By Derrick Stanley
Marijuana may soon be demoted on the Drug Enforcement Agency list of most dangerous drugs.
The DEA said it should decide in the first half of 2016 whether to reclassify marijuana in a category other than Schedule I, a group that is said to have no medical purpose but "potentially severe psychological or physical dependence." Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote.
Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans want pot available for recreational use, but it's unlikely the DEA decision will change its status of being illegal according to federal law.
Reclassifying marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II would make it easier for researchers to earn about its effects, medicinal and otherwise.
Currently, all marijuana used for research is grown by the University of Mississippi.
Twenty-three states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, with Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia having legalized recreational use.
The head of the DEA, however, has voiced strong opposition to the idea that marijuana has medical benefits.
“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it's not,” DEA head Chuck Rosenberg said in November.