DEA: Cannabis will remain a Schedule I drug

DEA said cannabis has “no accepted medical use"

In a long-awaited decision, DEA announced that it would not reclassify cannabis from its status as a Schedule I drug—the most restrictive of the DEA classes. DEA came to its conclusion in early August after a 2011 request from the former governors of Washington and Rhode Island.

DEA said cannabis has “no accepted medical use in the United States.”

Many cannabis advocates had hoped DEA would designate cannabis as a Schedule II drug, which denotes some medical value. This status would make it easier to get federal approval to conduct research on the effects of cannabis. Twenty-three states plus the District of Columbia currently have laws that legalize and regulate cannabis for medicinal purposes. A few states allow recreational use of the drug.

DEA did try to strike a balance by allowing more universities and some private companies to apply to grow cannabis for scientific research.

Currently, the University of Mississippi houses the only federally funded cannabis program in the country to supply forms of cannabis for research.