Drug Enforcement Administration declines to loosen federal restrictions on marijuana

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The Drug Enforcement Administration has made it's decision-- marijuana will continue to stay illegal at the federal level. (KFSN)

The Drug Enforcement Administration has made its decision -- marijuana will continue to stay illegal at the federal level. Many people in the city of Merced are already looking forward on a state level as they listen to details on Prop 64, which would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

"It helps, and it's better for you than a lot of other things we can get over the counter at the drug prescription store," said Christopher Gonzalez, uses medicinal marijuana.

Gonzalez said he uses the substance for knee and shoulder pain, and adds his own mom uses it for her cataracts.

"Everybody is different, so there are some people who react differently, but I wouldn't call it a dangerous drug as LSD that much."

However, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke agrees with the decision. He said there is already an issue with marijuana in the area and it's only going to get worse.

"We got drug cartels wanting the marijuana because people are buying it. People are going to be dying from marijuana because of the sales of it."

He adds that in the end, it's a drug and they have to treat it that way.

"To have these folks wanting dispensaries for an illegal product is absurd to me, but we got society out there thinking it's alright," said Warnke.

People in the business of delivering marijuana to patients said it's only dangerous if you abuse it.

"Those are the people that end up in the emergency room, that are using it to see how high they can get. Is that dangerous, yes. Anybody that is using it for medical purposes is not going to use that much," said Susan Bouscaren, Jack's Greenhouse Medical Marijuana.

If the Food and Drug Administration approves a marijuana-based drug, then the DEA will be forced to re-evaluate the substance's classification.

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