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Feds deny marijuana for medical purposes, spurring online backlash

Hashtags (no pun intended) went haywire Thursday after the federal government announced it would not reclassify marijuana.

The decision means patients will continue to be denied the drug for medicinal purposes. Marijuana will remain a “Schedule 1” classification, in the same category as heroin and LSD. Cannabis has had the same designation since 1970, when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act.

#Cannabismediciinal #NORML, #Alzheimers #LowTHC were among the subgroups most opponents of the news used to express outrage over the decision. Some comments—and even a YouTube video— were laden with offensive language condemning the news. Here are a few safe comments to share:

DEA_ruling_criticaltweets

The Washington Post reported:

In an announcement in the Federal Register and a letter to petitioners, the Drug Enforcement Administration turned down requests to remove marijuana from “Schedule I,” which classifies it as a drug with “no currently accepted medical use” in the U.S. and precludes doctors from prescribing it.

Faced with an escalating opioid epidemic in the United States, President Barack Obama has said he believes marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. Still, a post from U.S. News & World Report said:

The Obama administration will keep marijuana on the list of the most dangerous drugs, despite growing popular support for legalization, but will allow more research into its possible medical benefits, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced…The agency opted not to reclassify marijuana after a lengthy review and consultation with the Health and Human Services Department, which said marijuana “has a high potential for abuse” and “no accepted medical use.”

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said: “We are tethered to science and bound by statute.”

The issue has elected representatives fired up, too. More than half the states have legalized pot for either medicinal or recreational use. According to U.S. News & World Report, the National Conference of State Legislatures on Wednesday adopted a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I.

[RELATED: Learn new strategies to tell your story with social media, images and video]

Smoke and suffering

Research has shown that a few components of pot are promising treatments for epilepsy and chronic pain. Some people use it to relieve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, but there has been no proven research.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center called the DEA’s decision “deeply disappointing.” He said the scientific data overwhelmingly indicated it should not be listed as such a dangerous drug.

In New Jersey, NJ.com reported:

Limited studies inside and outside the country have shown cannabis can reduce pain, nausea, and muscle spasticity. But it remains taboo among most physicians who want to see more rigorous studies demonstrating its benefits, and fear they’ll jeopardize their license to prescribe medications.

Hundreds of people commented, with a wide range of opinions:

DEA_ruling_NJcomments

The one change the DEA did approve Thursday involves research. The agency will end its decades-old monopoly on marijuana production for medical research. The Los Angeles Times said the DEA would begin allowing researchers and drug companies to use pot grown in places other than its well-secured facility at the University of Mississippi.

The American Medical Association media reps offered this brief statement about Thursday’s news:

The DEA’s decision to provide an additional supply and variety of marijuana to support research needs can assist in the clinical study of cannabis for medicinal use. The AMA supports this approach, as well as easing administrative barriers to conduct research on cannabis.

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