schedule I under 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1):
- Marijuana has a high potential for abuse,
- Marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and
- There is a lack of accepted safety for use of marijuana under medical supervision.There are five categories for drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.
U.S. Code states that Class I drugs are categorized as the most dangerous because:
- The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
- The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
- There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
Class V drugs are listed because:
- The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV.
- The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
- Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV.
The government has a long, detailed response as to why they think marijuana should continue to be classified as a Class I drug.
From Talking Points Memo:
In a letter from DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, the agency said that based on the recommendation of the Department of Health and Human Services they were denying the request because marijuana a has "a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision."
"There is evidence that individuals are taking the substance in amounts sufficient to create a hazard to their health or to the safety of other individuals or to the community," the government argued in the report.