US Supreme Court Refuses To Review DEA’s Denial Of Petition That Sought To Reclassify Cannabis

United States Supreme Court yesterday declined to review a lower court ruling upholding the federal government’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule I prohibited substance that lacks medical utility or adequate safety.

In January, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Drug Enforcement Administration had acted properly when it rejected an administrative petition calling for a scientific review of marijuana’s safety and therapeutic efficacy. Petitioners had requested a hearing to determine whether existing science contradicts the federal categorization of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance that possesses “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.” The DC Court of Appeals affirmed the DEA’s position that insufficient clinical studies exist to warrant a judicial review of cannabis’ federally prohibited status. On Monday, the US Supreme Court denied an appeal to review that decision, rejecting petitioners’ argument that adequate peer-reviewed studies already exist to sufficiently contradict the plant’s placement in Schedule I – the same classification as heroin and PCP.

The DEA’s stance willfully ignores volumes of scientific studies. For example, a 2012 review of FDA-approved clinical trials assessing the safety and therapeutic efficacy of cannabis, published in The Open Neurology Journal, concluded: “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification [of marijuana] is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

The case is Americans for Safe Access et al. v. Drug Enforcement Administration, case number 13-84, in the United State’s Supreme Court.

118 thoughts

  1. Actually @bongstar420 Cannabis is a PLANT, It is not really a “drug” formulated and/or refined with chemical/synthetic substances (other than fertilizers used the same as any other plant/food crop, unless grown organic). So it Does NOT compare AT ALL with any other “drug” it is classified with or otherwise.

  2. I just don’t understand these laws. I was recently charged with growing over 100 plants in NC. I’m was looking at a plea bargain of 12 months under state law now I’m looking at over ten years just because I had a hunting rifle my dad gave me when I was a kid. Which wasn’t loaded or had any bullets for. My dogs actually caught them in the bushes trespassing and they then searched my house with no warrant. I was incarcerated at 3:00 the search warrant was issued at 8:00. When they came to endite me federally they came back guns drawn threw me to the ground and treated me like I had just robbed a bank (I had just woke up). Then the same DEA officer called my dog to him an perseaded to try to hit him over the head with a baton. When I began to cus him out I told him I knew he was the asshole I had caught trespassing he laughed in my face and said try to prove that in court. Then they began to take everything I had ever owned ( truck, motorcycle, money for the second time from a legal job, dressers, radio, tables, even my bed). I’ve never done anything wrong other than having a DUI for being .01 over the legal limit. If this is federal justice then there is something wrong!!! I have no property left to sell for a lawyer and they took all my money. I am stuck with an appointed attorney who thinks what they did was right. Goodbye freedom goodbye family goodbye friends

  3. I just don’t understand these laws. I was recently charged with growing over 100 plants in NC. I’m was looking at a plea bargain of 12 months under state law now I’m looking at over ten years just because I had a hunting rifle my dad gave me when I was a kid. Which wasn’t loaded or had any bullets for. My dogs actually caught them in the bushes trespassing and they then searched my house with no warrant. I was incarcerated at 3:00 the search warrant was issued at 8:00. When they came to endite me federally they came back guns drawn threw me to the ground and treated me like I had just robbed a bank (I had just woke up). Then the same DEA officer called my dog to him an perseaded to try to hit him over the head with a baton. When I began to cus him out I told him I knew he was the asshole I had caught trespassing he laughed in my face and said try to prove that in court. Then they began to take everything I had ever owned ( truck, motorcycle, money for the second time from a legal job, dressers, radio, tables, even my bed). I’ve never done anything wrong other than having a DUI for being .01 over the legal limit. If this is federal justice then there is something wrong!!! I have no property left to sell for a lawyer and they took all my money. I am stuck with an appointed attorney who thinks what they did was right. Goodbye freedom goodbye family goodbye friends….

  4. Not the first time blind ignorance has called the shots. Human sacrifice , witch hunts , slavery , nazi germany. The list is endless .

