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Marijuana (still) has no medicinal value, says federal appeals court

Most sane, rational people understand that the cannabis plant has medical properties beneficial to patients who suffer from severe pain, chronic nausea and a number of other conditions. And then you've got the federal government, which has again refused to accept marijuana's medicinal properties.

On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled on a petition by Americans for Safe Access to reschedule marijuana on the roster of substances maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA currently maintains that cannabis is a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no therapeutic value -- and it'll stay that way for now. In a two-to-one vote, the court determined that there's not enough evidence to support marijuana's medical benefits.

According to the ruling, cannabis should remain more dangerous (and less medically beneficial) than cocaine. The court cited a lack of studies and sided with the government, which requires that Stage II and Stage III clinical trials are conducted.

Of course, for such studies to take place, the government would have to allow them -- something that would pretty much require the feds to re-classify marijuana (which they aren't doing, because there isn't enough evidence to do so). Never mind that the government owns the patent on several cannabinoids because of their potential medical properties. That clearly isn't enough evidence for the judges, either.

"There was no available evidence of adequate, well-controlled studies demonstrating marijuana's safety and effectiveness as a medicine and no consensus among experts as to these issues," the circuit judge wrote in the ruling. "The enactment of state laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes did not constitute the required science-based evidence."

joe_elford.jpg.jpeg
Joe Elford.
Joe Elford, chief attorney for Americans For Safe Access, said the ruling blatantly ignores reality. "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," Elford said in a press release. "The Court has unfortunately agreed with the Obama Administration's unreasonably raised bar on what qualifies as an 'adequate and well-controlled' study, thereby continuing their game of 'Gotcha.'"

Still, Americans for Safe Access sees a silver lining to the ruling. The court agreed that the petitioners had a right to bring the case before the federal government -- and the ASA plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

Proponents say that rescheduling cannabis would allow a greater number of people to access the drug, as well as allow for much needed research, specifically into the anti-carcinogenic properties of the plant.

Others have argued that rescheduling would bring on new rules and regulations that would take cannabis away from growers and patients and put it into the hands of Big Pharma. But that's not happening -- at least not yet.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana rule-breaking after Amendment 64 not a problem at resorts, says ski industry group" and "Marijuana: Council's Amendment 64 Committee faces tough questions, has few answers."

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65 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I wonder why my Doc recommends it's use via a vaporizer ?

Karen Trujillo
Karen Trujillo

Never did like "bong hits". Can't speak for the pain of cancer patients & so many others w/ regard to healthcare (including AIDS patients in hospice care). Can say I witnessed that "pain"!!!!! Whatever works to HELP it! By the way, personnally, I like it in teeny tiny hits (pipe 1 hit), once every few mos. I don't purchase it & if I happen to have it on hand from someone, I find it helps balance my being at certain times, and aides in spiritual connections that have been forgotten. I tried it, what feels like ions ago, w/ that in mind, anyway. Also witnessed the abuse of it by some friends who used it daily, in large amts. I believe that having had this social experience, I can say, again, as witness, to how my friends re-acted this way, that too much of it had negative effects, both mentally & physically. w/ regard to "medicinal purposes" for acute pain, that may be a different point to consider

Scott R. Shriver
Scott R. Shriver

Hmm, um I think, that, given the uhhh, well, hmm. What was the question?

Den420ver
Den420ver

This just proves how corrupt the US government is and who's interests they are truly looking out for. It's We the People. Not We the Corporations.

Charles Erle
Charles Erle

Of course because the feds get money from pharmacies and the people who created the pills, its one of the biggest markets, you can tell any one oh your sick take this special pill and it will cure you, You know where im getting...

Mike Milos
Mike Milos

I agree with the sentiment here, but if you read the opinion the court wasn't arguing about the scheduling classification of marijuana. It seems the argument was whether or not the DEA was following protocol in the current classification of marijuana...... That being said WHY does the DEA get to make their own laws and rules?

Pat Tong
Pat Tong

Judges know chemistry and medicine?

