#Pot advocates have lost an effort to force #DEA authorities to reconsider how marijuana is classified.
In a 28-page majority opinion, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the pleas made by Americans for Safe Access and disabled veteran Michael Krawitz. The pot advocates claim that numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrate that marijuana is effective in treating various medical conditions, but the DEA ignores them to keep marijuana tightly regulated as a Schedule I drug.
Here's how the majority decision, authored by Judge Harry T. Edwards, teed up the issue:
"The question before the court is not whether marijuana could have some medical benefits. Rather, the limited question that we address is whether the DEA’s decision declining to initiate proceedings to reschedule marijuana under the (Controlled Substances Act) was arbitrary and capricious."
Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote a lively dissent, arguing the pot plaintiffs lacked standing.
To be reclassified, the DEA would have to concluded that pot has a “currently accepted medical use.” The DEA’s regulations define “currently accepted medical use” to require, among other things, “adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy.”
Concluding that "something more than 'peer-reviewed' studies is required to satisfy DEA’s
standard, and for good reason," Edward stated.The court concluded:
"The DEA’s construction of its regulation is eminently reasonable. Therefore, we are obliged to defer to the agency’s interpretation of 'adequate and well-controlled studies.'"