DEA declines to loosen restrictions on medical marijuana

Updated 5:20 PM EDT, Fri August 12, 2016

Story highlights

The DEA will keep marijuana in the same category as heroin

It will issue more licenses for growing marijuana to be used in research

(CNN) —  

Marijuana will remain a Schedule l controlled substance, which declares it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” the Drug Enforcement Administration said Thursday. This keeps the drug in the same category as heroin, LSD and Ecstasy.

The announcement is in response to two recent petitions asking the agency to reconsider this designation for the benefit of scientific research. The decision is based on a “scientific and medical evaluation” conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration at the request of the DEA.

“The DEA and the FDA continue to believe that scientifically valid and well-controlled clinical trials conducted under investigational new drug (IND) applications are the most appropriate way to conduct research on the medicinal uses of marijuana,” said a statement from the DEA.