Nixon Administration 1970 Recommendation on Scheduling Marijuana

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The Congress asked the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for their recommendation where marijuana should be placed in the Controlled Substances Act.

The response, by letter of 8/14/70 by the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs, is as follows:

Dear Mr. Chairman:

In a prior communication, comments requested by your committee on the scientific aspects of the drug classification scheme incorporated in H.R. 18583 were provided. This communication is concerned with the proposed classification of marihuana.

It is presently classed in schedule I(C) along with its active constituents, the tetrahydrocannibinols and other psychotropic drugs.

Some question has been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces “severe psychological or physical dependence” as required by a schedule I or even schedule II criterion. Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marihuana be retained within schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue. If those studies make it appropriate for the Attorney General to change the placement of marihuana to a different schedule, he may do so in accordance with the authority provided under section201 of the bill.

We are advised by the Office of Management and Budget that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the administration’s program.

Sincerely yours, (signed) Roger O. Egeberg, M.D.

(U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News (1970) p.4630.)