Dave Adams
Dave Adams

Some people live in the dark ages!

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Wonder what this means, because now that medical marijuana is not medical and just another drug, what will this do A64?

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson

I say those close minded fucks need to realize what century is!!! If you are really closed minded enough to think herb has no medicinal value you should go visit some mmj cancer patients and ask them, I have witnessed it!!! What ever the Feds do or dont do isn't gonna change shit!! You know what the most expensive longest lasting unsuccessful war i. American history is ... your failed war on drugs!!! cHey Feds a closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose. I think all you politicians should start blazing shit up everyday! and maybe if you arent pass the point of no return you might find your own open mind. Oh and not to mention if you legalized it nationally maybe you could start paying some of the national deficit off which bush acquired with his bold face lie of a war. So don't even tell me the taxes you would get with national legalization wouldn't get your 2" peckers hard! Your pushing your luck for a national revolution buttholes. I think at this point all politic figures should get paid $10 a hr until they figure this fiscal cliff bull shit out!! America is sick of your fucking wasteful spending, and you better figure that shit out or your going to be wearing your asses as hats when the shit hits the fan. So pretty please with fuckin sugar on top, quit taking $50000 vacations and fuckin get to work. You are the reason I have to take cancer causing anxiety meds oh wait!!! Weed cures that too. Shove it Feds! Get your facts right and quit pushing prescription pills down the publics throat.

kadargo
kadargo

Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are all drugs and all have no medical value and are all prone to cause addiction...

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

To expect reason from bias is ludicrous. Face it folks, we have a corrupt judicial system and such deserves no respect.

Katie Meier
Katie Meier

I say, after I got diagnosed with cancer, I woke up to our government and do not trust what they say, and this is another example. Our government is whats sick.

Peter Navarro
Peter Navarro

I say,as a combat vet w/ PTSD, it helps with my anxiety. Oh, I don't suffer from glaucoma either LOL

Teri Metallo
Teri Metallo

Hog wash! I am ALIVE because of it... I AM LIVING PROOF. Stick that in your Federal freaking pipe & smoke it.

Rob Strong Paw Ruby
Rob Strong Paw Ruby

I'm glad in 20 years or less most those judges will be dead and a more rational generation will begin to start taking office

Tedd Langowski
Tedd Langowski

As a teenager in middle school how easy it is to get marijuana without any need of a medical note.

Natasha Schwertley
Natasha Schwertley

The Fed govt filed a patent on those medical properties. Even they disagree with the court.

Nevada Lee Furrow
Nevada Lee Furrow

And the medical value of cigarettes & alchohol.... oh ya I get it now... they send you to the hospital = $$$$

Stuart McMillin
Stuart McMillin

I say our courts and political leaders are unabashedly cradling big pharma's nuts.

Matt Thyer
Matt Thyer

Ask a court, great idea. Like asking a petroleum executive if climate change is real. Great idea

Jean Mott
Jean Mott

It does not matter what they say, Those who have used for medicinal purposes know the truth. Someone can say RED IS blue but if you paint a room with with a can of blue paint no amount of calling the room will make the room red.

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

...that said, how would an appeals court know if it has never even been allowed to be tested?

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

...oh...and it was flat...

Anson Fogel
Anson Fogel

Most sane, rational people once understood that black people were inferior and many still think the world was created in 7 days. The fact that most people believe something has little bearing on truth or scientific fact.

rsteeb
rsteeb

@Scott R. Shriver Have another beer.

rsteeb
rsteeb

@Mike MilosObscene, eh?  

What "large, well-controlled studies" were performed to qualify tobacco as legal?  

What "large, well-controlled studies" led to the REMOVAL of Cannabis from the United States Pharmacopoeia in the 1930's?

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@kadargo Hard to argue with that logic, kadargo. Thanks for posting.

rsteeb
rsteeb

@kadargo  Too bad the black-robed clowns can't see the "Equal Protection Clause" because the "Commerce Clause" is so hyper-inflated and in the way.

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