The Food and Drug Administration is asking for public comment on the international scheduling of cannabis following a request from the World Health Organization.
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of five drug substances. These comments will be considered in preparing a response from the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs. WHO will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs. This notice requesting comments is required by the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA).” – Apr. 4 FDA document
In conjunction with the request, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has launched a website to help citizens submit those comments. The organization seeks to submit 6,400 total comments and, as of this morning, have sent 5,914. Individuals using the NORML site can send a form letter which supports the reclassification.
“Cannabis clearly does not share the ‘high’ abuse potential associated with other Schedule I substances like heroin, or even other legal substances like alcohol, tobacco, or prescription opiates. According to a comprehensive review by the United States National Academy of Sciences, cannabis’ dependence liability is similar to that of caffeine (7 percent) or anxiolytics (9 percent), and is far lower than the dependence liability associated with other substances like alcohol (15 percent) and tobacco (32 percent).” – NORML form letter sent to FDA
The agency is accepting the public comments until Apr. 23.