  5. My name is Jon Nardelli No spell check. I am the author of Health Food or Heroin. the main character Chucky Deangelo gets involved with a woman who is trying to get off heroin. when he meets her hes pretty much getting stonned on pot every day. he has no idea that shes struggling with heroin a horrible drug. he thinks shes a pot head like himself and pretty much right away they start smoking pot together. h or H is set in the dear departed late 1970s when a nickle bag of pot contained five joints. but to make the grass last Chuckie usually used his little one dollar pot pipe with the little screen in the pipe. chuckie could make that nickle last for almost a week. the first time Chuckie and Carmella got stoned together was on a bench in a wooded area off a street leading from Scarsdale to White plains. Carmella was a shade under five feet . Chuckie tall and slim and handsome was almost six feet. when they were standing and talking Chuckie would spread his legs wide so that they would be pretty much at eye level. the fact that C and c had sto feel like they were criminals because they loved getting high on marijuana together is a discrase. Its high time this country wakes up and decriminalizes pot. Yours Jon nardelli

  6. Y’know, fairybird,
    I just don’t think that was enough references. I mean, just what kind of a point are you trying to prove here? REALLY.

  7. When people say “cannabis should be changed from schedule 1 or rescheduled,” sadly, they are speaking around the real problem, the drug schedule fraud invented by Nixon/Mitchell, totally arbitrary and non-scientific.

    Worse, the scheduling system is implicitly given credibility (by appeal to authority, of the schedules) when people for legalization refer to a need for “rescheduling” of cannabis, aren’t they giving away a little legitimacy, unintentionally, to a what is not a system of drug safety but a list of punishments by severity, within an *imaginary BS* framework with arbitrary definitions (ambiguous law talk).

    “Accepted medical use” is vague to a fault. Accepted by whom? In a third man scenario, supposedly some arbiter will step in and finally rule on acceptance or not of cannabis? ‘Accepted’ may as well be replaced with ‘approved.’ And this will happen…conveniently never….so the states will need to do it.

    “Potential for abuse” is vague too. People can abuse anything. Joe Rogan suggested that one can abuse a box of doughnuts, one can jab a fork in their eye, sniff solvents, a zillion things one can do to earn a Darwin award, none of them involving (draconian) punishments for harming oneself. Potential for abuse should have strict, quantifiable figures to back it up. Tobacco cigarettes, supposedly ~10 times more addictive than heroin, is not even scheduled. Hmm. I’d say people who pick up the tobacco subscription continue to smoke tobacco daily, habitually, which is abuse since it’s so deadly, but the death is slow. And profitable.

    No more schedule nonsense. Re-evaluate the drug schedules (SCOTUS, looking at you), and just put it to rest, chalked off as intellectual dishonesty to serve the agendas of invisible money powers. Nullify then move on.

  8. My friend has enemy for what reason he done nothing to him. He called over and over again for years. He doesn’t own or is on the property but he called there may be crime on that hill. They entered and trespassed on the property. Chris the informant get to keep his identity secrete. Also he got worse charges then who he calling on but he get them dropped. He got illega shit in his house and guess what there secrete informant now going to call the cops and get his house searched. Karmas is real.

  9. “I’d say people who pick up the tobacco subscription continue to smoke tobacco daily, habitually, which is abuse since it’s so deadly, but the death is slow. And profitable.”

    I reread that and realized the tone sounded like blaming people for things they probably regret but just entered their lives, through commercial socialization.

    Not meaning to sound grim, Dr. Melamede at the University of CO, Colorado Springs found that people who smoke cannabis have lower rates of lung cancer than people who smoke nothing at all. This points to the anti-tumor property attributed to cannabis, one of many therapeutic benefits the plant affords).

    I used to smoke tobacco and I know the commercial products are tobacco leaves containing chemicals like accelerates to make them burn faster (so you have to buy more maybe), arsenic, lead 210(radioactive), nitrites, nitrates, and hundreds more. This is what they add intentionally to the shredded/ground tobacco leaves. Operative word is “intentionally.”

    The definition of “tobacco” is indeed changed into “chemically treated tobacco.” Eh, minor detail. It seems unquestioned these days that they add bad things, but hey even the producers don’t go to prison for [alleged] intentional harm.

