SCOTUS turns down appeal of rescheduling case

Posted on October 8th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

SCOTUSThe US Supreme Court on Oct. 7 rejected a challenge to the federal government's classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug with no legitimate medical use. Challenger Americans for Safe Access contended that more than 200 studies have established that cannabis is safe and effective in relieving pain and nausea, and in relieving the effects of chemotherapy, among other medical uses. But federal courts have let stand the Drug Enforcement Administration's stance that the studies are insufficient.

ASA asked the DEA in 2002 to have cannabis rescheduled. The agency took nearly nine years to finally reject the request in July 2011. ASA responded by filing the federal case, ASA v. Drug Enforcement Administration. The US Court of Appeals in Washington DC ruled in January that the DEA had reasonably interpreted its own regulations; with the Supreme Court's denial of review that ruling stands.

ASA's attorney Joseph Elford nonetheless remains optimistic. "I think it's just a matter of time," he told the San Francisco Chronicle, noting that medical studies on cannabis' medical uses are continuing. "It's absurd to say it has a higher abuse potential than cocaine and methamphetamine," which can be legally prescribed. The appeals court, in its 3-0 ruling, acknowledged that a 1999 report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine "does indeed suggest that marijuana might have medical benefits." But the court found that the DEA reasonably interpreted the report as a recommendation for more thorough studies. "Substantial evidence supports its conclusion that such studies do not exist," the ruling stated. (SF Chronicle, Oct. 7)

Photo by Delta Mike 


'Silver lining' in SCOTUS rejection of reschedule case

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Writes Kris Hermes for ASA, Oct. 10:

The silver lining in the government's refusal to recognize marijuana's medical value was that for the first time in 20 years, the issue of marijuana's classification was again brought into federal court. The D.C. Circuit, where ASA v. DEA was heard, granted the plaintiffs standing to bring such an appeal but unfortunately denied the case on its merits. In so doing, the D.C. Circuit established a brand new precedent, requiring petitioners to obtain evidence from Phase II and III clinical trials to prove medical efficacy, a ruling that conflicts with the First Circuit in Grinspoon v. DEA, 828 F.2d 881 (1st Cir. 1987). The First Circuit held that the DEA cannot treat a lack of FDA marketing approval as conclusive evidence that a substance has no "currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." 

Comment by Global Ganja Report on Oct 27th, 2013 at 1:44 am

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