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Answered 2011-06-27 07:55:36

While cannabis is a Schedule I (CI) medication, marijuana's active ingredient, patented as Marinol (R), or called by its generic name, dronabanol, is a CIII medication, which would place it on par with Vicodin and other pain relieving medications which include synthetic codeine derivatives. I believe cannabis, as the actual plant, will become a CII or less drug within the decade as it's medicinal properties become more understood and accepted by the medical community as well as society in general.

The difference between CI and CII medications is simple to understand. CI medications, like heroin and marijuana, have no medical applications at all according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). No doctor, anywhere, according to the FDA, is allowed to prescribe these medications. Only chemists and researchers may order these compounds with the permission of the DEA.

CII drugs do have, according to the FDA, medical applications. In my profession, I see Cocaine used frequently in the emergency room, as well as in the surgery centers. It has vasoconstrictive and analgesic properties which make it excellent for certain applications in these areas, such as in heart or eye procedures. Any hospital pharmacy will carry Cocaine in it's standard narcotic inventory. (Unless it is a very small hospital.)

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