I just went through the August 2016 federal denial of rescheduling cannabis as Schedule II. As I suspected, the issue is effectively hopeless because America imposed its puritanical will on the world with the draconian "Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs" in 1961. That broadened the Paris Convention of 1931, which in turn stemmed from the 1912 Opium Convention, that was part of an unprecedented move to ban all intoxicants in the early 20th century. Then in 1971 psychedelics were banned. In 1988 any chemicals used to make "drugs" were added, and asset forfeiture introduced, putting the final touches on the wealth and power of the bureaucracy we have today. As a party to these treaties, the federal govt. says it cannot violate them, being locked into the framework they themselves created. Countries like Portugal that have basically legalized personal use maintain formal adherence to the Single Convention. For the Feds in the US it comes down to circular technicalities. The petition to at least move it to schedule II (where we find meth, coke, strong opiates, etc) is denied because Cannabis is listed under the Single Convention, so it could only fall under our Schedules I and II. They say they can't move it to Schedule II because it meets criteria for the most diabolical Schedule I. How? The fact that people use it outside the medical establishment proves that it's abusable. Its absence from conservative medical practice proves that it has no accepted medical use. The lack of dosage and concentration standards proves that it cannot be used safely even under medical supervision. They throw in some more lines of shaky reasoning to fatten their stance. For instance when it was shown that monkeys would not self-administer THC, unlike e.g. coke, they designed a special training program so they would. The FDA predictably recommends more studies, and in the interim supports the status quo. An 80 page masterpiece.