Yesterday, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced that it was not rescheduling marijuana, in effect, refusing to recognize marijuana’s medicinal benefits. But in what is viewed as a victory for the marijuana reform movement, the DEA said that it was ending its monopoly on marijuana research.
“Keeping marijuana in Schedule I shows that the DEA continues to ignore research, and places politics above science,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “In reality, marijuana should be descheduled and states should be allowed to set their own policies.”
One move that was positive was eliminating obstacles to research. “Ending the DEA-enforced NIDA monopoly is a very welcome move that will enable more research,” said Collins.
The DEA has been forced to respond to Congressional movement on marijuana. The CARERS Act, sponsored by Senators Booker, Paul, and Gillibrand, contains provisions to end the DEA-mandated NIDA monopoly. Last year, the Obama Administration removed other research barriers that CARERS sought to eliminate.