Should Marijuana Be Rescheduled?

Congress deals a historic blow to the United States' war on drugs Saturday with the passage of the federal spending bill, which contains protections for medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations in states where they are legal.

Thanks to legalization advocates, an issue mostly confined to scholarly and legal debates — that of the scheduling of drugs as laid out in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — has recently gained prominence.I address this at length in a recent Law Review article I wrote called “Much Ado About Nothing.”

In short, the reason marijuana hasn’t been rescheduled is because no product of whole, raw marijuana has a “currently accepted medical use” in the U.S., which is part of the legal definition of Schedule I defined by the Controlled Substances Act.

By contrast, Schedule II substances have a currently accepted medical use in the U.S. or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions (and, like Schedule I drugs, a high potential for abuse).

More importantly, regardless of the schedule, any substance may be prescribed by physicians and dispensed by pharmacists only when incorporated into specific FDA-approved products. That is why Schedule II opioid products can be obtained in pharmacies by prescription, but raw opium, despite being in Schedule II, cannot be prescribed.

Read full article @ Huffington Post

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