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FDA recommends reclassifying marijuana; says it has medicinal purpose

As a Schedule I drug, marijuana is currently in the same category as some of the hardest drugs, like heroin and methamphetamine.
FDA recommends reclassifying marijuana; says it has medicinal purpose
Posted at 10:33 AM, Mar 22, 2024

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a report saying that marijuana does have a legitimate use for medical purposes and recommended the Drug Enforcement Agency change its classification from Schedule I to Schedule III.

“The definition of a Schedule I drug says it has no health benefits to it, and, so, obviously, there’s been plenty of research that has documented the multitudes of ways that cannabis can be helpful,” said David Berger, MD, with Wholistic ReLeaf.

SEE MORE: Marijuana use could make you a nicer person, research finds

Though not all in the medical community agree, many people swear by the medicinal effects of marijuana to help treat symptoms of cancer, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy.

“It’s no longer appropriate to say that there’s no medical benefit when there are hundreds if not thousands of medical studies that show the opposite,” explained Dr. Berger.

As a Schedule I drug, marijuana is in the same category as some of the hardest drugs like heroin, LSD and methamphetamine, which means it’s classified as being more dangerous than even fentanyl — a Schedule II narcotic.

SEE MORE: Are cannabis edibles safer than smoking? Here's what some experts say

“What happens after this is the federal government has more decisions to make as to what they’re going to do next,” said Dr. Berger.

The Department of Health and Human Services formally recommended that the DEA classify marijuana as Schedule III in August of last year after the Biden administration asked it to review how the drug is classified under federal law.

Earlier this year, Senate Democrats urged President Biden to deschedule the drug entirely, meaning you would not need a doctor’s authorization to use marijuana.

This story was originally published by Anthony Hill at Scripps News Tampa.

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