On Monday the United States Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal regarding the rescheduling of marijuana. The case Americans for Safer Access V. DEA involved a coalition of medical marijuana groups suing the U.S. government to move marijuana from Schedule I, the most serious category for drugs.
Drugs in Schedule I are classified as having a high potential for abuse and not currently accepted for medical use. The coalition argued that recent science proves there is no justification for it being in Schedule I, so it is the responsibility of the government to move it to a lower schedule.
With the Supreme Court refusing to hear the case, the judgement of Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stands. That court ruled that the DEA decision not to initiate proceedings to reschedule marijuana did not meet the high standard of being “arbitrary and capricious” so the DEA was within its legal rights.
While a disappointed setback for the effort, the decades-long fight to reschedule marijuana continues. There is still a different rescheduling petition before the federal government filed two years ago by several sitting governors from states that have legalized medical marijuana. At any time the Obama administration could stop actively fighting against this change and decide to reschedule marijuana. There is more than ample evidence showing marijuana has medical benefits, so the administration would be perfectly justified in moving marijuana out Schedule I.
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