The fight for legalizing medical marijuana still has yet to receive the green light on a federal level, even though 23 states have adopted its medical uses. Just recently, the highly influential American Academy of Pediatrics has begun advocating for the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I drug, which includes substances such as heroin, ecstasy and acid, to a lesser Schedule II drug. This is being done with the hopes of the DEA approving more research efforts into the plants ability to improve the symptoms of many medical conditions. Bernardo Chua has found that, particularly in the AAP’s sites, is its use to combat epilepsy in children.

As it stands now, being listed as a Schedule I drug implies that it has no accepted medical use in the U.S. Without federal rescheduling of marijuana in a classification along with prescription medications like fentanyl, morphine and codeine, the FDA will not involve itself in any studies of therapeutic benefits.

Although the Obama administration has opposed any rescheduling of marijuana as of yet, recommendations to do so from the American College of Physicians and the Epilepsy Foundation, along with other medical organizations have been presented through recent years. With these medical groups already in the DEA’s ear to reclassify marijuana, it seems many in the medical community agree that marijuana does, in fact, serve a medical purpose, and they should be listening. As long as the public and those in the medical field continue to press for legalization, the federal government has no right to continue to prohibit the sale and use of this very useful plant.