A look at the history of cannabis and how it became a Schedule 1 drug in the United States.
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The United States classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that the government considers it to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. But this classification is outdated and doesn’t reflect the current scientific consensus on the risks and benefits of Cannabis.
Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and today there is a growing body of evidence indicating that it can be effective for treating a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy. Yet the federal government has notBas changed its classification of cannabis, despite calls from medical experts and organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) to do so.
The Schedule 1 classification makes it difficult for scientists to study cannabis and creates obstacles for patients who could potentially benefit from its therapeutic effects. It’s time for the United States to catch up with the rest of the world and reschedule cannabis to reflect its true risks and potential uses.
What is a Schedule 1 Drug?
A schedule 1 drug is a substance that has been determined by the U.S. federal government to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. Other schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, and MDMA.
Cannabis was placed in the schedule 1 category when the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970. This act categorized drugs into five schedules based on their medicinal value and potential for abuse. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, schedule 1, due to its high potential for abuse and lack of accepted medical use.
While there have been numerous studies demonstrating the medical benefits of cannabis, it remains a schedule 1 drug due to its high potential for abuse. This potential for abuse is one of the primary criteria used to determine whether a substance should be classified as a schedule 1 drug.
The History of Cannabis as a Schedule 1 Drug
Cannabis has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It was not until the early 1900s that the United States began to criminalize cannabis. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, making cannabis illegal to possess or sell. The act was based on false claims that cannabis was a dangerous drug that led to violence and crime. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed, which classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
The Nixon Administration
The Nixon Administration is largely responsible for the scheduling of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed, which established five different schedules for drugs, depending on their medical usefulness and potential for abuse. Cannabis was placed in Schedule 1, the most restrictive category, alongside other drugs like heroin and LSD.
The reasoning behind this decision was based on a report by the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, which was appointed by President Nixon. The commission recommended that cannabis should not be completely decriminalized, but should be moved to a lower schedule. However, Nixon ignored this recommendation, and instead chose to increase penalties for cannabis possession and cultivation.
Since then, there have been numerous attempts to reschedule cannabis, but all have failed. In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) refused to budge on its stance, maintaining that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
The Reagan Administration
In 1971, the Nixon administration created the War on Drugs, which included a crackdown on cannabis. In 1973, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was created. In 1980, President Reagan increased the budget for the War on Drugs and appointed William J. Bennett as the first “drug czar.” The Reagan administration continued to pursue a hardline stance on drugs, including cannabis. In 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was passed, which increased penalties for drug offenses and created mandatory minimum sentences. In 1988, the DEA launched Operation Green Merchant, a sting operation that targeted medical cannabis providers in California. This operation led to the shutdown of several dispensaries and the arrest of dozens of people.
The Reagan administration’s hardline stance on drugs contributed to the classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. The administration believed that cannabis was a gateway drug and that it needed to be illegal in order to discourage people from using it. Unfortunately, this classification has had lasting consequences, including preventing research into the potential medical benefits of cannabis and making it difficult for people to access this medication.
The Clinton Administration
In the early 1990s, the Clinton administration kept cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, but also began to allow states to implement their own medical cannabis laws. In 1996, California became the first state to do so. However, the federal government continued to raid and shut down medical cannabis dispensaries.
In 1997, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finally released a report acknowledging that cannabis had therapeutic value for certain medical conditions. The report was commissioned by the Clinton administration in an effort to find evidence that could justify keeping cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
The Current Administration
The current administration has taken a hardline stance on cannabis, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding an Obama-era memo that had de-prioritized enforcement of federal laws in states that had legalized the drug. This has created confusion and anxiety among both users and producers of cannabis, as the legal status of the drug becomes increasingly uncertain.
Cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which means that it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. This classification puts it in the same category as drugs like heroin and LSD, and means that it is federally illegal to produce, sell, or possess.
There have been numerous calls to reschedule cannabis, as many believe that its current classification is outdated and does not reflect its actual risks and potential uses. Some states have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use in spite of its federal status, creating a patchwork of laws that can be confusing and difficult to navigate.
It remains to be seen how the current administration will handle cannabis, but the next few years are likely to be crucial in determining the future of this controversial drug.
Why Is Cannabis a Schedule 1 Drug?
Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug because it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Cannabis is also considered to have no medical value.
The Health Risks of Cannabis
Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) because it is currently judged to have “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” Despite this classification, a number of medical cannabis laws have been passed at the state level.
In general, the health risks of using cannabis fall into three categories:
-The risks associated with smoking anything, including cannabis
-The risks associated with the psychoactive effects of THC
-The risks associated with specific substances that may be found in some strains of cannabis
The Potential for Abuse
The potential for abuse is one of the primary criteria the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) uses to determine whether a substance should be classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, and MDMA.
Schedule 1 drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and are not accepted for medical use. Cannabis meets this criteria because it can be abused in a number of ways.
Smoking cannabis can lead to addiction. Cannabis use can also result in psychotic episodes, particularly in people who have a history of mental illness. These episodes can include paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.
Cannabis use can also result in impaired judgment and decision-making, which can lead to accidents and risky behaviors. For example, driving while under the influence of cannabis is dangerous and increases the risk of car accidents.
Given the potential for abuse, it’s not surprising that cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug.
The Lack of Accepted Medical Use
One of the primary reasons that cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug is because of the lack of accepted medical use. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not found cannabis to be safe or effective in the treatment of any disease or condition. In fact, the FDA has found that many of the claims made about the medical benefits of cannabis are not supported by scientific evidence.
There are currently no FDA-approved treatments that contain cannabis. However, there are two FDA-approved drugs that contain active ingredients derived from marijuana: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). These drugs are used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy.
The FDA has also approved a synthetic version of a main ingredient in marijuana, known as cannabidiol (CBD), to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. CBD is not marijuana. It does not contain THC, the chemical that causes the “high” feeling associated with marijuana use.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some people claim that cannabis is effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures, and more. Some states have legalized the use of medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, but it is important to note that this does not mean that cannabis has been FDA-approved for medical use.
In conclusion, cannabis is a schedule 1 drug because it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. While research into the potential medical benefits of cannabis is ongoing, the current evidence does not support its use for any medical condition.