D.C. Circuit Court Asked to Reclassify Cannabis As Safe and Medicinal

A medical marijuana group filed a petition on Friday with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, asking for do-over on a key ruling in the fight to reclassify the drug as safe for medical use.

As Americans for Safe Access acknowledged in its court filing, such re-hearings are “extraordinary and rarely granted.” That means the next stop in the long-running battle against the Drug Enforcement Agency could be the Supreme Court, setting up a high court battle over patients’ right to get high.

In January the D.C. Circuit held that Michael Krawitz, an Air Force veteran denied access to Veterans Administration benefits because he wanted to be able to use medical marijuana, could sue the DEA over its failure to reschedule marijuana as a drug that does have some medical uses.

But while Krawitz could sue, the court said, he wouldn’t win: discounting two-hundred peer-reviewed studies cited by the plaintiffs, it rejected Krawitz and Americans for Safe Access’ lawsuit on the merits. The court said that in order to reschedule marijuana, the DEA would have to conduct FDA-style drug trials.

– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.



  1. Tony Aroma on

    “The Burden of proof is on the DEA to prove NO medical uses.”

    Not true. See my post above. That’s not the way the law was written (by the DEA). Because the Controlled Substance Act doesn’t go into detail, the DEA has come up with a set of criteria that must be met to satisfy “accepted medical use.” As unreasonable as that may be, that’s the law.

  2. Anonymous UK on

    The Burden of proof is on the DEA to prove NO medical uses not on medical users to prove there is. So it does not need peer reviewed studies – if one doctor and patient confirm cannabis has been beneficial then there is some medical application for the plant. Any FDA-style drug trials can only quantify this they will not prove it’s existence.

    Now – The real reason they make such a fuss (and I bet they won’t let this comment stay on long!):

    It’s takes about 1% of the worlds agricultural land to grow enough hemp to virtually replace all the petroleum used on this planet.(I can provide the figures with internet references to back up each estimate) Petroleum is a 44 trillion dollar a year industry – now consider dismantling that and distributing the trade amongst all the countries of Africa with a bit of under used agricultural land and you start to see why this is a big issue.

    So activists keep fighting you are fighting to solve the world’s energy and pollution problems as well as being free to enjoy cannabis as a medicine or a recreational substance.

  3. 2buds on

    good points – but “recommended” not prescribed. Prescription would first require rescheduling – therein lies the rub.

  4. Anonymous on

    FDA style drug tests? I’m sure the politicians would LOVE that, especially Steve Katz! Don’t hold your breath, you already know Obama is going to get his back up, that’s because he doesn’t want anyone else to enjoy a good toke as much as he did(does.

  5. Dave on

    I’d say this article uses words that are offensive to our culture, but I suppose the authors bias is not the topic.

    Your courts are not there to persuade the government on your behalf, they are there to mete out the governments decrees while leaving those protected by the US Constitution alone and thats not you or me folk!

  6. gutrod on

    I don’t see anyone dying from smoking pot, yet it is still labelled as a dangerous drug. The only danger presented to government is the fact that that users minds cannot be controlled by lies and propaganda. Growers and dispensaries continue to do God’s work while our government and law enforcement continue to live the lie, without conscience and duped by their own propaganda and misconception.
    The cat is out of the bag.

  7. Don Berry on

    While the medical marijuana movement has been key to increasing awareness and changes in the laws of many states, a legal and regulated market for adults is the real solution. In that world, the DEA is completely out of the loop along with the red tape, fees, permits and other onerous restrictions that accompany legal medical access. Marijuana should be at least as inexpensive and available as much more dangerous alcohol and tobacco products, and home growing no more restricted than home beer brewing, wine making or tobacco growing.

  8. Anonymous on

    Why do we need the goverments approval to use a plant that is obviously safe? This is the big question that needs to be addressed right now.

  9. Tony Aroma on

    I hope they learned something from the Circiut Court’s previous decision. The Court pretty much told them what they need to do. The January decision did not address whether marijuana should be rescheduled, because that wasn’t the challenge. The question they answered was whether the DEA followed the rules in making their decision not to reschedule. They did. Which is not surprising, since they made the rules. The challenge should have been to the criteria the DEA use to determine “accepted medical use.” Those criteria are what are “arbitrary and capricious,” not the DEA’s decision. Accepted medical use is not defined in the Controlled Substance Act, so the DEA took it upon themselves to come up with a definition, a set of criteria that must be met. Based on what they came up with, aspirin should be a schedule 1 controlled substance. So I hope next time around they change their strategy, and try to get a REASONABLE definition of accepted medical use established by the Court. I think most reasonable people would consider something currently being prescribed by doctors in 18 states as having an accepted medical use in this country. Wouldn’t you?