    Those toxins would kill much quicker in larger dosages and the harm would be obvious. The smaller dosages are still toxic even iillness or death ensues immediately. Isn’t that wrong? Yes people buy them, but the companies market “tobacco” not “chemically coated tobacco.”

    “Tobacco does not cause cancer” nevertheless there is an undeniable correlation between lung cancer and COPD, and tobacco use. Correlation, not “causation, is sufficient evidence.

    Cannabis is often represented symbolically as a leaf, very distinguishable yet, people use the trichome rich unpollinated flowers, and toss the sun leaves. For cannabis, forget the adulterants, or additives at all, the idea is just stupid, a waste of good cannabis medicine.

    No contaminants, adulterants, preservatives, accelerants, radioactive isotopes, are added to cannabis. The very thought is equal to “ruining perfectly good cannabis.” And there is no correlation between lung cancer and cannabis use.

    One kills you slowly and the effect is enhanced with toxins they add for that purpose, to keep people smoking. Not quickly, but over many years of paying those sorts. It is legal to those over 18.

    The other is medicine, relatively harmless as can be, according to the DEA (Francis Young spoke for all of them). But it could lead to prison, stigmatization, losing everything, even being killed.

    The number of cigarette images or references in Disney movies numbers in the hundreds, maybe thousands? More than 5 is reckless, for Disney, rated G, portraying tobacco drugs meant specifically for a young impressionable age group.

    Lucas Arts sold to Disney? Star Wars will now include tobacco references, great.

  10. This makes me so mad, the people want it legalized, it going to happen, the fed have now ended the war on drugs after 75 years. if i could like them to resign. not that supreme court hasn’t made some crazy ruling before. They are not doctors and who are they protecting. It doesnt matter DEA has been told the war is over and will not go after states that follow their restrictions of legalition. Who the fuck does the suprme court think their job. And what kind refussal is that, Dont do studies and keep it illegal. Why would Supreme court have say about in anyways. What their jurisdiction. there are not medical doctors their field is law. Does it even matter what they say. now we have get this PA governor out and good knows PA senats is now going after full legalizatoin not just medical.

  11. I know for a fact that marijuana is medically necessary. Neurosurgeon, Sanjay Gupta has proven it works several times. Look it up, read medical studies, educate yourselves, pull your heads out of your tight asses and listen to the people. It’s as necessary as an inhaler would be for an asthmatic or insulin for a diabetic. It’s been proven to cure cancer, stop seizures, reduce pain, increase appetite for cancer and HIV patients, make life worth living for suicidal patients, stop nausea, stop panic attacks, and the list goes on and on. It’s already medically acceptable in some states but not others. This is hypocritical and asinine. End the war on health!

  12. The DEA will find it harder and harder as they fight for self preservation but we know their resources are huge. They have been disorientated by the Court rejecting the schedule 1 claim so they are going to find containing medical cannabis hard. State police do not want to.

    But what we need is something that will make them the bad guys in more and more peoples eyes.

    And I found it – This is the whole article from Haretz one of Israels biggest English media outlets

    Smoking marijuana isn’t a crime

    The old-fashioned myth, that using cannabis leads to hard drugs and a life of crime, has long since been debunked by experts.

    Israel Police spends some NIS 690 million ($190 million) annually in its efforts to enforce laws related to cannabis. Most of the criminal cases involve use and possession, while only a minority ? 16 percent ? are related to trafficking. This data was presented in the introduction to a bill submitted by MK Tamar Zandberg, which determines that cannabis users will not be deemed criminals and draws a legal distinction between possession and use of small amounts, and trafficking and possession of large amounts of cannabis.

    One can hardly find a more superfluous waste of energy than police hunting down consumers of light drugs. The use of cannabis is considered in many circles, especially among the younger generations, as a legitimate leisure activity, comparable to the legal consumption of alcohol. In most cases, consuming cannabis has absolutely nothing to do with criminal activity. Haim Messing, formerly the director general of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, said recently that cannabis users who possess the drug for personal use do not cause any damage to society and should be free to do with their leisure time as they wish.

