DEA Asserts Support for Expanded Medical Marijuana Clinical Research

In a letter last week, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg denied a bid from 2 state governors to reclassify marijuana from its current Schedule 1 status under federal drug laws. The letter was directed to petitioners Gina Raimondo, D-RI, and Jay Inslee, D-NM, and to copetitioner Bryan Krumm, a nurse practitioner. Rosenberg wrote in part “…based on the FDA’s scientific and medical evaluation, as well as the legal standards in the CSA (controlled substances act), marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 controlled substance. It does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse.”

In announcing the decision, DEA asserted that it has never denied research applications for lawfully produced marijuana to be used in clinical trials, and that increased amounts of marijuana will be made available for medical research. Currently the University of Mississippi is the only authorized avenue. "As long as folks abide by the rules, and we're going to regulate that, we want to expand the availability, the variety, the type of marijuana available to legitimate researchers," Rosenberg said. "If our understanding of the science changes, that could very well drive a new decision." At present, 42 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Read more about DEA decision here.

A second story, with link to the DEA correspondence, may be read here.

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