Hot! Appeals Court to Hear Arguments in Medical Marijuana Case

NORML | The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit will hear opening arguments in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s refusal to consider reclassifying marijuana as a schedule I prohibited substance under federal law.

Last year the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied an administrative petition that called on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of cannabis.

Under federal law, schedule I substances must posses three specific criteria: “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment,” and “a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug…under medical supervision.”

In 1988, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young ruled that marijuana did not meet the legal criteria of a Schedule I prohibited drug and should be reclassified. Then-DEA Administrator John Lawn rejected Young’s determination, a decision the D.C. Court of Appeals eventually affirmed in 1994.

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart alleged that cannabis posses all three criteria.

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