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Removal Of Cannabis From Schedule I Of The Controlled Substances Act


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Removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the United States is an attempt by cannabis advocates, since the early 1970s, such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to transfer cannabis from its current classification under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act through lobbying the U.S. Government. Schedule I is the most tightly restricted category, reserved for drugs which have "no currently accepted medical use".


Rescheduling proponents argue that cannabis does not meet the Controlled Substances Act's strict criteria for placement in Schedule I, and therefore the Government is required by Law either to permit medical use or to remove the drug from federal control altogether. The Government claims that cannabis is, in fact, dangerous enough to merit Schedule I status.


Against rescheduling

In 1992, DEA Administrator Robert Bonner promulgated five criteria, based somewhat on the Controlled Substances Act's legislative history, for determining whether a drug has an accepted medical use.[10] The DEA claims that cannabis has no accepted medical use because it does not meet all of these criteria:[11]


* The drug's chemistry is known and reproducible;

* There are adequate safety studies;

* There are adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy;

* The drug is accepted by qualified experts; and

* The scientific evidence is widely available.


Cannabis is one of several hallucinogens with unproven abuse potential and toxicity that Congress placed in Schedule I. The DEA interprets the Controlled Substances Act to mean that if a drug with even a low potential for abuse — say, equivalent to a Schedule V drug — has no accepted medical use, then it must remain in Schedule I:[11]


When it comes to a drug that is currently listed in schedule I, if it is undisputed that such drug has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and it is further undisputed that the drug has at least some potential for abuse sufficient to warrant control under the CSA, the drug must remain in schedule I. In such circumstances, placement of the drug in schedules II through V would conflict with the CSA since such drug would not meet the criterion of "a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." 21 USC 812(b).


Therefore, even if one were to assume, theoretically, that your assertions about marijuana's potential for abuse were correct (i.e., that marijuana had some potential for abuse but less than the "high potential for abuse" commensurate with schedules I and II), marijuana would not meet the criteria for placement in schedules III through V since it has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States—a determination that is reaffirmed by HHS in the attached medical and scientific evaluation.


The U.S. Government argues that human studies are more relevant than studies showing animals do not self-administer cannabis.


The Department of Health and Human Services rejects the argument that laboratory animals' failure to self-administer cannabis is conclusive proof of its low potential for abuse:[11]


The Secretary disagrees with Mr. Gettman's assertion that "[t]he accepted contemporary legal convention for evaluating the abuse potential of a drug or substance is the relative degree of self-administration the drug induces in animal subjects." As discussed above, self-administration tests that identify whether a substance is reinforcing in animals are but one component of the scientific assessment of the abuse potential of a substance. Positive indicators of human abuse liability for a particular substance, whether from laboratory studies or epidemiological data, are given greater weight than animal studies suggesting the same compound has no abuse potential.


The Food and Drug Administration elaborates on this, arguing that the widespread use of cannabis, and the existence of some heavy users, is evidence of its "high potential for abuse," despite the drug's lack of physiological addictiveness:[11]


[P]hysical dependence and toxicity are not the only factors to consider in determining a substance's abuse potential. The large number of individuals using marijuana on a regular basis and the vast amount of marijuana that is available for illicit use are indicative of widespread use. In addition, there is evidence that marijuana use can result in psychological dependence in a certain proportion of the population.


The Government also considers the fact that people are willing to risk scholastic, career, and legal problems to use cannabis to be evidence of its high potential for abuse:[11]


Throughout his petition, Mr. Gettman argues that while many people "use" cannabis, few "abuse" it. He appears to equate abuse with the level of physical dependence and toxicity resulting from cannabis use. Thus, he appears to be arguing that a substance that causes only low levels of physical dependence and toxicity must be considered to have a low potential for abuse. The Secretary does not agree with this argument. Physical dependence and toxicity are not the only factors that are considered in determining a substance's abuse potential. The actual use and frequency of use of a substance, especially when that use may result in harmful consequences such as failure to fulfill major obligations at work or school, physical risk-taking, or even substance-related legal problems, are indicative of a substance's abuse potential. The same and much worse can also be said about the clear abuse of alcohol by many Americans.



The article was from Wikipedia and here were resources used

# ^ Gettman, Jon (May 11, 2010). "Rescheduling - The Medical Marijuana Solution". http://hightimes.com/legal/jgettman/6440?utm_source=rss_home

# ^ a b c d Jon Gettman (May 13, 1999). "Science And The End Of Marijuana Prohibition". MarijuanaNews.com. http://www.marijuananews.com/marijuananews/cowan/science_and_the_end_of_marijuana.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-28. Text originally presented at the 12th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform.

# ^ Accepted Medical Use of Cannabis: State Laws. The 2002 Petition to Reschedule Cannabis (Marijuana). DrugScience.org. Accessed 2007-04-18.

# ^ "Active State Medical Marijuana Programs". NORML. December 1, 2004. http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3391. Retrieved 2007-04-28.

# ^ Accepted Medical Use: Medical Professionals. The 2002 Petition to Reschedule Cannabis (Marijuana). DrugScience.org. Accessed 2007-04-18.

# ^ Accepted Medical Use: Route of Administration. The 2002 Petition to Reschedule Cannabis (Marijuana). DrugScience.org. Accessed 2007-04-18.

# ^ Herkenham M, Lynn A, Little M, Johnson M, Melvin L, de Costa B, Rice K (1990). "Cannabinoid receptor localization in brain". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 87 (5): 1932–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.87.5.1932. PMID 2308954. Free full text

# ^ a b c Jon Gettman (July 11, 1997). "Dopamine and the Dependence Liability of Marijuana". UK Cannabis Internet Activists. http://www.ukcia.org/research/gettman.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-28.

# ^ American College of Physicians (January 2008). "Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana". http://www.acponline.org/acp_news/medmarinews.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-01.

# ^ U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. "DEA History Book, 1990 – 1994. Medical Use of Marijuana Denied (1992)". United States Department of Justice. http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/history/deahistory_05.htm#10. Retrieved 2007-04-28.

# ^ a b c d e Donnie R. Marshall (March 28, 2001). "Notice of Denial of Petition". In: Office of the Federal Register (April 18, 2001). 66 F.R. 20037. Government Printing Office. Retrieved on 2007-04-28.

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