Many people would more than likely disagree with Drug Enforcement Administration acting Chief Chuck Rosenberg when he said on Thursday that, “marijuana is not medicine.”
Speaking at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Rosenberg stated, “If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome. I will be the last person to stand in the way of that. … But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”
Rosenberg discussed that the DEA decides how to classify a drug from FDA recommendations. Despite marijuana studies showing that it may have medical benefits, for instance for children who suffer from epilepsy the drug is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Heroin and LSD are also classified under this as well but are regulated differently.
The DEA has noted that the FDA has guided that marijuana does not have medical value. At the same event, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy who also spoke at the Cleveland Clinic that day, stated that the country should research medical marijuana more.
“Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent,” he said. “But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk.”
“When you develop a substance use disorder at a young age, it actually increases the likelihood of you developing an addiction to other substances,” he said. “So in that sense addiction to marijuana or any substance, including nicotine, during adolescence and young adulthood when the brain is developing is very concerning.”
“I worry that we have gotten away from allowing science to drive our policy when it comes to marijuana,” he argued.