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DEA Declines to Reschedule Marijuana

By Michael Klazema on 8/17/2016

On August 12, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced that it would not reschedule marijuana, leaving it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance for the following reasons:

  • Marijuana has a high potential for abuse
  • Marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States
  • Marijuana lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision

What This Means:

First, it means that marijuana remains illegal, even in states that have passed medical or recreational marijuana laws. Court decisions such as Coats vs Dish Network in Colorado remain valid precedent - the case decision supporting that marijuana is not protected under lawful activity statutes because for a product or activity to be legal, it must be legal at both the state and federal level.

Employers may continue to enforce drug-free workplace policies and drug testing programs knowing that they have legal precedence on their side.


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