DEA To Decide Whether To Reschedule Pot By Mid-Year

The DEA will decide whether to change course on marijuana by July. Memo also underscores how little marijuana is being made available for research purposes

In a lengthy memo to lawmakers, the Drug Enforcement Administration said it hopes to decide whether to change the federal status of marijuana "in the first half of 2016."

Marijuana is currently listed under the Controlled Substances Act as aSchedule 1 drug, meaning that for the purposes of federal law, the drug has "no medical use and a high potential for abuse" and is one of "the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence." Marijuana shares Schedule 1 status with heroin, and it is more strictly regulated than the powerful prescription painkillers that have killed more than 165,000 people since 1999