The Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to announce tomorrow that marijuana will remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance nationwide, despite efforts in some states to legalize the drug. So, what does that mean for states like Colorado? Those states and people who take advantage of legalized recreational or medical marijuana are "in defiance of federal law," a news release from the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. The announcement to be published Friday in the Federal Register
relaxes the rules for marijuana research to make it easier for institutions
to grow marijuana for scientific study. The DEA currently authorizes just
one grow facility in Mississippi.
In reaching its conclusion, the DEA says that a Health and Human Services
evaluation shows that marijuana has no ‘‘currently accepted medical use’’
because "the drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible; there are no
adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies
proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and
evidence is not widely available."
"At this time," the DEA concludes, "the known risks of marijuana use have
not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled
clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy."
On other points, the DEA reported noted that marijuana has a "high
potential" for abuse and can result in psychological dependence. It saids
around 19 million individuals in the U.S. used marijuana monthly in 2012
and that contemporaneous studies showed around 4.3 million individuals met
diagnostic criteria for marijuana dependence.
It did not find, however, that marijuana was a "gateway drug."
"Little evidence supports the hypothesis that initiation of marijuana use
leads to an abuse disorder with other illicit substances," the report said.
An effort to present a medical marijuana bill in Wyoming earlier this year
failed to get the required number signatures.
At least eight states will consider marijuana issues in the November
election. Voters in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada
will consider full legalization. Arkansas and Florida have medical
marijuana measures on their ballots. Montana voters will consider a measure
to restore the state's medical marijuana law after legislative and judicial
actions curtained the law.
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