Jan 27, 2013

Marijuana Remains Controlled Substance Per Federal Appeals Court

In 2011, Americans for Safe Access, a pot-lobby group, took the DEA to federal court in Washington, D.C. to test the classification of marijuana as a controlled substance.  Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the DEA's decision to classify pot as a controlled substance  -a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use-  was not an arbitrary or capricious decision by the DEA.

So, for now, pot retains its controlled substance classification, and the federal pot laws prohibiting possession and distribution will continue to conflict with the growing number of state laws providing immunity for the medical use of marijuana.  The classification is particularly troubling for the pot-lobby, as it lumps marijuana into a group of other drugs like ecstasy, LSD and heroin that have a high potential for abuse, and no currently accepted medical use.

In their case, Americans for Safe Access pointed to hundreds of peer-reviewed medical studies in support of its argument to reclassify marijuana.  Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards, however, was not convinced.  The pot lobby has vowed further appeal to the SCOTUS or, in the alternative, to bring another case once some more definitive pot studies have been completed.

As the D.C. Circuit issued its decision in the case, President Obama made public remarks that, as far as he was concerned, DEA agents had bigger fish to fry than the pursuit of recreational marijuana users.  While we here at the electronic criminal lawyer agree that federal agents should have higher priorities than investigating pot-heads, we have to wonder: are there medicinal attributes to pot, or not?

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1 comment:

Tom Hardy said...

Thank you for all the info! I feel a lot better informed if I need a criminal lawyer. Do you have any other info regarding the matter?