The United States Drug Enforcement Administration said it was again denying requests to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The decision keeps a growing number of US states at odds with federal law, as half have enacted laws allowing access to cannabis for medical purposes.
‘Marijuana is commonly prescribed to treat pain and other chronic conditions such as nausea.’
However, the federal government will allow an expansion of marijuana research, letting organizations apply for permission to grow marijuana for use in studies.
Currently, only the University of Mississippi is permitted to do so. Marijuana is commonly prescribed to treat pain and other chronic conditions such as nausea.
Chuck Rosenberg, the DEA administrator, said in upholding the marijuana ban that there was a "lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision."
In justifying the move, DEA cited a medical and scientific evaluation carried out by the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
"DEA's decision flies in the face of objective science and overwhelming public opinion," Aaron Smith, head of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a trade body in Washington, said in a statement.