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Supremes not the place to find reform

October 8, 2013
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Disappointing, though probably not surprising… US Supreme Court Rejects Marijuana Reclassification Appeal

The US Supreme Court Monday declined to hear an appeal from medical marijuana advocacy groups who had challenged the DEA’s decision to maintain marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, the category reserved for the most dangerous substances.

The court denied in summary order a petition for a writ of certiorari from the groups, led by Americans for Safe Access, which had sought Supreme Court review of a DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the DEA’s ruling that a change in marijuana’s classification required the Food and Drug Administration’s recognition of acceptable medical uses for the drugs.

Advocates of rescheduling marijuana have been trying to do so for more than four decades, but have been thwarted by DEA delays and intransigence. This was the third formal rescheduling effort to be blocked by DEA decision making.

It’s clear that the Court is going to defer to the government whenever possible in this area, and as long as the DEA has some kind of internal appeal process (no matter how dishonestly self-serving and delay inducing), the Supremes won’t interfere.

I gave up expecting any kind of judicial integrity from the court following the opinion in Raich. And, after all, this is a court that has as a prominent member someone who still believes in the literal devil.

With the executive branch having too many reasons (politically and financially) to keep demonizing marijuana, and Congress still being too spineless to do anything, it seems clear that continuing the push for reform through the states and through the grass roots is still the best approach to achieving reform.

Note: Kevin and I had a little discussion about the marijuana schedule issue last night.

Kevin: US Supreme Court rejects the reclassification of marijuana – read why reclassification is a lame issue anyway: http://t.co/qtQnyOLQrR

Me: @KevinSabet Tell that to Peter McWilliams… oh, you can’t— he’s dead.

Kevin: @DrugWarRant I didn’t say marijuana has no medical properties. It’s a matter of how we deliver them, but then again you’d rather misconstrue

Me: @KevinSabet McWilliams died, in part, because he wasn’t allowed to say the words “medical marijuana” in fed court, hence Schedule matters.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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