In the latest season of 'Bill Nye Saves the World,' the titular host features some of the groundbreaking cannabis research underway in Israel. While discussing Israel's impressive progress, Nye couldn't help but ridicule how backward America is when it comes to cannabis research.
“It is literally easier to study meth” in America, Nye said.
And that's not an exaggeration. The federal government defines cannabis as a substance that has no medicinal value and is as dangerous as heroin. That's why it's lumped together with heroin and LSD as Schedule I Drugs in the Controlled Substances Act. That classification makes studying cannabis expensive and extremely time-consuming because researchers have to get special certifications and navigate their way through a labyrinth of red tape before they're allowed to touch the plant.
That situation probably won't change anytime soon because of those rigid regulations. Cannabis remains a Schedule I drug because federal regulators say its potential benefits and risks haven't been thoroughly studied, but researchers can't thoroughly study those risks and benefits because the Schedule I classification gets in the way.
But those regulators might come to their senses if they watched Nye discuss cannabis with Israel's top researchers. To get an inside look of the country's progressive cannabis industry, check out the episode, which is available now on Netflix.