U.S. Court of Appeals to hear marijuana classification case October 16

October 09, 2012

Bari Adams, The Examiner

After what most consider an unfair reclassification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a move to impact federal cannabis policy has finally been granted its day in court. On October 16, a United States Court of Appeals will hear the openings for the case of Americans for Safe Access v.

com/topic/drug-enforcement-administration'>Drug Enforcement Administration in which the interest group ASA will push for the federal government’s reconsideration of scientific evidence regarding the efficacy of marijuana as medicine.

Under current United States federal law, marijuana remains listed among the most dangerous, what some advocates have criticised as an intentional move to make researching the plant less feasible. Scientific studies released in 2012 have challenged and directly contradicted both marijuana’s Schedule I status as well as allegations by U.S. Attorney Generals and the U.S. Drug Czar (Roberts, 2012).

Prominent figures in the case include Plaintiff Michael Krawitz, a veteran of the United States Air Force who wants to change federal policy in order to change the complications that render VA benefits unavailable to registered cannabis users. Joe Elford, Chief Counsel of Americans for Safe Access, will be arguing the case before the D.C. Circuit and noted in a press release that this case speaks to “our country’s scientific integrity” (ASA, 2012) further emphasizing the discord between what medical professionals insist is medicine and what the government says is an addictive, destructive drug.

Doctor Igor Grant, Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research published a study denouncing marijuana’s Schedule I classification and also said in a press release from ASA that research funded by the state of California provided reasonable evidence that marijuana is an effective remedy for muscle spasticity, a component of multiple sclerosis and other disorders (2012). Aside from relieving the pain associated with such ailments, doctors also note marijuana’s effectivity in relieving many of the symptoms that cause discomfort in cancer, AIDS and other illnesses (ASA, 2012).

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