    Zandberg’s bill is straightforward, dealing with those who smoke cannabis for their pleasure, and not with the effort to legalize it for medical use, which demands separate debate and legislation. The Meretz MK focuses on individual rights and the irrelevancy of existing legislation in regard to reality. In this reality, which is moralistically denied by some MKs, leading them to be caught in a web of lies, smoking light drugs is common and normative, and the old-fashioned myths that smoking marijuana leads to crime or to the use of hard drugs have long since been debunked.

    One can hope that the confession of 11 MKs to using cannabis, as well as Zandberg’s bill, will be the opening chapter leading to transparency in the Knesset and government policies, and that Israel will be added to the list of countries who believe in non-criminalization of those who possess cannabis for personal use ? a list which includes Germany, The Netherlands, Croatia, Canada, Portugal and Belgium. Israeli lawmakers now have a chance to prove that they are truly respectful of individual rights, and that they are not divorced from the realities of Israeli society.

    But also, from a precious article – The Health Ministry is expected to announce a bill to regulate the independent use of cannabis (also known as marijuana) in Israel in the coming weeks.

    Israeli legislators have repeatedly failed to pass bills that would legalize the drug in Israel. Some of the attempts were aimed at legalizing the drug for medicinal use, while others proposed the legalization for independent use. The Health Ministry bill says it is planning a “far-reaching” bill aimed at medicinal use of the drug.

    The bills are being put up younger members of the Likud Party – the hard right! We can them point to the wisdom of Israel, our greatest ally, what’s the dea going say if reform ills get passed in Israel? That they are just fringe hippie commie stoners?

    We all know Jewish doctors are the smartest – right?

  13. Thats nice and everything, condel, but it only addresses part of the problem, doesn’t it. If possessing and using cannabis is not a crime, then how are people supposed to get it if trafficking and selling it is illegal? It doesn’t make any sense to decriminalize/legalize a substance if there is no way for a person to get the substance by legal means. A person who sells/trafficks cannabis is no more criminal than a person who uses it. They are just trying to meet a demand for a product that people want, while making some money for their troubles. Nothing wrong with that, at all.

  14. There is one group of people that could single-handedly end this stupid and senseless federal prohibition on marijuana overnight, and that group of people are called the US Congress. Remember, they make the laws. So if Congress were to repeal the federal laws banning marijuana, then the Executive Branch, including law enforcement agencies, would have absolutely no choice but to cease their war on the American people for using a what is a rather harmless and even beneficial plant. So remember to ask your Congressional representatives exactly where there they stand on this question and vote accordingly the next time you go to the polls.

  15. I will be soon convicted of marijuana delivery and serve up to two years in a state correctional facility. The time is not what bothers me it is that my civil liberties will be removed and i will be labeled as a felon and a criminal. I like most convicted marijuana offenders have no other crimes on their record. I am not a thief, a killer, nor did i have any involvement with drugs that cause real problems in our society. As a person who has sponsored and donated to Norml for years I would like to see Norml allocate some of its time and resources towards helping non violent marijuana offenders regain their civil liberties by fighting our government that is out of control. Help non violent marijuana offenders to restore their rights possibly amnesty. I know this will be an extremely hard fight to win and a long uphill battle but the people need a voice. just because someone has been convicted of a marijuana felony they should not be kept from getting a decent job to support their family. Gun rights is another issue to be addressed along with that, for the non violent individual convicted of a marijuana felony

  16. In regard to Neil Brisbin. You did the crime; now due the the time. Don’t act like weren’t aware that selling pot is illegal. You were fully aware of the laws before you choose to sell/ manufacture your pot. Try being a man for once and quit complaining about how it’s everyone’s fault but yours. You cost yourself your civil liberties. Take some responsibility and be a man. Maybe this will turn you into a better person. I have to listen to people like you all the time.

  17. ^^^^^^Mike Smith you sound like a real winner…. Everyone makes mistakes. I hope someday someone close to you makes a mistakes, goes to jail and see how forgiving the court system is on your family!

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