In a 25-page memo, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) outlined their plans to finally consider the federal reclassification of marijuana. Currently, federal law recognizes weed as a substance that's as dangerous to public health as heroin.
That comparison sounds like a bad joke to many Americans, considering no one has ever died from a weed overdose while alcohol consumption kills thousands every year.
Luckily, the DEA has come around at last and plans to officially redetermine weed's classification no later than July of this year.
So, what does this mean for all of us weed lovers? Well, according to the memo, one of the main reasons the DEA is considering this reclassification is medical research. Reclaiming marijuana as a less-dangerous substance would make it significantly easier for researchers to conduct weed-related studies.
But don't get excited just yet, warns Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority. He told VICE recently that the DEA's rescheduling of weed could be "potentially hugely significant, but also potentially hugely disappointing." He remains cautiously optimistic that the federal government will actually take "an objective look at the science" and ignore the decades of negative propaganda surrounding weed.
This decision could come in the knick of time for medical marijuana proponents.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, challenged the DEA to reconsider its position just last year so the Academy can lead more studies on the benefits of marijuana for children. The Epilepsy Foundation of America jumped on board shortly after, citing weed as an effective seizure treatment for epilepsy patients.
With a little help from the DEA, weed could finally step out of its hazy reputation and into the spotlight as a mainstream wonder drug -- aka, right where it belongs.
Watch the video below to brush up on your marijuana knowledge.