CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta said Thursday that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency had no reason to treat marijuana the same way it treated PCP and heroin.

"I also looked closely at the DEA's scheduling policy," he said on CNN. "They classify marijuana as a Schedule I substance. It is in the category of the most dangerous substances out there. And when I looked carefully at that, I found there was really no scientific evidence to say it was that dangerous, that it had high abuse potential and that it had no medical applications. I believe it does have medical applications."

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. But the DEA has refused to reschedule marijuana, insisting it has no medical value. The DEA currently considers cocaine and methamphetamines to be less harmful than marijuana. Both substances are classified as Schedule II drugs.

For conditions such as neuropathic pain, marijuana worked better and was less dangerous than other medications, Sanjay added.

"So you have something that works better, it may work when other things don't, and probably much safer and, again, I think that is important for both patients and the medical community to hear," he said.

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