The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said Friday that medical marijuana has no accepted medical use, and should continue to be classified as a Schedule I drug. These drugs, including marijuana, heroin, Ecstasy and LSD, are considered to have a high tendency for abuse and have no accepted medical use. The Los Angeles Times reports that the DEA made the decision almost nine years after supporters of medical marijuana asked the government to reclassify the drug in light of research about its effectiveness in treating certain diseases such as multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.
According to the newspaper, the decision now allows proponents of medical marijuana to appeal to the federal courts.
In a letter published in the Federal Register, DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart wrote, “At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.”
The DEA decision comes shortly after the Justice Department announced that medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed growers located in states with medical marijuana laws are not immune from prosecution for violation of federal drug and money-laundering laws. Currently the medical use of marijuana is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.