The DEA could downgrade marijuana’s federal status on the list of Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroin after the Drug Enforcement Administration declared it would make its decision to revise the drug’s cataloging later this year. The DEA addressed the marijuana’s revision of its federal status through a letter to lawmakers, including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of National Drug Control Policy signed the letter, as well as the DEA’s directors. If approved, this would have an enormous impact on the already growing market for medicinal marijuana.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are among 24 states nationwide
The Drug Enforcement Administration will revise marijuana’s current federal status as a Schedule 1 type drug, alongside heroin and LSD later on 2016. Credit: Gizmodo

The federal status of marijuana is currently alongside heavy drugs such as heroin and LSD. The Schedule 1 drug category states the drug has no medical use and it shows great risk for abuse, yet marijuana has been already proven to have medicinal properties.

One of the U.S. Senators who made their opinion known publicly, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, claimed the DEA’s decision on whether to change marijuana’s federal status from a Schedule 1 drug to a less serious type of drug is a step in the right direction. Warren released the statement on Thursday as Warren added her concern on how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would approach medicinal marijuana research.

The drug differs from LSD and heroin on plenty of aspects, but the main one could be that marijuana is a natural plant, while the other drugs require much processing and adding of chemicals. Although this doesn’t mean people should use weed, with medical marijuana laws getting passed in over 23 states across the U.S. changing its federal status could lead to a nationwide legalization.

Marijuana’s federal status downgrade could be profitable

The allegations from the DEA to decide whether weed should be degraded on the current Controlled Substances Act’s list also implies that, if approved, marijuana’s use could be expanded towards more productive areas, including research. Considering many legal drugs have taken greater death tolls than marijuana, the DEA’s decision planned for midyear doesn’t seem to have many risks.

It’s worth mentioning how the war against marijuana has affected the United States as a country, as well as a world economy. Although official reports haven’t been updated, the amount of money spent on raids, Special Forces, and the incarceration of over 25 percent of people nationwide reaches up to billions of dollars each year.

Even though the proposals of medicinal marijuana laws has been passed in 24 states across the United States, including Washington D.C., authorities keep stepping up their efforts against drug cartels and drug-related crimes. The possible downgrade of marijuana’s federal status could not only help legalizing the drug once and for all but also help reduce the war on drugs.

Source: The Washington Post