Washington, DC - National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith issued the following statement tonight in response to reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration will reject petitions to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which declares it to have no medical use and places it on par with much more dangerous drugs like heroin:
"DEA's decision flies in the face of objective science and overwhelming public opinion. The reality is that half of U.S. states have already passed effective laws allowing patients legal access to medical cannabis, and it is changing lives.
"Continuing marijuana prohibition forces critically ill people to suffer needlessly, leaves life-changing treatments undeveloped, and keeps patients and providers in limbo between state and federal laws.
"We appreciate the positive step - however small - of opening up a few additional avenues for medical marijuana research. But patients deserve more, and Congress should help them by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act, allowing state programs and medical research to move forward without interference."