Between 1850 and 1937, marijuana was a medicinal drug that was available in pharmacies throughout the United States (“Social History”). The drug was prescribed to help treat numerous medical conditions including cancer and epilepsy. Despite this, marijuana became the subject of controversy in regards to its clinical use and relation to public health. This was heightened after the federal government issued the Controlled Substance Act in 1970, classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug (Lu). Today, doctors cannot prescribe the drug under federal law nor gain legal access to it in the United States. Although many arguments have been made for or against the use of marijuana for clinical use in state-sanctioned dispensaries in scientific, economic and ethical terms there is a political aspect that helps explain the legal issues surrounding the classification of the drug. From a political viewpoint, marijuana’s categorization as a Schedule I drug makes it easier for federal law enforcement agencies to obstruct research that would be crucial for marijuana to gain approval from the FDA.
Perspective of Organizations Promoting Drug Policy
With the aim to end the American “War on Drugs,” several organizations and research programs have expressed their belief that the system for classifying illegal drugs is outdated and unscientific. One reason for scrutinizing this classification system is because it facilitates the obstruction of research on medical cannabis. A non-profit organization known as the Drug Policy Alliance has a vision of “a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health and human right.” Led by Ethan Nadelmann, who has had years of experience lecturing extens...
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... II or III so there would be less hostility towards supplying or funding research for medical marijuana. This would make it easier for researchers to establish their own independent source of marijuana from which they can conduct their experiments and studies. After research has accumulated, only then can a definite decision be made on medical marijuana and its clinical use. In addition, it will help get rid of the misconception that marijuana has no medicinal use because in reality research has shown that it helps treat diseases and pain. If this is possible to accomplish, then there is a chance for the legalization of marijuana. Solutions made in the future, should be extended to a federal level, with both federal law enforcement agencies and organizations (which promote drug policy) in consensus over what the research indicates about marijuana’s classification.
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