The Medical Use of Marijuana v. The Use of Marijuana for Medical Purposes

Bradley Steinman

In 1970, at the urging of President Nixon, Congress enacted the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and placed the plant cannabis, referred to in the CSA as marihuana, into Schedule I—the most restrictive schedule. Substances listed in Schedule I are the most tightly controlled of the CSA's five scheduling classifications. Schedule I substances are only so listed if they have “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and “lack accepted safety for use under medical supervision.” Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are, for this reason, treated the same by federal law—as criminal.

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