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Cannabis (marijuana) is a Schedule 1 drug, according to the US Government, which states it is highly addictive with no medical applications. However, a lot of publications say it is only mildly addictive, similar to coffee. If that is true, then shouldn’t caffeine also be considered a Schedule 1 drug? I can’t imagine what people would do if the federal government declared a war on caffeine! So, what’s the real story directly, is cannabis highly addictive? 

California Coffee Addict

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Dear CA Coffee Addict,

There is a lot of conflicting information out there, not only between scientists and politicians, but also between different departments of our federal government.  You are correct, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has cannabis classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Schedule I drugs are those that have the following characteristic according to the DEA: 

  • The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  • The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.
  • There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or substance under medical supervision. 

No prescriptions may be written for Schedule I substances, and they are not readily available for clinical use. Other drugs and substances on the DEA Schedule 1 include: Heroin, LSD, Peyote, Ecstasy, Qualudes, GHB (“date rape” drug), Bath Salts (similar to amphetamines), Psilocybin (mushrooms), and KHAT (plant with actions similar to amphetamines). 

Interestingly, Schedule 2 drugs include such names as: Oxycontin, Morphine, Amphetamines, Fentanyl, Adderall, Vicodin, Opium, Demerol, Methamphetamine, Dilaudid, Methadone, and Secobarbital, to name a few. 

Check out these clips of DEA testimony on marijuana here and here. 

Also, the following 

Does medical cannabis (aka marijuana) really do all the things that I’ve been hearing about lately? It sounds more like snake oil to me. I’ve heard it helps cancer patients, it helps insomnia, it helps kids with autism….REALLY? I think it just gets people high and they forget about their problems. What’s the real story about “medical” cannabis?
Curious about Cannabis