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Re-Classification Of Marijuana Expected To Pave Way For Further Research

The reclassification of marijuana under federal law is expected to provide a boost for research into the drug’s effects, according to an NPR report.

Last week the Drug Enforcement Administration decided to recommend categorizing marijuana as a less dangerous Schedule III drug instead of its current Schedule 1 classification, which had subjected it to the same strict restrictions as narcotics such as heroin, methamphetamines and LSD.

Marijuana has been categorized as a Schedule 1 drug since 1971, defined as those with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Under Schedule III it would be classified along with substances that do have an accepted medical use such as Tylenol with codeine, steroids and testosterone, and would be acknowledged to have some medical benefits.

The rescheduling would also allow cannabis to be studied and researched to identify its medical benefits.   Scientists note the restrictions that have been in place that have been barriers for fully studying the drug.

“Cannabis as a Schedule I substance is associated with a number of very, very restrictive regulations,” neuroscientist Staci Gruber at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School was quoted as saying. “You have very stringent requirements, for example, for storage and security and reporting all of these things.”

She added that entities that have imposed the requirements include the DEA, the Institutional Review Board and the DEA, which requires scientists to register with the agency and obtain a state and federal license before they are cleared to conduct marijuana research.

“It’s a burdensome process and it is certainly a process that has prevented a number of young and rather invested researchers from pursuing [this kind of work],” says Gruber.  She pointed out that the reclassification will make it easier for younger researchers to conduct studies because the regulations will not be as strict.

Another scientist quoted in the report was Dr. Andrew Monte, associate director of Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety and an emergency physician and toxicologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who said making marijuana Schedule III will mean more research on the medical benefits and risks of the drug.  He said, “This will also help improve the quality of the research since more researchers will be able to contribute.”

This story is just one of many you’ll find in the Cannabis News section of Cannabutter Digest, your go-to resource for all things cannabis-related. Check out our site to find tasty recipes, useful product reviews, and so much more!

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