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Medical Marijuana Users Fuming Over DEA's Decision To Keep Pot On Dangerous Drug List

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Medical marijuana will remain illegal -- at least in the eyes of the federal government.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is refusing to loosen restrictions saying it still has no "currently accepted medical use."

The news isn't sitting well with bay area dispensaries and their clients.

At Magnolia Medical Marijuana Dispensary in West Oakland, workers and patients alike are left fuming.

"People are very upset," says COO Amber Senter. "There's been an outrage I would say."

They learned Thursday the drug they turn to for medicine will still be in the same federal category as heroin and LSD. It is still considered as more dangerous than cocaine.

"It blows my mind because this is a non-toxic substance," said Senter

According to the DEA's announcement, the ruling is not based on how dangerous the drug might be. Instead, it is based on the Food and Drug Administration's "scientific and medical evaluation."

The DEA says the drug classification means it has "no currently accepted medical use...and a high potential for abuse."

THE agency insists that research doesn't exist to support loosening marijuana restrictions.

Stuart Steinhardt uses medical marijuana.

"I think it's bogus and I think it's protecting the pharmaceutical industry and alcohol industry," he said.

But now the DEA says it will expand the scientific study of marijuana. They're planning on allowing more researchers to grow weed.

To date the Feds have only allowed the University of Mississippi to grow marijuana for research.

But at medical marijuana dispensaries like Magnolia, they feel caught between state law allowing medical marijuana and DEA federal law making it illegal.

"We are fearful," says Senter. "There's always the dear the Feds could just come in anytime, and it's very scary."

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