The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced that they are in full support of a proposal by White House to streamline the research process on Schedule I drugs including marijuana and some psychedelics compounds.
The two bodies testified at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing assuring of their support for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) plan. The meeting by the committee was centered on addressing a controversial move by United States government to strictly classify fentanyl-related substances.
President’s Biden administration further submitted a research proposal highlighting the components which would help address concerns within the scientific community about the difficulty of studying other Schedule I drugs.
Through a written testimony, DEA says widening the access of Schedule I research is a vital part of its mission to protect public safety and health.
“It is critical that the scientific and medical community study Schedule I substances, as some may turn out to have therapeutic value. DEA supports the administration’s legislative proposal’s expansion of access to Schedule I research. DEA looks forward to continuing to work with the research community and our interagency partners to facilitate Schedule I research,” said DEA’s principal deputy administrator, Louis Milione.
On the other side, the director of NIDA, Nora Volkow, said even the researchers have reported they are sometimes faced with challenges during Schedule I research, at such times, the researchers are prevented from pursuing critical work.
“Even experienced researchers have reported that obtaining a new Schedule I registration, adding new substances to an existing registration, or getting approval for research protocol changes is time consuming. Unlike for Schedule II through V substances, new and amended Schedule I applications are referred by the DEA to the HHS for a review of the protocol and a determination of the qualifications and competency of the investigator,” said Volkow.