DEA to legalize marijuana only for ‘Big Pharma,’ NORML claims
Eric W. Dolan|The Raw Story
A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proposal to reclassify the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana as a Schedule III substance would allow pharmaceutical companies to market the drug while still penalizing common recreational use, according to marijuana law reform advocates.
The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is currently a Schedule I substance within the US Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive schedule with the greatest criminal penalties.
In November 2010, the DEA proposed reclassifying dronabinol, a synthetic THC, as a Schedule III substance, which would place it among substances such as hydrocodone and allow it to be dispensed with a written or oral prescription.
“The DEA’s intent is to expand the federal government’s schedule III listing to include pharmaceutical products containing naturally derived formations of THC while simultaneously maintain existing criminal prohibitions on the plant itself,” Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), wrote at AlterNet.
With its proposal, the DEA is responding to the demands of large pharmaceutical companies, he claimed.