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Medical Marijuana Policy

ASA Responds To Federal Court Rejection Of Marijuana Rescheduling

schedule 1 rescheduling marijuana federal americans for safe accessCourt Cites No Significant Studies Issued In 13 years; ASA Vows Appeal

by Rick Thompson

On January 22nd a federal appeals court officially denied a petition to remove marijuana from a list of substances “with no accepted medical use.”

The petition had originally been filed in 2011 by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Patients Out Of Time and the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis (CRC) on behalf of several named litigants. The DEA’s 2011 decision to reject reclassification was the basis for the appeal. Despite ASA’s listing of over 200 peer-reviewed and published studies on the efficacy of marijuana, the federal appeals court agreed with the DEA and asserted these studies did not constitute “sufficient proof of medical efficacy itself.”

A 1999 study by the government-affiliated Institute of Medicine stated that “marijuana might have medical benefits,” per the federal Court. In the 13 years since the Report’s release, the DEA claims the scientific community has not met the standard of producing “adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy…” as required by their regulations. Marijuana is currently a Schedule 1 drug in America and any studies must be done with the approval of the DEA, an agency prone to denying the scientific community’s requests.

This assessment of a lack of medical proof, based on a report by the Department of Health and Human Services, forced the court to conclude, “something more than ‘peer-reviewed’ studies is required to satisfy DEA’s standard…” Eighteen states, including California, Michigan, Washington and Colorado, have approved the use of medical marijuana for their citizens despite the DEA’s objections.

Schedule 1 is a DEA classification reserved for substances with the highest risk of abuse and no demonstrable medical use. Activists have been trying to either remove marijuana from the controlled substances listing completely or to reclassify it as a less dangerous drug- a listing that would allow the kind of scientific studies the DEA has blocked for well over a decade. ASA says the “research approval process for marijuana… is unique, overly rigorous, and hinders meaningful therapeutic research.”

The 2011 petition filed with the DEA came after a nearly decade-long stalemate. The CRC petitioned the DEA in October 2002 to reschedule cannabis as a Schedule III, IV, or V drug; it took the DEA until July 8, 2011, to reject the petition- and that was only after a lawsuit forced them to make a decision. In their written denial the DEA states there is “no currently accepted medical use for marijuana in the United States…”.

In a written statement, ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford vowed to appeal the decision. “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,” he said in the ASA press release. That organization promises an “En Banc review by the full D.C. Circuit and, if necessary, the organization will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

This time the legal target will be a different “arbitrary and capricious” action- that of “using continually changing standards of “medical efficacy” in order to maintain marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance,” per their Release. ASA calls attention to a pending comprehensive public health bill and a national conference in Washington, D.C. in February as rallying points for further action.

ASA’s Press Release from January 22, 2013:

Other articles of interest:

Three Blind Mice

“When we the people ask the Obama Administration why they will not reschedule marijuana, they point to science. When we challenge the scientists, they point to the DEA as a restrictor of access for experimentation. When we confront the DEA, they point to policymakers in Washington and the Department of Justice.”- Rick Thompson

ASA Hearings in D.C.- An Update

“We remain hopeful that the science on medical marijuana will prevail over politics in order to overcome the decades-long effort by the federal government to keep marijuana out of the reach of millions of Americans who would benefit from its use.”- ASA

Federal Sentencing of Legally Compliant Medical Marijuana Providers Highlights Harmful Obama Policy

“A federal lawsuit to force the DEA to reclassify marijuana for medical use will be heard by the D.C. Circuit on October 16th. The case Americans for Safe Access v. DEA is bringing the science of medical marijuana into federal court for the first time in nearly 20 years. If marijuana were reclassified, the five people being sentenced in Michigan would be entitled to a medical defense, a right they are now denied.”- ASA

MMJ Advocates Invite Pat Kennedy to Better Understand Medical Marijuana

Superstring Theory Co-founder Asks Feds For Sound Science on Medical Marijuana

  • Chris

    Their ignorance is only eclipsed by their arrogance

  • this
    court must be looking up their asses for these reports that supposedly
    don’t exist. it is laughable and disgusting. fck them and their
    obvious thuggery in protecting the powers that be and the industries
    that be. luckily, they cannot stop a moving train… my defense for reclassification would simply be: ‘you, the government, own a patent on the medicinal cannabinoids’ (which is also illegal. you cannot patent a plant or own anything in it!). But you see what i mean? you own a patent for it’s medicinal qualities but it isn’t medicine. We are witnessing insanity in the face of a reality that speaks to the truth. humans are really just the scum under a rock. i hope mama earth shakes our asses off of her or we rid ourselves of ourselves with more stupid human tricks.

