Will the FDA Reschedule Cannabis?

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Every once in a while, there seems to be an impending moment when national cannabis legalization could actually happen. Recent headlines have announced that the FDA will conduct an evaluation on cannabis for the DEA to see if it should be rescheduled.

Although this could seem like an impressive stride forward in policy, in reality the DEA is simply responding to two massive petitions requesting that it do exactly this: consider cannabis’ medical properties and the possibility of rescheduling it from its current ridiculous position as a Schedule I narcotic.

The FDA has recently updated their statement about marijuana, and while they acknowledge that people are supremely interested in it, they are noncommittal, if not dismissive. The update is from June 20th of this year, and if it portends how this next evaluation will go, it’s not the ground-breaking news that activists are hoping for. Chances are pretty good that the FDA will simply find that maintaining the status quo of cannabis prohibition is the best way to go.

The FDA has stated it will work with states and agencies testing cannabis for a range of medical conditions, but their focus appears to still be on deterring its use. In fact, the FDA is still standing by the old Schedule I song and dance: “The FDA has not approved marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication.” And for good measure, they follow it up with a little diddy about the wonders of synthetic THC (without acknowledging the hypocrisy of stating the active compound in a plant is medicine but only if synthesized in a lab).

Ladybud will be following this and similar efforts to change the legal status of cannabis. For some of our past legalization coverage, click here!

Photo Credit: Spot Us under (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr