WATCH: The Decision On How To ‘Schedule’ Marijuana Finally Comes Down

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced Thursday, August 11, that marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that it has not been determined to provide any medical use by the Food and Drug Administration.

Remaining in this schedule means that marijuana is listed above meth and cocaine, and on par with heroin. This does not mean that marijuana is more dangerous than these substances, but that it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse.

Image via YouTube screengrab.

Two of the drugs scheduled below marijuana are Xanax and steroids, which confirms that the FDA think these substances are less addictive than weed.

Unfortunately, they do have side effects such as death. Since at least late 2013, Mary Jane has a death toll of zero.

The report concluded that there is not enough widely-available scientific evidence to suggest the medical uses are beneficial. Evidently the 19 million individual monthly users are not enough of a study group and do not provide enough evidence for medical benefits.

However, it is not all bad news as the report did find that marijuana is NOT a gateway drug. USA Today writes that the report says:

“Little evidence supports the hypothesis that initiation of marijuana use leads to an abuse disorder with other illicit substances.”

The DEA is also allowing new facilities to cultivate and study weed, as presently only one group of researchers in Missouri have this right.

The present health benefits of marijuana, as proven by published academic and scientific study, are:

  • Treatment of glaucoma, promoting eye health and allowing users to maintain their vision
  • Reversal of the carcinogenic effects of tobacco (that legal stuff that gives us cancer)
  • It relieves arthritis discomfort
  • Decreases anxiety, pain, and nausea
  • Improves symptoms of lupus
  • Slows progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Eases the agony of MS, other muscular spasms such as seizures and tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease
  • Studies have found that marijuana reduces the side effects of medication used to treat cancer and hepatitis
  • And more, more, more

Eight states will vote on marijuana usage in the November 2016 election.

Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada will vote for full legalization. Arkansas and Florida will be voting on medical usage, and Montana will be voting on the restoration of their medical laws.

Kay Smythe is a freelance writer, social geographer, and senior writer at Anthony Gilardi's HIPPO LIFE. She was first published by Guardian Travel in the mid-2000s, which earned her the editorship at her college newspaper in 2010. From there, Smythe was opinion and news editor with The Tab, whilst maintaining a blog with Huffington Post. Her works featured interviews with Oscar and Emmy nominated actors. In early 2016, Smythe was awarded an O1 VISA. She lives and works in Venice, California, and loves it.