The American Academy of Pediatrics is requesting that the Drug Enforcement Administration reclassify marijuana as a less harmful substance in order to facilitate research of the substance for medical use, according to a policy statement released Monday.
“The AAP strongly supports research and development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and supports a review of policies promoting research on the medical use of these compounds,” the AAP statement reads. To that end, the group recommends that the DEA reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I controlled substance to Schedule II.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. has five “schedules” for drugs and chemicals that can be used to make drugs. Schedule I is reserved for drugs that the DEA considers to have the highest potential for abuse and no “currently accepted medical use.” Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades, along with other substances like heroin and LSD. While a lower schedule for marijuana would not make it legal, it could ease restrictions on researching the drug.