The research has been available since the 70's that marijuana is less harmful than most other recreational drugs including heroin, nicotine, and alcohol, but because President Nixon chose to ignore the report that he commissioned, marijuana stayed a schedule 1 drug. The newest cheif of the DEA has finally recognized publicly that marijuana is indeed less harmful than heroin. It's sad that this story is classified as news, because most citizens would have already considered that common knowledge, but since previous DEA cheifs have refused to say marijuana is less dangerous than any other drug, we have been deceived as a coutnry.
In recent years as public opinion on marijuana has shifted and the science on the drug becomes more settled and accepted, the DEA has stuck with its anti-marijuana stance. Former DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart, who resigned under a cloud of scandal and managerial lapses earlier this year, famously refused to say whether marijuana was less dangerous than crack or heroin in a 2014 congressional hearing. The exchange drew widespread ridicule.