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Federal Appeals Court Officially Denies Petition To Reschedule Cannabis From Schedule 1

A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 against the rescheduling of Cannabis and officially denied a petition to remove marijuana from a list of substances “with no accepted medical use.”

The federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday (Jan 22, 2013) that the petitioners had not provided enough evidence to prove that the DEA’s scheduling of marijuana as a Schedule I was, “arbitrary and capricious.” In other words, the court held that marijuana is a dangerous drug that has no accepted medical uses, and has never been studied in a well-controlled study proving medical efficacy. Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, a Schedule I drug is one that has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and no accepted level of safety for use under medical supervision.

Court Votes 2-1 to NOT Reschedule Cannabis

Senior Circuit Judge Edwards wrote the courts decision that states,“The petition asks the DEA to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III, IV, or V drug, which under terms of the CSA, requires a ‘currently accepted medical use.’ The DEA’s regulations, which we approved in Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics v. DEA, define ‘currently accepted medical use’ to require adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy. We defer to the agency’s interpretation of these regulations and find that substantial evidence supports its determination that such studies do not exist.”

Discussion about the ruling was a vicious circle with the courts hiding behind policies of the DEA, while the DEA referred all discussion on the ruling to the Department of Justice (who did not respond to an email of questions by press time according to Alternet).

Judge Edwards was quoted stating, “We will not disturb the decision of an agency that has ‘examined the relevant data and articulated a satisfactory explanation for its action including a rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.’” It is as if they are scared to even challenge the DEA’s interpretation of its regulation. While we understand that is not in the Courts congressional responsibility, it however IS their responsibility to verify that the DEA hasn’t taken an illogical view of the evidence in favor of cannabis or in other words, ignore common sense.

The DEA and the “Five-Prong Test”

When the DEA determines if a drug is considered ‘medical’ they use what is known as the ‘Five-Prong Test’. A drug is classified based on how many of the five qualifications it meets. The criterion include:

  1. Known and reproducible drug chemistry
  2. Adequate safety studies
  3. Adequate and well-controlled medical studies demonstrating efficacy
  4. Acceptance of the drug by qualified experts
  5. Widely available scientific evidence

The process is essentially designed to ensure that cannabis will never meet the qualifications. The plant does not have a “known and reproducible” chemistry because it is made up of nearly 500 different compounds, some of which are unique to cannabis. They claimed that the peer-reviewed studies that have been conducted are too small to prove anything, and they would have lacked the necessary Phase II and Phase III clinical trials that are required for a drug to be approved. However, no marijuana study has ever gotten past Phase I of the three-phased process. This is completely ridiculous considering it is pretty much a free-for-all when it comes to other herbal supplements. According to Alternet, the new-drug procedures cost around $180 million for three-phase trials, which would be a waste of money for large pharmaceutical companies considering they wouldn’t be able to patent it.

Judge Edwards claimed the court only needed to focus on the fact that cannabis does not have ‘adequate and well-controlled studies’ to refute the advocates. He argued that the DEA requires studies that are more scientifically rigorous than the peer-reviewed studies suggesting marijuana’s medical efficacy that were provided by petitioners…

Scientists Continually Denied Government-Grown Cannabis Unless It Proves Something Negative

The excuse that there are no clinical studies on cannabis is getting extremely old and unjust. How much longer is the DEA and the rest of federal Government going to be saying that? This is a typical Catch-22. You see, the scientists are refused the government-grown cannabis by the HHSD, that way the “adequate and well-controlled” studies will be impossible to conduct. The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is actually on record stating that its policy is to reject all medical marijuana research that doesn’t reflect negatively on Cannabis. “As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use,” a NIDA spokeswomen commented when asked if they fund any research into the medical benefits of cannabis. When the DEA was questioned about denying marijuana research, they were quick to point fingers at NIDA and claim they were merely following protocol.

Also, one question to ask yourself: Why is it harder for these clinical studies to obtain marijuana than it is hard drugs like methamphetamine, LSD, cocaine, and heroine? While researchers are only permitted to obtain government-grown marijuana from one supplier, others investigating hard drugs may use a number of suppliers. There are even whole organizations that exist to fund, encourage, and coordinate the research into the medical benefits of LSD and other psychedelics.

Taking This To The U.S. Supreme Court

This year the ASA will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that, “The federal government has sought and obtained a patent for the medical use of cannabinoids; yet, it claims in these proceedings that marijuana has no medical use.”

Their argument will accuse the Obama Administration of acting unreasonably by continuing to fix the standards of what constitutes “medical efficacy” in order to maintain marijuana a Schedule I drug. In the past the, Stage II and III clinical trials were never necessary, and they have argued that substances with more than 200 peer-reviewed studies meet the standard of efficacy.

“To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise.” Joe Elford, ASA

Elford states, “It is only by failing to apply the appropriate standards and make the required comparisons that the federal government could conclude that marijuana is as harmful as heroin and PCP, and even more harmful than methamphetamine, cocaine and opium, and should remain in the CSA’s most restrictive Schedule I…It does not require an expert in marijuana to recognize, although there are many of them, such obvious untruths.”

What’s even more shocking is that the facts are right in front of us all. Literally with a bit of digging online, every one of us can uncover the lies we have been spoonfed for far too long. It’s time to speak up as a nation and share the facts. This story was not on the national news last night, despite it being a huge healthcare issue for everybody in the United States. Instead, last night’s mainstream media was filled with news headlines of Beyonce lip-syncing and a footballers fake girlfriend hoax. Are you kidding me? It is time to wake up, America.


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