“Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision” (DEA, par. 5).
In contrast, a Schedule II drug is defined as:
“Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.” (DEA, par. 7)
Drugs that are on schedule II, such as Adderall, Methadone, and Demerol (DEA, pars 8&9), can be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy. If marijuana were reclassified as a Schedule II drug, the need for legalization of medical marijuana would disappear. Doctors would be able to prescribe it for their patients. Pharmacies could dispense it, or it could remain in the hands of dispensaries which would be federally regulated. As a schedule II drug, the federal government would be able to tax it, and gain proceeds from the sales of marijuana. In these trying economic times, more revenue for an already overspent budget can be quite beneficial. In 1972 a DEA’s administrative law judge, Frances L. Young, ruled: "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known.... "... [T]he provisions of the [Controlled Substances] Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. "It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance...." (Marijuana Policy Project, 3)
This ruling was made 40 years ago, and nothing has been done to change the classification of marijuana on the schedule of drugs. This is a travesty. Had his advice been heeded, the government could have been benefiting from the revenue generated by marijuana sold for medical use. Countless people would have been spared being prosecuted for using their medicine. More research on the medical benefits of marijuana could have been conducted much more easily. Currently entities wishing to do experiments and studies on medical marijuana have difficulties. A large part that problem lies with the FDA and NIH. California law allows for medical marijuana research, but the FDA and NIH make it difficult for researchers to obtain marijuana for research. (Dresser 1) If marijuana was already categorized as Schedule II, these restrictions wouldn’t happen, which would make it easier for researcher to test the efficacy of marijuana. The DEA should have listened to Judge Young back in 1972. Opponents of the medical use of