Yesterday sparks flew as word was out that the DEA would be making some important announcements relating to the treatment of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Today, the excitement died down as the DEA issued a 180-page denial (inclusive of attachments; the actual denial is only three pages long) of a petition to initiate rulemaking proceedings to reschedule marijuana, filed by a Mr. Bryan Krumm in December 2009.

Mr. Krumm’s petition requested that marijuana be removed from Schedule I of the CSA claiming that: 1) marijuana has accepted medical use in the U.S.; 2) studies have shown that smoked marijuana has proven safe and effective; 3) marijuana is safe for use under medical supervision; and 4) marijuana does not have the abuse potential for placement in Schedule I.

After gathering all necessary data, DEA involved the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which then conducted its own scientific and medical evaluation into Mr. Krumm’s assertions. HHS concluded that marijuana does have a potential for abuse, does not have an accepted medical use in this country, and does not have an acceptable level of safety for use even under the care of a medical professional.  For now, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under the CSA, and therefore is still illegal under federal law.