On Aug. 11, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced that it would not reschedule marijuana. This announcement comes after months of rumors and speculation that the federal agency was preparing to change marijuana’s classification from Schedule I, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no known medical use, to Schedule II.
Expressing his disappointment in the DEA’s announcement, Marijuana Majority Chairman Tom Angell called the DEA’s decision “unfortunate.”
“It’s really sad that DEA has chosen to continue decades of ignoring the voices of patients who benefit from medical marijuana,” Angell said. “A clear and growing majority of American voters support legalizing marijuana outright.”
In a letter to petitioners explaining the agency’s decision, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg cited a lack of evidence from FDA-approved studies.
“If the scientific understanding about marijuana changes – and it could change – then the decision could change,” Rosenberg wrote. “But we will remain tethered to science, as we must, and as the statute demands.”
As a slight concession, the DEA also announced that it would be increasing the number of authorized marijuana manufacturers supplying marijuana for research in the United States. The agency will not specify how many new manufactures will be approved, noting that it will approve each new applicant on an individual basis.