Federal officials announced last week that they are looking into the possible rescheduling of cannabis in the federal Controlled Substances Act and that they should make a decision by July. As many of you know, cannabis’ classification as a Schedule I drug means the federal government maintains that it is highly addictive with no medical value.
We all know that assertion to be patently false, so a rescheduling makes sense. Beyond that, taking marijuana out of Schedule I (where heroin also resides) would lift many government restrictions on studying the cannabis plant. Society can only benefit from more studies being done on marijuana; I have long opined that there are many amazing things yet to be discovered about cannabis.
Thankfully more research is something that just about everyone agrees on, but where that research will lead will be a major bone of contention.
"The Drug Enforcement Administration should work with other federal regulatory agencies to develop a special schedule for marijuana to facilitate study of its potential medical utility in prescription drug products," The American Medical Association told ABC News in a statement.
The phrase “potential medical utility in prescription drug products” is a troubling statement when you think about it. This implies that we should be looking for ways to extract compounds from cannabis and put them into pills that doctors will prescribe.
This line of thinking ignores what scientists and doctors refer to as “The Entourage Effect,” which states that the whole cannabis plant is needed to get the best medicinal results. Cherry picking cannabinoids keeps them from interacting together for the best possible outcome.
This is not to say that extracts can’t be helpful; they most assuredly are. But to limit use to one area is to deny the full life-saving potential of the cannabis plant.