In the wider picture, the United States and the world as a whole have welcomed new attitudes towards marijuana in the past decade. Recent years have seen 25 US states legalize medical marijuana, with many more expected to follow suit. A handful of others have also legalized its recreational use.
Marijuana advocates are heralding this as a mixed victory. Although disappointed that marijuana remains in the highest band of drugs, the restrictions on medical marijuana have been seen as a hurdle for some time. Many have argued that this has been guided by politics, stigma, and ideology, rather than science.
“For far too long, federal regulations have made clinical investigations involving cannabis needlessly onerous and have placed unnecessary and arbitrary restrictions on marijuana that do not exist for other controlled substances, including some other Schedule I controlled substances,” Paul Armentano, deputy director of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said in a statement.