The American Academy of Pediatrics asked the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reclassify marijuana as a less harmful substance to facilitate research of the substance for medical use.
“The AAP strongly supports research and development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and supports a review of policies promoting research on the medical use of these compounds,” AAP said.
The group recommends that the DEA reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I controlled substance to Schedule II.
The U.S has five different schedules for drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. The Schedule I label is reserved for the drugs that the DEA considers to have the highest potential for abuse and no “currently accepted medical use.”
Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades. Other substances that are classified as a Schedule I substance with marijuana include heroin and LSD. Cocaine and meth are two substances that have classified as Schedule II substances. The government therefore believes that marijuana is more dangerous than cocaine and meth…which is crazy!
If the DEA reclassified marijuana as a Schedule II substance, it would not make marijuana legal, but it would ease the restrictions associated with researching the drug.
The AAP said it “strongly” supports the decriminalization of marijuana use and they encourage pediatricians to “advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana.”
The statement made is the first change to AAP policy on the issue since 2004. At that time, the group did not request a schedule change.