  • Cynthia Voelker

    Everyone of those that make these false claims will burn in hell. They all know the facts, just no one has the guts to face down the liars. It has always been easier to go with the flow and not stir up problems. The problems of course are the chickencrap politicians. I really get so discouraged with this country and the mixed up thinking of those that have a say in what is good for everybody. NOBODY knows anybody else when it comes to what is good for 1 but maybe not another. Legalize marijuana and let sane, law abiding citizens decide if it is a good med for themselves. Back off Washington DC and let people decide for themselves. BESIDES, the people of DC decided to let grownups make their own decisions by legalizing marijuana there.

  • the fed doest want the madness to end, thats obvious

  • Michael M

    Hi guys I live with IBS (irritable Bowel Syndrome) a case in which almost alll day everyday and even 1000x more so in the morning I have extreme nausea am constantly constipated with diarrhea only, haven’t had a solid in 2 years now., One hit of some of that gods gift to purple… I literally feel the nausea being pulled away almost it being pulled out of my body, next the bowels, the bloating, extreme pains, and uncomfortable shats go away within 2-3 hits of that gods gift to purple- Proof Marijuana has medicinal values, your argument is invalid US and A. Hope anyone with BAD ibs is reading this. USE MARIJUANA,

  • I wonder if anyone mentioned that the fed has a patent on it (since)? You have to have proof before you can get a patent, and they cite studies all the way back to the early 1900’s.

  • Every one of the judges that continues to propagate this war on its citizens should be arrested and tried for murder and all the other crimes that are committed against marijuana users in the name of an unjust classification and unjust laws. They are as guilty as the cops pulling the triggers. how do they even sleep at night? I’m guessing lots of legal alcohol and pills! Disgusting abuse of our rights.

  • I would love to agree with ASA but, I can’t. This petition was meant NOT to pass. The reason I say that is because ASA forgot to mention the fact that 18 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use and 2 state legalized it for recreational use. What more would the supreme court need to hear to accept that marijuana has medicinal values?? But that was not brought up by ASA. I know for a fact it wasn’t brought up because if it was, they would have rescheduled it. Why else would anyone say that there is no “no accepted medical use.” when there are 18 states in the union that say that there is in fact accepted medical use. This was an attempt by ASA to put the movement back a few steps just like Dick Lee of Oaksterdamn did by writing that monopolized Prop 19 bullshit that wasn’t even gonna pass anyway. All that it did was straighten fed’s policy on raiding marijuana businesses. Greed is not the answer.

    • our government is corrupt thats why……

      • you didn’t get my point, it has nothing to do with the government. If you know how the Supreme Court works, then you would know that 18 medical marijuana states would have made them reschedule it, but the court is not the corrupt one…it’s ASA that is corrupt.

  • Johnny Bloomington

    “Marijuana” Guilty till proven Innocent! DEA and puppets need proof that it’s a medicine. How bout the DEA proof it’s not a medicine! It goes both ways.

  • Tani Tabbal

    There are death statistics on cigarettes, coffee, aspirin and alcohol. All legal. Not one death has come from marijuana. Yet it is illegal. Free the weed. The people are smarter than you think in today’s world.

  • I only discovered two years ago that I have an adrenal adenoma, but I have lived for 20 years with this disease. It is a non cancerous adrenal tumor, that causes “Conn’s syndrome.” No blood pressure medications kept my blood pressure down, but cannabis has. The doctors did not believe me, until I found a study on pubmed that found that endocannabinoids (which marijuana mimics), lower levels of the hormone aldosterone, reducing blood pressure.

    A description of this study can be found here:

    I put this paper together to let everyone know about how beneficial medical marijuana can be. Without it, my blood pressure quickly rises to 200/130, and no blood pressure medications will bring it down. It literally saves my life everyday, and this study explains why.

    This study proves that the recent ruling that refused to remove Marijuana from Schedule I is bogus.

  • This is always so confusing to me. How can a government own a patent on the medical cannabis (patent 6630507) and also claim cannabis has no medicinal value? Atrocity.

  • 17 Nov 2011 Issue of the Federal Register, Vol. 76, Number 222. (sneakily posted during holidays so fewer people would notice).


    Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Development of Cannabinoid(s) and Cannabidiol(s) Based Therapeutics

    AGENCY: National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, HHS.

    ACTION: Notice.

