The biggest problem marijuana faces in the US is remaining classified as a Schedule 1 substance next to heroin, meaning it is in the most difficult position to be researched or even discussed openly. The DEA and Food and Drug Administration are two of the few organizations who can do anything about rescheduling cannabis to a more appropriate category. Last year the DEA said it would ease restrictions on FDA approved trials for cannabis, but with progress happening so slowly, Scott Shapiro, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, sent a letter to the FDA urging them to reschedule marijuana. As a physician, Shapiro and his counterparts want to be aware of the medicines they're able to prescribe patients. Patients should be able to trust their doctor's ability to know their drugs inside and out.
“They [patients] trust that if we’re willing to prescribe a medicine, if we understand what we can reasonably expect their experience to be with the medicine,” said Shapiro. “And that’s the problem you have with marijuana, and that’s why physicians in other states just don’t write it (a prescription).”
A report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that in November of 2015, 204 different physicians recommended medical marijuana for patients. That’s about 1.5 percent of Colorado’s physicians.