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DEA to consider downgrading the Schedule of marijuana

DEA to consider downgrading the Schedule of marijuana

If the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Schedule I classification of the most lethal substances looked like a TV crime show lineup of killer suspects, we’d see a slow pan of scary mugs, as follows:

  • Heroin: The number-two man in the opioid epidemic that is mass murdering thousands nationwide.
  • LSD: A powerful hallucinogen known to strong-arm even onetime users into loss of sensibility and numbness to danger – deceiving many into fatal accidents.
  • Peyote: An original gangster, this psychoactive drug has been used culturally among Native Americans for introspective or revelatory purposes, but packs a punch of side effects including emotional instability, and homicidal, suicidal and psychotic behaviors.
  • Bath salts: A diabolical offender, the synthetic drug is notorious for causing paranoia, hallucinations and even violent behavior.
  • Quaaludes: A depressant that was previously prescribed here in the U.S. at lethal levels capable of overdose; and that’s before the “luding” trend added alcohol to the trip.
  • Psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms” Don’t let the cute nickname fool you; this little fungus can warp one’s personality for more than a year and even permanently.
  • Ecstasy, MDMA and GHB: These designer drugs are the Bonnie and Clyde of the black market world. They may present as a fun companion, but the psychoactive synthetics often leave partygoers with seizures, heart failures, hypothermia, coma or death.
  • Marijuana. This is where the camera pan on the fictitious lineup would abruptly halt. Marijuana as a Schedule I drug? This inclusion has always stood out in the government’s list of highly addictive and potentially fatal substances. Now the DEA is mulling over downgrading marijuana from the most dangerous classification.

Schedule I

According to the DEA, Schedule I substances have:

  • No present medicinal usage
  • A high potential for abuse
  • A pervasive potent for physical and psychological dependence

Marijuana was dubbed a Schedule I drug in 1970; not ironically, this was the same time the Nixon Administration reportedly framed the hippie demographic in an effort to silence the opposition to the president’s agenda.

Now, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have asked the DEA to downgrade marijuana, stating that it has therapeutic use for epilepsy and many chronic pain ailments.

The DEA sent a lengthy correspondence to lawmakers in April responding to requests and data supporting declassifying marijuana. The letter was signed and sealed by the heads of the DEA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS. In it, they state that the DEA has received scientific and medical evaluations plus a scheduling recommendation from HHS.

Currently, marijuana is coded as more dangerous than methamphetamines and cocaine, which are Schedule II drugs.
The DEA affirmed it aims to release a decision by the end of June.

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About the author

Sovereign Health Group staff writer Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a mindful spirit swimming in metaphysical pools with faith as her compass. Her cover: a 30s-something Cinderella breadwinner of an all-sport blended family. Her repertoire includes writing poetry, lifestyle articles and TV news; editing, radio production and on-camera reporting. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author at