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Health & Science

The Ohio Marijuana Debate Heats Up after FDA Keeps the Drug's Schedule One Classification

photo of Marijuana

When Ohio’s leaders passed the state’s new medical marijuana law, which takes effect next month, they had hoped the federal Food and Drug Administration would take marijuana off its list of drugs it considers the most dangerous. But that agency has decided not to do that. 

Citing a lack of scientific evidence that shows marijuana has medicinal properties, the FDA says it will keep marijuana as a Schedule One drug, in the same classification with other controlled substances like heroin. Ohio lawmakers had hoped it would be downgraded to a lower level. State Senator Charleta Tavares is one of them. 

“There will be some physicians that will refuse to recommend simply because they don’t want to go afoul of the DEA,” Tavares said.

It’s not just the federal government that is striking a blow here. The state’s Board of Professional Conduct, the group that sets rules for attorneys in Ohio, has ruled lawyers may not help businesses that want to set up marijuana related operations.  The state plans to continue to move forward with its medical marijuana plan, despite the challenges.