Monday, 16 January 2017


The Washington Post story this week on the promising discovery that a compound in marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), seems to be dramatically useful in treating epilepsy anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer comes with a dose of high irony. Even though CBD lacks the most famous property associated with marijuana—it doesn't get you high—the Drug Enforcement Agency is insisting on listing it on Schedule I, the list of the most restricted and allegedly most dangerous drugs with no medical value. Schedule I listing makes doing research with the compound absurdly difficult. Imagine having to install a safe bolted to the floor with an elaborate alarm system to store a drug whose most notable effect on the human brain seems to be the drastic reduction of epileptic seizures and chronic anxiety.  This is just another example of the DEA's abuse of a classification system that is never supposed to restrict access to drugs with medical use. LSD, MDMA, psilocybin and all other psychedelics—increasingly found to be a powerful force for healing in conjunction with medically supervised therapy—are also stuck on the Schedule I list. Somebody is stuck in the Sixties, and it's not the scientists and clinicians working with these drugs, it's the bureaucrats regulating them.
- Reni Rahmadani