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, on the other hand, maintains that cannabis is indeed dangerous enough to merit Schedule I status. The dispute is based on differing views on how the Act should be interpreted and what kinds of scientific evidence are most relevant to the rescheduling decision.
The Controlled Substances Act provides a process for rescheduling controlled substances by petitioning the Drug Enforcement Administration
. The first petition under this process was filed in 1972 to allow cannabis to be legally prescribed by physicians. The petition was ultimately denied after 22 years of court challenges, although a pill form of cannabis' psychoactive ingredient, THC, was rescheduled in 1985 to allow prescription under schedule II. In 1999... Read More