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After 20 Years, Federal Court to Review Evidence on Therapeutic Value of Marijuana

Lisa Garber
October 11th, 2012
Updated 10/31/2012 at 8:59 pm
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marijuanaleafbluesky 235x147 After 20 Years, Federal Court to Review Evidence on Therapeutic Value of MarijuanaAmericans for Safe Access, a group of doctors, medical professionals, and patients, will defend scientific evidence of marijuana’s therapeutic value next week in the US court of appeals in Washington, DC. This will be the first time in 20 years that a federal court will review marijuana’s classification as a schedule I drug—dangerous with no medical benefits, in the same arena as LSD and heroin.

“This is a rare opportunity for patients to confront politically motivated decision-making with scientific evidence of marijuana’s medical efficacy,” says Joe Elford, chief counsel to Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “[They] are finally getting their day in court.”

DEA Stalled 10 Years, Denied Scientific Evidence

Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) dismissed the marijuana policy reformers’ request to reconsider the drug’s classification, citing a five-year-old report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). (The reformers initially petitioned the DEA nearly ten years ago, a process the ASA describes as stalling.)

In reply to the DEA’s denial, the ASA recently filed a lawsuit. The ASA claims that, among other things, the DEA “acted arbitrarily and capriciously, and without substantial evidence, in concluding that marijuana does not have a ‘currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.’” The DEA fell short in a number of other areas, too. As declared on the ASA reply brief:

  • The DEA erred in failing to find that marijuana’s chemistry is known and reproducible
  • The DEA and HHS erroneously failed o compare marijuana to other scheduled substances
  • Qualified experts recognize that marijuana has medical use
And while a re-classification of the drug is completely denied, people everywhere are concerned why the plant is even fully legal. Given the research showing the benefits of marijuana, it’s more than acceptable to wonder why marijuana is really illegal.

THC more Effective, Less Harmful than Chemotherapy

Not only has marijuana been attributed to curing a 3-year-old boy’s brain cancer, it has a strong backing in the medical community as therapy for patients of lung, breast, and other types of cancer. THC actually induces apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells without harming noncancerous ones—more than can be said of harmful chemotherapy.

The reformers now have the support of the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the Federation of American Scientists, and the American Academy of Family Physicians to help them push for either medical cannabis access or its reclassification. The Court of Appeals will hear their case on October 16.

Additional Sources:

Americans for Safe Access

Wall Street Journal

The Huffington Post

From around the web:

  • mike opppuss

    oh, almost forgot. .. Thanks to MPP.ORG for sharing the Truth.

  • mike opppuss

    Johnny, I am sorry to hear that! Well, you can always go to the "black market" since the government is forcing you to do so. I am so sorry. Good luck! Maybe one day perhaps will be legal. Or at least decriminalized.

  • Johnny Choronic59

    How ironic. This is the same day Oct. 16 that my so called prohibitionist doctor is throwing me out into the street's all because he refuse's to denie the criminal, evil, vile law of prohibition. I'v had cancer surgey been through chemo served my country for six year's and all I want is shelf-preservation through cannabis but since uncle sam can't seem to get his shit together I'm going to have to die a slow painful death?. I don't think so you plastic political S.O.B.'s. I swear with my last breath I'll die fighting prohibition and any prohibitionist stupid enough to mess with me or mine!. Word Up! wanna be's!. Johnny Choronic59.