Feds will not change status of marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Administration says it will not remove marijuana from the list of the nation’s most addictive and dangerous drugs.

In denying two petitions, the DEA says it will keep marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance because “it does not meet the criteria for currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse.”

But in an effort to increase the amount of medical marijuana, or cannabis research, the DEA says it will expand the number of labs that supply approved cannabis.  Currently, the only approved growing laboratory is at the University of Mississippi.  It supplies the marijuana for the 350 researchers currently registered to conduct medical cannabis research.

The CEO of Minnesota Medical Solutions, Dr. Kyle Kingsley said in a statement, “This is a modest step in the right direction that will help us build on a growing body of research documenting the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicines.”

“That’s good for physicians who need better research, and for patients who deserve the best possible treatments,” said Kingsley.

Minnesota is now one of 25 states that have some type of medical cannabis program.  Minnesota has one of the most restrictive laws that allow only oil-based cannabinoids to be used by patients suffering from a defined list of ailments such as cancer or seizure disorders.  This summer, patients can also now use medical cannabis to treat intractable pain. Smoke-able cannabis is illegal.

In a legislative mandated survey of 238 users in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis program, 88 percent reported that they were somewhat satisfied to greatly satisfied with the medical results of their medical cannabis use.