There are 5 distinct categories, according to DEA literature, that class drugs. Schedules 1 through to 5 list the names of drugs, with schedule 1 listing the more dangerous and illicit drugs, and schedule 5, the least.
In late 2015, the new head of the DEA announced a statement that “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana.” The initial words suggested possible action, but in the grand scheme of things, although we finally had a DEA director that possessed a little common sense, over a year later and any change to reflect his thoughts simply hasn’t occurred.
Chuck Rosenberg took over the DEA director’s chair in 2015, after Michele Leonhart was forced to resign in May 2015 over corruption allegations. The allegations included the condoning of agents attending sex parties with prostitutes, and the misconduct and sexual harassment issues found in other cases, the NY Times reported in early 2015.
The other side of the coin is, it has been over a year since Rosenberg made his statement and yet marijuana remains in the same category as heroin, with little prospect of immediate change.
Researchers have time and again, published literature in support of what Rosenberg stated. In fact, it has been reported that smoking cigarettes is far more harmful that smoking a joint. One study, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, tracked 408 adolescence who used marijuana through to their 36th birthday. The group was broken down into 4 categories, from heavy, “chronic” users, to those who were considered “low” or “non-users.” The study concluded that no extensive health problems occurred later in life that were directly attributable to the use of marijuana, including asthma and depression.
Another paper released at the university suggested that although some side effects are obvious, a person needs to smoke four joints to make it equivalent to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes; and that links between mental health and using marijuana are still not clear. They also stated that heroin and alcohol are more addictive than marijuana.
As it stands, marijuana is accompanied by LSD, ecstasy and heroin on the Schedule 1. This in itself is ludicrous when you have drugs such as OxyContin, cocaine and methamphetamine on Schedule 2, ketamine on Schedule 3, and drugs such as Xanax, Tramadol and Valium listed under Schedule 4 – three drugs responsible for the bulk of home overdoses/suicides in western society, not just in the United States.
It’s another case of Big Pharma ruling the roost, and the DEA ignoring the blatant truth.