DEA seeks to reclassify marijuana, allow prescriptions for first time: Reports Skip to content

DEA seeks to reclassify marijuana, allow prescriptions for first time: Reports

A large percentage of the U.S. population support fully legalizing marijuans.

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The federal government is poised to no longer consider marijuana among the most dangerous and addictive substances, according to reports about a proposed plan from the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

In what would be the biggest change in marijuana policy the federal government has taken since pot was first outlawed, the DEA will take public comments on a plan to recategorize marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, according to reporting by the Associated Press and NBC News. The outlets cite anonymous sources with knowledge of the plans.

The plan wouldn't legalize marijuana at the federal level outright, but it would reclassify it from a Schedule I drug – believed highly dangerous, addictive and without medical use – to a Schedule III drug that can be lawfully prescribed as medication. Marijuana has been a Schedule I drug since the Controlled Substances Act was signed in 1970.

The federal proposal to reschedule marijuana would have broad support among voters. A nationwide survey last fall commissioned by the Coalition for Cannabis Rescheduling Reform found nearly 60% of likely voters supported rescheduling, with 65% of younger voters 18 to 25 favoring it, the highest of any demographic group polled. Overall, the number of Americans who think marijuana should be legal reached a record-high at 70%, according to a Gallup poll in the fall.

For decades, marijuana has been listed under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin, LSD and ecstasy. The act categorizes drugs based on their potential for abuse, addiction and medical use. Schedule I drugs are outlawed under federal law level and deemed to be without accepted medical use.

Read the rest at the Courier-Journal.

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