The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today that it is not changing the Schedule I classification for marijuana, meaning that it still is considered by federal authorities to be a drug with no currently accepted medical use.
While the DEA announcement in the Federal Register conveys that anti-drug officials still see marijuana's potential harms as outweighing any possible medical benefits, the agency did open the door to stepped-up research into the smoked drug's effects. The DEA stated that it will allow additional manufacturers to apply to become registered to supply marijuana to researchers. Only one facility nationally has that authorization at present.
That development did little to soothe marijuana growing interests and advocates for change in marijuana policy, with some suggesting that Congress step in to remove marijuana from the reach of the Controlled Substances Act.