Cannabis was made virtually illegal to sell by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, pulled from medical prescription availability in 1942, and relegated to the most severe restriction of a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in 1970. In the last 20 years, it has begun the shift back from social pariah to mainstream marvel. So what’s the future of cannabis? In order to make any significant progress, cannabis needs to get out of Schedule 1, but where exactly to move it is a hot debate. Scientists want a lower category while the fledgling cannabis industry wants it off the Controlled Substances Act entirely. What is the difference? A lot, actually.
Rescheduling cannabis to a less restrictive category would facilitate scientific studies, currently hindered by the government’s monopoly on cultivation and study approval for scientific purposes. Right now, scientists can put their careers and credibility on the line just by talking about its potential therapeutic applications.