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Biden’s directive on marijuana faces a Catch-22 | Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news

Marijuana research is restricted because it’s Schedule 1 – making it hard to consider reclassifying it President Biden tasked the federal health department with undertaking a major scientific and medical…
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Marijuana research is restricted because it’s Schedule 1 – making it hard to consider reclassifying it

President Biden tasked the federal health department with undertaking a major scientific and medical review that has the potential to upend more than a half-century of marijuana policy.

Last week, Biden directed the Department of Health and Human Services and the attorney general to expedite a review into whether marijuana should remain listed as a Schedule I substance, a category usually reserved for the most dangerous drugs such as heroin and ecstasy.

But such an evaluation — the first initiated by a U.S. president — is made all the more difficult due to tight restrictions on research into marijuana, which some experts and government officials say have hindered the ability of scientists to study the drug. Yet, those tight restrictions are in place precisely because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, presenting a Catch-22 for scientists.

“It’s something that we constantly communicate: We really need to figure out a way of doing research with these substances,” Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told The Health 202. Her agency is a major funder of studies on drug use and addiction, and Volkow said she’s working to find pathways to ease research into Schedule I drugs.

Either way, a final determination over how to classify marijuana could take years. The prospect is sure to ignite a flurry of lobbying and a renewed push in Congress to decriminalize the drug at the federal level. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

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