Between now and April 23, the US Food and Drug Administration is accepting public comment from “interested parties” regarding the classification of cannabis. In case you need a quick refresher, cannabis is currently a Schedule I controlled substance—a category reserved for drugs with high abuse potential and no accepted medical use—meaning it’s more tightly regulated than opium or cocaine.
Why now? With the World Health Organization due to review its own international classification of cannabis (including THC, CBD, and other related compounds), the UN agency has asked for input from member nations. Historically, none has been more influential than the United States.
As it prepares the US response, the FDA wants to hear from you. Go! Comment! The online form is right here.
What About Descheduling?
Ten years ago, medical marijuana advocates and others were primarily talking about rescheduling cannabis to a lower level under the Controlled Substances Act, as that path seemed more realistic. Today, mere rescheduling is widely seen as insufficient. A better approach, many argue, could be descheduling cannabis—removing it from the CSA completely and regulating it through different means. Not only would that put cannabis on par with alcohol and tobacco, it’s also more likely to ensure that whole-plant preparations remain available to medical patients.