Washington, DC (WLTX) -- The Food and Drug Administration is reportedly conducting an analysis of Marijuana, at the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The study, reported by Bloomberg, is examining whether or not restrictions on marijuana should be relaxed, possibly downgrading it from a Schedule 1 drug. Deputy Director for the FDA's Regulatory Programs, Douglas Throckmorton, provided written testimony to a recent congressional hearing regarding the analysis.
Schedule 1 drugs, including heroin, are considered the most dangerous classification of drugs, having high potential of abuse and possibility of severe psychological and physical dependence, per the DEA Drug Scheduling definitions website.
The most restrictive of DEA classifications, Schedule 1 drugs are considered substances with no medical benefit and the aforementioned risks. The intent of the review by the FDA is to help alleviate differentiating between state and federal laws, where currently 22 states permit the medical use of marijuana, contrary to the Schedule 1 classification.
Washington State and Colorado are the first two states in the country to permit recreational marijuana use.
Florida GOP Rep. John Mica, who heads the oversight hearing on marijuana research, examining the changes in public attitude towards the drug, said of the study: "This has big implications."
The DEA requested review of marijuana by the FDA in 2001 and 2006, though the results in those analyses recommended it remain Schedule 1 both times.
This current review will take into account eight different factors by the FDA, after which the agency consult with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, then the Department of Health and Human Services, ahead of returning the study to the DEA.
Throckmorton would not attest to when the final results, and possible downgrade of classification as a Schedule 1 drug, are expected to come along.