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Medical Marijuana: Federal Government Says ‘No’

August 12, 2016
Plain English Version


The rules of the federal government are ‘science based.’ 

After a review, it said medical marijuana remains a “Schedule I” drug. That means it has “no currently accepted medical use.” Doctors cannot prescribe the drug.

Twenty-five states have a different view. Not all the views are the same. But in one way or another, they all permit marijuana for medical uses.

Many people in the government and science support the use of the drug for certain patients. Patients with epilepsy, chronic pain, and other ailment have found the drug helpful.

The government did approve one change. It now will allow more marijuana plants to be grown for research purposes. Today, only one university has a license to grow the plants.

Keeping the Scheduling I ruling disappointed many who believe in the value of the drug. They want marijuana treated as a “Schedule II” drug. This is a less regulated list. Some people want the government to give marijuana a special category of its own.

The government is sticking to its story. It says the data do not yet prove that marijuana is safe and effective as a medicine.

The rule is a problem for advocates. There is much more to learn about how the drug works. The federal rule makes research hard. It makes it more difficult to learn accurate dosage and quality control. Many say that marijuana or cannabis is a natural plant. It should not be on any federal list.

Schedule I drugs include LSD and heroin, as well as marijuana. Schedule II drugs include painkillers. Some painkillers have led to a rise in addiction.

The government is not saying that LSD, heroin, and marijuana pose the same danger to users. It is calling for more research.

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