The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportedly knows what's up. Following the revelation in April that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was considering a federal rescheduling of marijuana, the FDA seems to be looking to our northern neighbors for tips on how best to regulate what's now responsible for the coolest gym in the world (i.e. one you can be baked in).
The FDA has set up a conference later this month that will include a panel dedicated entirely to Canada's medical marijuana practices, according to a report from Marijuana.com. The conference's website says the presentation "will provide an overview of current regulatory framework for the regulation of marijuana for medical purposes in Canada and include information on the licensing process, compliance and enforcement and market statistics."
As noted by Tom Angell, founder of marijuana advocacy organization Marijuana Majority, the FDA's interest in Canada's regulation system just might be a hint of major changes to come. In fact, Angell writes, the move "could be a sign that the Obama administration is preparing to announce a big change in policy soon."
The conference, which kicks off June 26, comes just just days before the DEA's self-imposed deadline for a decision on marijuana's rescheduling. That rescheduling would make the lives of marijuana researchers much easier, as the green stuff's current Schedule I classification (alongside heroin and GHB) makes medical research extremely difficult.
Regardless of what becomes of the FDA's Canadian advice or the DEA's rescheduling debate, an inarguable fact is that many Americans' attitudes toward marijuana—either recreation or medical—have rapidly evolved in the wake of state-by-state legalization efforts. A recent Washington University School of Medicine study shows that marijuana use among teens is actually falling, despite the growing number of legal states. Furthermore, a 2015 Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans—including 71 percent of those aged 18 to 34—supported marijuana legalization outright.
Is the DEA listening?