Pediatricians Make Recommendation to Decriminalize and Reclassify Cannabis

Published on January 27, 2015 · Last updated July 28, 2020

The American Academy of Pediatrics, an influential non-profit medical society, has made the recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Agency that the federal government reclassify cannabis as a non-Schedule I drug so that more research can be conducted on the potential benefits for children with debilitating diseases. They also recommended decriminalization and that doctors advocate for laws that prevent harsh penalties for the use or possession of cannabis.  

The AAP released a policy report recommending that cannabis be decriminalized for minors and young adults and that cannabis be reduced to the list of Schedule 2 drugs, which effectively acknowledges that the substance has been proven to have some medicinal value. By comparison, the Schedule 2 list includes prescribed drugs such as fentanyl and morphine. By removing cannabis from the Schedule I category, this would allow the Federal Drug Administration to conduct further research into the field of pediatrics. 

Only a decade ago, “pediatrics” and “cannabis” would never have been in the same sentence together, but with the increasing evidence of therapeutic benefits for children with epilepsy and seizure disorders, even the most conservative states have been embracing (and legalizing) various versions of extracted cannabinoids.

At the behest of the DEA, the FDA is reviewing marijuana’s status to determine whether the U.S. government should downgrade the classification. This recommendation could have significant implications, depending on whether or not the government decides to listen. Other medical groups have made recommendations in the past, but the tide has been steadily turning in favor of cannabis, and a reclassification would set the stage for a domino effect.

Could the end of prohibition be nigh? #JustSayKnow

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Lisa Rough
Lisa Rough
Lisa is a former associate editor at Leafly, where she specialized in legislative cannabis policy and industry topics.
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