In England, heroin—a potent pain-killer—is available for use by healthcare providers. But in the U.S., the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies it as a schedule I drug which legally stipulates that it has no clinical use. Marijuana is another Schedule 1 substance that, according to the DEA, has no clinical use.

While the majority of people see government involvement in medicine via Medicare, Medicaid, The Affordable Care Act, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as part of the increasing socialization of healthcare in this country, they fail to realize that restrictions on what a healthcare provider may prescribe (e.g. marijuana) are part and parcel of the same trend. Several states have now passed laws that permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. These uses include chronic pain, nausea, lack of appetite, and related conditions. However the DEA persists in its view that, despite its clinical use and the development of synthetic FDA-approved oral formulations, marijuana has no clinical role.