Last updated on: 4/10/2014 | Author:

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Biography

Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“Marijuana is listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the most restrictive schedule. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which administers the CSA, continues to support that placement and FDA concurred because marijuana met the three criteria for placement in Schedule I under 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1) (e.g., marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision).

Furthermore, there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful. A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use.”

“Inter-Agency Advisory Regarding Claims That Smoked Marijuana Is a Medicine,”, Apr. 20, 2006

[Editor’s Note: The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed its “Con” position in an Apr. 9, 2014 email to from the FDA Office of Media Affairs: “That statement [the Apr. 20, 2006 statement referenced above] refers to smoked marijuana, that information is still current. We don’t have a more current position statement posted. To add to that:

The FDA has not approved smoked marijuana for any use.

The FDA supports those in the medical research community who intend to study marijuana in scientifically valid investigations and well-controlled clinical trials, in-line with the FDA’s drug approval process…

Despite its status as an unapproved new drug, there has been considerable interest in marijuana’s use for the treatment of a number of conditions, including glaucoma, AIDS wasting, neuropathic pain, treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. FDA has produced a Guidance on the development of drugs using plant-derived materials outlining the testing for such products.”]


“FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines more effective, safer, and more affordable and by helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to maintain and improve their health. FDA also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors.

Finally, FDA plays a significant role in the Nation’s counterterrorism capability. FDA fulfills this responsibility by ensuring the security of the food supply and by fostering development of medical products to respond to deliberate and naturally emerging public health threats.”

“What We Do,” (accessed Apr. 9, 2014)


“FDA plays a vital role in the health of our citizens and our regulated industries. Congress has given FDA responsibility for a vast range of products that are central to the health and well-being of every American. FDA oversees the safety of most of America’s food supply, the safety and effectiveness of drugs, biologics, and medical devices, the purity of the blood supply, the development of medical countermeasures, the safety of animal feed as well as the safety and effectiveness of drugs for use in livestock, pets, and other animals, and most recently, reducing harm from tobacco use. Together, the products we regulate represent over 20 cents of every consumer dollar spent on products in the US.”

“Statement of FDA Mission,”, 2014

Government Agency
Quoted in:
  1. Is Medical Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Severe / Chronic Pain?
  2. Should Marijuana Be Reclassified as a Schedule II or III Drug?
  3. Who Are the Patients Receiving Medical Marijuana through the Federal Government's Compassionate IND Program?
  4. Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Reducing Nausea and Vomiting from Chemotherapy?
  5. Is the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approval Process Subverted by Passing Bills and State Initiatives That Legalize Medical Marijuana?
  6. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?