MMJ Rescheduling To Be Heard In Federal Court

Aug 3, 2012

Med­ical mar­i­juana advo­cates will get their day in court later this year, when they argue the ther­a­peu­tic value of cannabis. The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Cir­cuit agreed late last week to hear oral argu­ments in Amer­i­cans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion, a case that could have major impli­ca­tions for the resched­ul­ing of mar­i­juana out of Sched­ule I, a cat­e­gory that also includes heroin and LSD. Sched­ule I drugs are described as sub­stances that have “a high poten­tial for abuse, have no cur­rently accepted med­ical use in treat­ment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other sub­stance under med­ical super­vi­sion.” Resched­ul­ing can take place either by con­gres­sional vote, or through inde­pen­dent action by the exec­u­tive branch in the pres­ence of new research. Mar­i­juana pol­icy reform­ers ini­tially peti­tioned the DEA in 2002, argu­ing that the cur­rent clas­si­fi­ca­tion of mar­i­juana was improper. In 2011, the DEA finally denied their request, prompt­ing Amer­i­cans for Safe Access to file a law­suit ear­lier this year. Advo­cates are excited about the oppor­tu­nity to present sci­en­tific evi­dence before fed­eral court, and espe­cially opti­mistic con­sid­er­ing the recent release of a report that claims, in the clear­est terms yet, that there are med­ical ben­e­fits to mar­i­juana. From the Amer­i­cans for Safe Access press release: The announce­ment of oral argu­ments comes just weeks after a study was pub­lished in The Open Neu­rol­ogy Jour­nal by Dr. Igor Grant one of the lead­ing U.S. med­ical mar­i­juana researchers, claim­ing that marijuana’s Sched­ule I clas­si­fi­ca­tion is “not ten­able.” Dr. Grant and his fel­low researchers con­cluded it was “not accu­rate that cannabis has no med­ical value, or that infor­ma­tion on safety is lack­ing.” The study urged addi­tional research, and stated that marijuana’s fed­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion and its polit­i­cal con­tro­versy are “obsta­cles to med­ical progress in this area.” Marijuana’s clas­si­fi­ca­tion as a Sched­ule I sub­stance (along with heroin) is based on the fed­eral government’s posi­tion that it has “no cur­rently accepted med­ical use in treat­ment in the United States.” Joe Elford, Chief Coun­sel with Amer­i­cans for Safe Access, says the court’s deci­sion is long-awaited. “Med­ical mar­i­juana patients are finally get­ting their day in court,” he said. “This is a rare oppor­tu­nity for patients to con­front polit­i­cally moti­vated decision-making with sci­en­tific evi­dence of marijuana’s med­ical effi­cacy … What’s at stake in this case is noth­ing less than our country’s sci­en­tific integrity and the immi­nent needs of mil­lions of patients.” While mar­i­juana is cur­rently accepted for med­ical use in 17 states and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, the Obama admin­is­tra­tion and DEA have been unmis­tak­ably hard-nosed in their approach to the sub­stance. Dur­ing con­gres­sional tes­ti­mony ear­lier this year, DEA Admin­is­tra­tor Michele Leon­hart refused to say whether crack or heroin posed big­ger health risks than mar­i­juana. The admin­is­tra­tion has mean­while con­tin­ued an aggres­sive crack­down on mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries in Cal­i­for­nia. Oral argu­ments in Amer­i­cans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion are set to begin on Oct. 16. Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post (NY) Author: Nick Wing, The Huff­in­g­ton Post Pub­lished: August 1, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 Huff​in​g​ton​Post​.com, LLC Con­tact: scoop@​huffingtonpost.​com Web­site: http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/

6153fe7c800bb9c1.jpg 150x100 MMJ Rescheduling To Be Heard In Federal Court

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MMJ Resched­ul­ing To Be Heard In Fed­eral Court

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