Did the Veterans Administration Unseat Marijuana From Schedule I?

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Department of Veterans Affairs Recognizes Medical Marijuana

On July 22, 2010 the Department of Veterans Affairs issued VHA DIRECTIVE 2010-035,, specifically allowing VA patients the right to use Medical Marijuana without fear of federal interference. “Fourteen states have enacted laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana,” the Directive observes. “Medical conditions associated with the use of medical marijuana include, but are not limited to: glaucoma, chemotherapy induced nausea, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain.”

The new Directive does not allow VA doctors to prescribe Marijuana to their patients, but for the first time, a federal agency has acknowledged that Marijuana has medicinal applications, and pledged not to interfere with patients who have a doctor’s prescription in the 14 states where Marijuana is accepted under law.

This is a critical point, and one that should get everyone’s attention: Is Marijuana still a Schedule I drug?

To be a Schedule I drug, a substance must meet 3 qualifications:

  1. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision, AND
  2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, AND
  3. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.

With respect to Item 1, Safety: Marijuana ingestion has never been listed as a cause of  death; it is physically impossible for a human being to die from purposely ingesting too much Marijuana.

Item 2, the “No currently Accepted Medical Use” clause is clearly invalid across the 14 states where medical marijuana is permitted by law: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. By definition, in each of these states, Marijuana does indeed have a “currently accepted medical use.”

Finally,  Item 3: Potential for Abuse. I submit that a rational adult might rightly conclude that many drugs — including alcohol and cigarettes — have a far higher potential for abuse than Cannabis. By the same token, given that at least 42% of the US population has tried Marijuana at least once, it is evident that Marijuana should not be classified or grouped together with drugs like heroin, cocaine or meth-amphetamines.

In order to be a considered a Schedule I drug, Marijuana must fit each of these three classifications.

But, on July 22, 2010, an agency of the U.S. Federal Government directed its medical staff to accept the fact that Marijuana has medical value in the states where it is legal.

According to the definition of Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act, if a drug has any medical value, then it cannot be a Schedule I drug.

The precursor to this recent VA Directive may have been Gonzales v. Oregon, a 2006 Supreme Court decision — the first major case under Chief Justice John Roberts — wherein the Court ruled that a physician who prescribed a drug legally under state law was not subject to federal enforcement under the Controlled Substances Act.

In light of Gonzales v. Oregon, the VA’s acknowledgement that Marijuana has medical value now seems inevitable:  for all practical purposes, Marijuana is no longer a Schedule I drug.

Game Over.

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3 Responses to “Did the Veterans Administration Unseat Marijuana From Schedule I?”

  1. Peter Frost
    on Aug 21st, 2010
    @ 7:37 am

    Well evidently THC has had medical uses for years. I’ve had a prescription for Marinol a few years on and off. First it wasn’t covered by insurance but now it is because they have a generic that’s only $19.oo a pill as opposed to the $25.00 they used to cost. Now this ain’t trigonometry but @ $19.00 for 10 MILLIGRAMS it’s one hella profit margin especially as there was NO research in developing the THC compound they are selling under their patent. Now just how the hell can it be a schedule one drug when they are paying for to be used medically?
    The government is in bed with the pharmaceutical companies and together they are the biggest drug dealers in the world. All this pot war bullshit with Roger is just them knocking out the competition, can’t it’s a free economy no matter what they do.
    Who is behind the LEGAL MARINOL THC sold at Long’s Drugs?




    Follow the money and Google these CEO’s and look at their Linkedin economic reports.
    Mr. Stephen Hill Chief Executive Officer, makin BILLIONS off of a Schedule I narcotic with NO KNOW medical use.

    What are we on Mars?

  2. The Last Marijuana Trial » Cannabinoids: The Marijuana Miracle Medicine
    on Aug 22nd, 2010
    @ 10:37 pm

    […] protections for VA medical marijuana patients now secured by VHA DIRECTIVE 2010-035, some are wondering why the DEA continues to treat marijuana […]

  3. Roger Christie: Marijuana Political Prisoner of Conscience
    on Feb 13th, 2012
    @ 6:54 am

    […] Roger Christie was exposing. He threatened a policy that the government wants–even though it does not meet its own definition of what constitutes a Schedule 1 drug. It is a policy that by every measure of its stated goals is […]

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