Scientists see medical benefits of marijuana
Scientists see medical benefits of marijuana

Federal Scientists Acknowledge Weed's Medicinal Benefits, Yes, It Meets the Criteria for Reclassification!

The Federal government's medical research shows cannabis does indeed have medical benefits, hence can't be a Schedule 1 drug.

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Thursday Feb 15, 2024

scientists approve marijuana benefits


It’s already 2024, and as new medical studies now prove the cannabis "entourage effect" is real, now Federal scientists are saying yes, marijuana does have medical benefits.


In the United States, 24 states as well as Washington DC and Guam, have already legalized marijuana for recreational use, even though it’s federally illegal. Cannabis remains at Schedule 1, along with other drugs that are said to be dangerous and addictive, together with crack cocaine, heroin, and LSD – drugs that are supposedly known to have no medical use or benefits regardless of the setting.


Weed stays as a Schedule 1 substance despite the hundreds of clinical studies proving its efficacy, and wide range of uses for treating dozens of conditions that pharmaceuticals can’t treat at least not without harmful side effects. These range from anxiety and depression to chronic pain, insomnia, eating disorders, cancer, and so much more. But in the federal government’s eyes, it’s still an illegal substance and keeping cannabis at a Schedule 1category has numerous impacts on legal cannabis businesses, the industry, and on medical patients.


However, something changed: in August 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services released a 252-page paper concluding that cannabis is less harmful compared to other drugs. The review was commissioned by President Joe Biden, who, back in 2022, ordered the HHS to review all existing research on marijuana to see if it should finally be rescheduled or descheduled. The HHS did first recommend that cannabis be rescheduled as a Schedule II substance, back in August – and the findings in the paper back up these recommendations.



In the paper, they also acknowledged that cannabis also does have some medicinal benefits, thus recommending loosening of federal restrictions surrounding cannabis. According to the paper, the agency said, “there exists some credible scientific support for the medical use of marijuana in at least one of the indications for which there is widespread current experience in the United States.” In addition, federal scientists indicated in the review that weed might be the most widely used illicit drug, but “it does not produce serious outcomes compared to drugs in Schedules I or II.”


They also noted that there is a possibility of developing a physical dependency on cannabis. However, it concluded: “But the likelihood of serious outcomes is low.”


This is significant because, for the first time in history, the reports disclose a change of heart for federal health authorities when it comes to the current legal status of marijuana. While they haven’t made any public comments regarding what they think should be the next steps in terms of marijuana reclassification or descheduling, it’s still an important milestone.


Meanwhile, the rest of the country has been waiting for a US president who will finally do what’s needed to legalize marijuana on a federal level, or at least reschedule it to a Schedule II or III substance. Cannabis businesses all over the nation are struggling to operate their businesses in the same way that other legal businesses do because of the strict and severe financial repercussions that may occur.

We can only hope that it’s the administration of US President Joe Biden that will make the changes we’ve all been waiting for, since he announced a policy in 2023 that would move cannabis to a Schedule III substance in the Controlled Substance Act.


The public is kept on their toes with the government’s decision; more so since a Feb. 6 post on LinkedIn from Attorney Adrian Snead shared a “highly placed Administration source” says that a weed-related announcement was likely coming this week. According to Snead, the announcement likely has to do with rescheduling marijuana though he hinted that it could also be something more significant. However, there was no big cannabis news that came – but Vice President Kamala Harris did publicly release a 1-minute campaign video where she said:

“In 2020, young voters turned out in record numbers,” says Harris.
“And, as a result, President Biden and I… we changed federal marijuana policy, because nobody should have to go to jail just for smoking weed. Elections matter and we have more work to do,” Harris said in the video.

And while there will always be prohibitionists in government, there are also those who are fighting to legalize weed on the federal level. Late last year, governors from 6 states wrote a letter to Biden, highlighting the importance of rescheduling marijuana particularly for tax and economic reasons, as well as public health and safety. The letter was led by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.


“As governors, we might disagree about whether recreational cannabis legalization or even cannabis use is a net positive, but we agree that the cannabis industry is here to stay, the states have created strong regulations, and supporting the state-regulated marketplace is essential for the safety of the American people,” reads the letter, signed by governors of Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana.


“That fact will not change regardless of the public policy choices that we make. If people want the product, they will procure the product, as they always have,” it says. 



Reschedule or Deschedule?


There have been several major attempts to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 category since the 1980’s, after it was placed into Schedule 1 by Congress in 1970. While descheduling is ideal, rescheduling cannabis will already do a tremendous job for cannabis businesses because it would mean that Internal Revenue Code 280E wouldn’t apply to them anymore. As a result, legal cannabis businesses can enjoy lower tax rates.



Again, we’re still waiting with bated breaths – we don’t know if Biden will actually *finally* reschedule or deschedule cannabis. However, the fact that the federal government recognizes the medicinal value of marijuana is already one big step forward.





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