DEA chief: “Marijuana is not medicine”
Drug Enforcement Administration acting Chief Chuck Rosenberg reiterated an Obama-era stance Thursday, when he spoke at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, that “marijuana is not medicine.”
As you all know, currently cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, alongside drugs like heroin and LSD, while other substances like oxycodone and methamphetamine are classified as Schedule II drugs, which are regulated differently. Despite repeated attempts by advocates and doctors that requested that cannabis should be moved to schedule II numerous times, the DEA says that weed does not had any medical value.
Rosenberg noted that the DEA takes recommendations about how to classify the drug from the FDA. At least, he pointed out that medical cannabis studies have been ongoing and acknowledged some studies show it may have medical benefits for children with epilepsy.
If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that's awesome. I will be the last person to stand in the way of that. ... But let's run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let's stick to the science on it.
Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy how was also speaking, said that the country should be researching medical marijuana.
Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent. But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk
He also showed concern around state laws regarding recreational cannabis, saying that it is addictive, which can be harmful to a developing brain that is vulnerable to developing substance abuse and addiction. State legislators, he said, have gotten “caught up in momentum” and passed policies on recreational marijuana that aren’t always supported by science.
When you develop a substance use disorder at a young age, it actually increases the likelihood of you developing an addiction to other substances," he said. "So in that sense addiction to marijuana or any substance, including nicotine, during adolescence and young adulthood when the brain is developing is very concerning."
I worry that we have gotten away from allowing science to drive our policy when it comes to marijuana.