Visiting Colorado for a toke? Feds say it's still illegal

The Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to announce tomorrow that marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 controlled substance nationwide, despite efforts in some states to legalize the drug.

So, what does that mean for states like Colorado? Those states and people who take advantage of legalized recreational or medical marijuana are "in defiance of federal law," a news release from the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association states.
The announcement to be published Friday in the Federal Register relaxes the rules for marijuana research to make it easier for institutions to grow marijuana for scientific study. The DEA currently authorizes just one grow facility in Mississippi.
In reaching its conclusion, the DEA says that a Health and Human Services evaluation shows that marijuana has no ‘‘currently accepted medical use’’ because "the drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible; there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available."
"At this time," the DEA concludes, "the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy."
On other points, the DEA reported noted that marijuana has a "high potential" for abuse and can result in psychological dependence. It saids around 19 million individuals in the U.S. used marijuana monthly in 2012 and that contemporaneous studies showed around 4.3 million individuals met diagnostic criteria for marijuana dependence.
It did not find, however, that marijuana was a "gateway drug."
"Little evidence supports the hypothesis that initiation of marijuana use leads to an abuse disorder with other illicit substances," the report said.
An effort to present a medical marijuana bill in Wyoming earlier this year failed to get the required number signatures.
At least eight states will consider marijuana issues in the November election. Voters in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada will consider full legalization. Arkansas and Florida have medical marijuana measures on their ballots. Montana voters will consider a measure to restore the state's medical marijuana law after legislative and judicial actions curtained the law.
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