The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will decide by mid-year whether to reclassify cannabis under federal law, the agency revealed in a new letter to senators. The letter was written in response to a letter written last year by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other Democratic senators in which they decried the “still very limited research on the potential health benefits of marijuana.”
The U.S. government has five categories in which it classifies the potential harmfulness and usefulness of certain drugs. Cannabis currently falls in the first category (‘Schedule 1’) alongside such drugs as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD. The reclassification of cannabis, while not entirely legalizing it, would nonetheless ease restrictions on many kinds of cannabis research, as well as lower penalties for many cannabis offenses.
“DEA has received the [Department of Health and Human Services] scientific and medical evaluations, as well as a scheduling recommendation. . .