Marijuana's Drug Status Should Change, Lawyers Say

A spokesperson for DEA declined to comment for this story citing the DEA's role in enforcement, not policy. Instead the DEA referred ABCNews.com to Office of National Drug Control Policy.

"The Obama Administration has no plans to reclassify marijuana. The FDA approval process is a well-respected and proven method of determining the safety and effectiveness of medications," the Office of National Drug Control Policy wrote in an e-mailed statement to ABCNews.com. "We support sound research efforts within the FDA-approved process for medication development."

But marijuana advocates have petitioned courts and the DEA to change the classification of medical marijuana from the highly restricted Schedule I class to at least a Schedule II for years.

Activists Lobbied for New Drug Classification for Years

"We filed a lawsuit in 1972 I believe it was saying that marijuana should be filed as a Schedule II," said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a medical marijuana advocacy group.

Gieringer said court cases reached higher and higher in appeals, until advocates were instructed to take the problem to the DEA.

"We have a re-scheduling position that was filed eight years ago to the DEA that has been under investigation for eight years," said Gieringer.

Gieringer said NORML has yet to hear back on that investigation.

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