US Court Rules Against Reclassification of Marijuana

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jury nullification weed (2)

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling today in the medical marijuana reclassification case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a 2-1 decision, the Court granted standing in the case — the right to bring a claim against the federal government — but denied the legal challenge on the merits, agreeing with the government’s assertion that “adequate and well-controlled studies” on the medical efficacy of marijuana do not exist.

“To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy organization, which appealed the denial of the rescheduling petition in January of last year. “The Court has unfortunately agreed with the Obama Administration’s unreasonably raised bar on what qualifies as an ‘adequate and well-controlled’ study, thereby continuing their game of ‘Gotcha.'”

ASA intends to seek En Banc review by the full D.C. Circuit and,necessary, the organization will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. ASA intends to argue that the Obama Administration has acted arbitrarily and capriciously by using continually changing standards of “medical efficacy” in order to maintain marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a dangerous drug with no medical value. The government now contends that Stage II and III clinical trials are necessary to show efficacy, while ASA has consistently argued that the more than 200 peer-reviewed studies cited in the legal briefs adequately meet this standard.

In 2002, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, made up of several individuals and organizations including ASA, filed a petition to reclassify marijuana for medical use. That petition was denied in July 2011, after ASA sued the Obama Administration for unreasonable delaying the answer. The appeal to the D.C. Circuit was the first time in nearly 20 years that a federal court has reviewed the issue of whether adequate scientific evidence exists to reclassify marijuana.

“The Obama Administration’s legal efforts will keep marijuana out of reach for millions of qualified patients who would benefit from its use,” continued Elford. “It’s time for President Obama to change his harmful policy with regard to medical marijuana and treat this as a public health issue, something entirely within the capability and authority of the executive office.”

Patient advocates claim that marijuana is treated unlike any other controlled substance and that politics have dominated over medical science on this issue. Advocates point to a research approval process for marijuana, controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is unique, overly rigorous, and hinders meaningful therapeutic research. ASA argues in its appeal brief that the DEA has no “license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case.”

ASA will continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration, but will also be lobbying Members of Congress to reclassify marijuana for medical use. A new comprehensive public health bill on medical marijuana is expected to be introduced soon in Congress, and ASA is holding a national conference in February to support its passage. (Source)

Read the full ruling below:

Americans for Safe Access v. DEA

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  • mijj

    the massive fear the government has of marijuana means there must be something to the stuff. I don’t use it myself, but it must be worth checking out.

  • johnd24

    Actually, the reason the Gov’t are against authorizing it for legal use (daily pleasure) because the bankers (all major foreign banks) will no longer make billions of dollars shipping it in and use people off the streets to sell it. If its manufactured in the US and becomes legal. The banking cartels will not make profit. Not sure if this relates to the article since I had no time to read it, but I thought I should point that out.

    • SilverOrGold


  • I don’t really smoke much. But, if i wanted to, i’d grow my own weed. And if a piggy, state or federal, came snooping and tried to initiate violence against me, I’d just have a pig roast. I’m sick of the gov’t, i.e. other people, running my goddamn life. And everyone else should be too. They have no right. And it’s about time we Americans stood up and took our rights back. Peaceful resistance hasn’t done shit. I’m ready to kill the next mf’er that unconstitutional steps foot on my property trying to tell me how to live.

    • Bob

      Amen my friend….