The U.S. Surgeon General wants to reschedule cannabis.
In an unprecedented move, Surgeon General Jerome Adams called on the federal government to rethink the classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance.
“Just as we need to look at criminal justice laws, rules and regulations, we need to look at health laws, rules and regulations, and that includes the scheduling system,” he explained in a statement. “I’ll take it somewhere else: marijuana. We need to look at the way we schedule different medications across the board, because one of the concerns that I have with marijuana is the difficulty that the folks have to do research on it, because of the scheduling system.”
Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 substance under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which defines it as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” It also means medical research is restricted, hindering scientists’ ability to prove the effectiveness of the plant.
Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, MDMA, and GHB, while fentanyl, which is responsible for thousands of deaths every year, remains under Schedule 2 of the CSA.