    SUMMARY: This is notice, in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(c)(1) and 37

    CFR part 404.7(a)(1)(i), that the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of an exclusive patent license to practice the invention embodied in U.S.
    Patent 6,630,507, entitled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” and PCT Application Serial No. PCT/US99/08769 and foreign equivalents thereof, entitled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants

    and neuroprotectants” [HHS Ref. No. E-287-1997/2] to KannaLife

    Sciences Inc., which has offices in New York, U.S. This patent and its

    foreign counterparts have been assigned to the Government of the United States of America.

  • How come the appeal isn’t already filed?

  • Matthew Cunningham

    I think its time to Tar and Feather these DEA Scoundrels and toss them into the Potomac River

  • Tim

    Tis time to get the hell out of this crooked ass country.

  • 2buds

    “Court Cites No Significant Studies Issued In 13 years” – Don’t Marinol and Sativex count? They could not have been approved without class ll and class lll studies being conducted and approved by FDA. FDA would not approve without the ok from the DEA.

    I’m not so naive to think the court will countermand the dictates of the DEA just because of TRUTH and JUSTICE. This is political – making the DEA simply a political arm or tool of … of … of who or what?

  • Capt

    Just to make a point. Now that Washington and Colorado has done their part. The medical research community will be all over this, they can conduct the proper, controlled studies and much more, without having to deal with the DEA, DOJ, FDA, and the rest of the alphabet agencies. Scientific results will be forthcoming and an arsenal of medical results will be developed and proved. Then we will see what the Feds have to say. This has been going on for 70+ years, what’s a few more days matter. Also I am very sure that volunteers for any study will not be hard to find.

    “The line forms at the rear, around the corner and two blocks down.”
    The one catch is any volunteer must bring their own snacks.


  • We The People!

    All the FEDS and all the others should be held responsible for ALL the pain and suffering that We The People are going through! Denied the natural medicine that works for US! It’s like we are all their prisoners and they are standing over us with a whip saying “We know this marijuana will give you quality of life.. but your not getting it. We like to see you suffer while your paying our bills and paying our paychecks! ”
    They can see how much marijuana helps with so many health problems, but refuse to open.there eyes and ears! It’s so much easier to ignore what We the People are asking for! Well people it is time they wake the hell up! DO NOT GIVE IN TO THEM! KEEP WRITING TO THE LEGISLATION AND REPRESENTATIVES. SIGN ALL PETITIONS YOU CAN! DON’T GIVE UP! WE MUST MAKE THEM LISTEN!! WE THE PEOPLE WANT OUR FREEDOM TO USE MARIJUANA! THE NATURAL MEDICINE THAT THE GOOD.LORD GAVE US!!

  • Alphonzo R. Magnifico

    I feel that they refuse to reclassify and legalize marijuana because the government is in cahoots with the big corporations. In this case, the medical corporations that don’t want people making their own medicine. Marijuana helps, and in some cases has proved to cure, certain ailments. Including cancer. There’s thousands upon thousands of dollars that goes into cancer(treatments, doctors, medical equipment, specialists, etc.). Hundreds of different jobs and companies that exist strictly because there isn’t a cure for cancer. And when government officials need campaign or funding money, these corporations come in and foot the bill as long as these people comply with what the company wants. Even if what they want is foolish, cruel, a lie, etc. That’s what I think is going on.

  • I only discovered two years ago that I have an adrenal adenoma, but I have lived for 20 years with this disease. No blood pressure medications kept my blood pressure down, but cannabis has. The doctors did not believe me, until I found a study on pubmed that found that endocannabinoids (which marijuana mimics), lower levels of the hormone aldosterone, reducing blood pressure.

    A description of this study can be found here:

    I put this paper together to let everyone know about how beneficial medical marijuana can be. Without it, my blood pressure quickly rises to 200/130, and no blood pressure medications will bring it down. It literally saves my life everyday, and this study explains why.

  • Chris, South FL

    The ridiculous vicious cycle goes on. We can’t get the drug rescheduled, in order to do the research, THEN; we can’t show the research findings that could sway those considering rescheduling. As a nurse; I know how well the derivative medication (trade name: Marinol) works for patients with AIDS, TB & Cancer. These judges are well aware that rescheduling does not equal legalization. I believe that future opportunities between FDA & the drug corporations are at the heart of this ridiculous cycle. Always about the money, instead of human need. I was really optimistic about the chances for rescheduling, this time around; especially after another Pres Obama win. But, more of the same nonsense. Chris, South FL

  • rsteeb

    DEA has no accepted constitutional authority. Was the 18th amendment superfluous?