FDA Suggests More Research be Done to Look Into Potential Medical Marijuana Uses

This November, voters in four states will decide on whether to legalize medical marijuana. According to an article by Business Insider, should the measures pass, federal lawmakers would be forced to rectify marijuana’s current, albeit restrictive, laws. Currently, marijuana is considered a Schedule I controlled substance, which categorizes it with heroin and LSD. According to polls done by the Pew Research Center, however, 57% of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana.

Furthermore, some federal lawmakers firmly believe that cannabis has no medical purposes, despite the fact that nearly half of the U.S. has passed medical marijuana laws over the years. Back in August, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rejected petitions encouraging the rescheduling of marijuana, which would have opened the doors to conduct scientific research on cannabis. In light of these efforts, the DEA ruled that marijuana “has no currently accepted medical use,” and a “high potential for abuse.”

FDA’s Findings

A year prior to the DEA’s ruling, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was asked to provide explanation as to whether marijuana is and should be considered medicine. In their findings, the FDA concluded that marijuana is not a gateway drug, it does not link to mental illness, and does not have a direct effect on IQ, immediate memory, delayed memory, and information-processing speeds for adults.

At the end of their research, the FDA concluded that while marijuana should remain at Schedule I, “more research should be conducted to look into potential medical uses of marijuana and its derivatives.” For now, the only sure way to revisit the idea of rescheduling marijuana is for Congress to address the issue head on.

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