The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) [official website] denied requests [responses, PDF] Thursday to remove marijuana’s classification as a dangerous drug. The DEA denied two separate requests by former state governors to re-classify marijuana as a Schedule II drug or lower, saying “HHS concluded that marijuana has high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.” Despite refusing to reclassify marijuana, the DEA did propose a new policy that would allow universities, public and private, to apply to grow marijuana for research. Until now, the University of Mississippi had a monopoly on growing and studying the drug. This decision has major implications for dispensaries and marijuana growers in states that have legalized marijuana in some form, making them potentially culpable under federal law. This decision has already drawn ire [Reuters report] from some including US Representative Earl Blumenauer who said “patients and marijuana businesses trapped between state and federal laws.”
In April Pennsylvania’s governor signed a bill [JURIST report] legalizing medical marijuana. In February the Utah Senate voted to advance a bill [JURIST report] that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in various forms such as vapor or edible form. In December Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree [JURIST report] fully legalizing medical marijuana in the country. Last November New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed two bills [JURIST report] in order to expedite the distribution of medical marijuana to citizens with critical health conditions. Earlier that month New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed [JURIST report] a bill into law that would allow for the administering of edible medical marijuana to sick and disabled children on school grounds without triggering the arrests of parents or educators. In June of last year the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a law restricting the use of medical marijuana was unconstitutional [JURIST report].