The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has declined to order the Drug Enforcement Administration to take marijuana off the Schedule I list of dangerous drugs, where it sits alongside heroin, morphine derivatives, mescaline, and LSD.
How can this be, you ask, when 18 states and the District of Columbia — home to the court in question! — have legalized marijuana for medical use? An excellent question.
It turns out justices believe not enough “well-controlled” studies have been done of marijuana for medical use. The plaintiffs in the case, Americans for Safe Access, submitted peer-reviewed studies, but that didn’t pass muster with the court.
Now — and I’m just guessing here — could it be that more extensive studies of medical marijuana haven’t been done because a.) the drug is still illegal under federal law, and b.) you can’t patent a plant that grows almost anywhere? So without drug companies to do the research and without a way for anybody else to do the research without risking the violations of federal law, it’s a wonder there are as many studies as there are!
The lawsuit was defended by President Obama‘s Justice Department, headed by Attorney General Eric Holder, who once promised to give medical marijuana patients a break. But raids of pot dispensaries filling prescriptions have continued anyway, including here in Las Vegas.
The case was Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration.