DEA announcement about marijuana restrictions draws mixed reacti - KPTV - FOX 12

DEA announcement about marijuana restrictions draws mixed reaction

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

It’s categorized as one of the most dangerous drugs in the country and you can buy it legally in Oregon and Washington. 

On Thursday, the marijuana industry got mixed news from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA says it will allow more research to be done on marijuana but the substance will remain a schedule one drug along side other drugs like heroin and LSD.

“HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision,” the DEA report read.

In a letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee and others, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg wrote: 

"We fully support legitimate medical and scientific research on marijuana and its constituent parts and we will continue to seek ways to make the process for those researchers more efficient and effective.”

Medical marijuana and recreational shops in the Portland area were somewhat disappointed by the news.

Donald Morse is the Director of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council and owner of Human Collective in Portland. 

He doesn't buy the argument there is no medical benefit from pot.

“To have that number of people coming in and they all repeat the same thing, you’ve got to believe there is something to it, that there is medical value to the plant,” Morse said. 

He adds there is a silver lining in Thursday’s announcement that more research will be done on the effects of marijuana. 

"It is one step forward and one step backward,” Morse said. “We are pleased about the research aspect but not pleased about not having it rescheduled.”

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden also weighed in on the decision.

"My sense is there will be enormous frustration among many Oregonians because this is something they have gone on record,” Wyden said. “What I'm going to be telling them is we're not going to give up the fight.”

The DEA’s decision also has an impact on banking within the marijuana industry. 

Currently all transactions for any marijuana product has to be done in cash, from purchases to paying any state taxes. Federal law prohibits banks and credit unions from accepting marijuana money.

"If they would have descheduled, that problem would have went away,” Morse said. "Now we are still left with having to pass legislation through Congress which is not an easy thing to do these days.”

In November five states will see legalizing marijuana on their ballots, if passed they will join four other states and Washington, D.C. in allowing recreational use.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

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