The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it will decide whether or not to reclassify cannabis under federal law – removing it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance alongside drugs such as heroin – in “the first half of 2016”. This is according to a letter the agency sent this week to a group of senators.
The DEA’s letter is in response to a 2015 letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other senators urging the government to facilitate research into the medical benefits of cannabis, something that is made nearly impossible for many scientists given cannabis’ status as a Schedule 1 drug. As a Schedule 1 drug, cannabis is labeled as having “no known medical value”, a statement that clearly flies contrary to the research we do have on the plant.
“DEA understands the widespread interest in the prompt resolution to these petitions and hopes to release its determination in the first half of 2016,” DEA said the 25-page letter, which was obtained by The Huffington Post and signed by the DEA’s Chief Administrator Chuch Rosenberg, Secretary of HHS Sylvia Burwell and Michael Botticelli, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
In addition to Warren, the 2015 letter to the DEA was signed by Senators Jeffrey Merkley (Ore.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.).
You can Read the full DEA letter by clicking here.