Federal Evidentiary Hearing Regarding The Constitutionality Of Cannabis Prohibition Concludes

Federal marijuana hearingUnited States District Judge Kimberly Mueller heard testimony over the course of the past five days in regard to the constitutionality of the federal statute designating marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. At issue in this evidentiary hearing is whether the scientific literature provides a rational basis for the federal classification of the plant as a substance with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use,” and a “lack of accepted safety” for use under medical supervision.

The federal government’s position was articulated in testimony provided by Dr. Bertha Madras, Professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School and the former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George W. Bush.

Expert witnesses for the defense who testified at the hearing were Dr. Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University in New York City, retired physician Phillip Denny, Dr. Greg Carter, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington, and marijuana cultivation expert and archivist Chris Conrad.

Defense counsel for the litigants were NORML Legal Committee members Zenia Gilg of San Francisco and Heather Burke of Nevada City, CA. I assisted attorneys Gilg and Burke as a consultant in the case prior to the hearing and as their principle investigator during the hearing — a point that the federal government’s attorneys insisted on making public on Wednesday by insisting the judge recognize that: “Defense counsels’ investigator is the Deputy Director of NORML; he’s not some ordinary investigator.”

Representatives from California NORML as well as writer Jeremy Daw of TheLeafOnline were in attendance during the hearing and provide day-by-day coverage of events on their respective websites and at the links below. Dr. Madras was cross-examined both Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.







A ruling by Judge Mueller is not anticipated until after the first of the year.

68 thoughts

  1. Ray, even if cannabis is completely taken off the CSA (descheduled) or just rescheduled, private industries will almost certainly still be able to test for drugs as a condition of employment. I hate to break it to you but the trucking industry will still test for thc if its legal because of the liability, even though I personally think it would make you more carefull, they and their insurance company will almost certainly disagree

  2. “Treat cannabis like alcohol” was last years rallying cry. This year it is:

    Until we treat cannabis like tomatoes people will still get killed over it. Eric Garner.

    Treat cannabis like tomatoes.

  3. Lots of “long haul” truckers will be out of work in 20 years minimum because self-driving rigs have already been tested successfully.
    They will run cross-country driverless to
    hubs where they will either be unloaded or taken over by drivers for short haul deliveries.
    That’s a fact, Jack!

  4. Our concern should be that the feds stop the incarceration of non-violent first time offenders with their draconian mandatory minimums. Possession, cultivation, whatever!

  5. cannabis does NOT belong in schedule II at all by the evidence given.in my opinion, this schedule does not accommodate cannabis at all. the dea has conveniently not left a spot for it anywhere else. also, I believe any rescheduling of cannabis will not change ANY drug testing as insurance companies have corporate by the balls to keep premiums low. I can see right now that as, I must work for a living that, I will die never being able to enjoy the peaceful, comforting, mind healing benefits of cannabis as, my time is running out. all that kept me happy were the simple things in life that included a little herb……peace to you all and thanks to those that have gotten us this far.

  6. This is a total stage production.

    Title 21 – Section 811 outlines that no drug can be remanded to a lower schedule without the authorization and review of The United Nations.

    This is because of Article VI of the Constitution which states that foreign treaties are the law of the land. The United Nations dictates drug schedules and we are beholden to it.

    Title 21 – Section 811 – Part D – Paragraph (1)
    ” If control is required by United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on October 27, 1970, the Attorney General shall issue an order controlling such drug under the schedule he deems most appropriate to carry out such obligations, without regard to the findings”

    Paragraph (5) ” Nothing in the amendments made by the Psychotropic Substances Act of 1978 or the regulations or orders promulgated thereunder shall be construed to preclude requests by the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Attorney General through the Secretary of State, pursuant to article 2 or other applicable provisions of the Convention, for review of scheduling decisions under such Convention, based on new or additional information. ”

    No Judge, federal or otherwise, is able to overturn or downgrade the place of Cannabis on the Drug Schedules. It lies far outside their purview.

    This case is a farce and that will be seen when the judge comes back with a flat denial.

  7. Lockedout- you make an interesting point. Perhaps the insurance industry is the key. Sell them on the savings in terms of cost effectiveness of cannabis vs designer drugs and the huge savings no longer providing services for the treatment of pill addiction. Marijuana is really the nurse practitioner of pharmaceuticals. Lower everyone’s medical costs from the health impact of opiates for chronic pain and there’s a lot of money behind change. In twenty years you’ll have to get a prior authorization explaining why your condition can’t be treated with American cannabis versus opiates from Afghanistan.

  8. Some people just take to far or just want to be ridiculous. No one say’s don’t test for THC. Rather, regulate it like alcohol or tobacco. The gov’t get’s more money from the taxes on the sale of marijuana, less spending because we’re not incarcerating people who don’t really desire it and more people will be able to work at better jobs. And, if other countries want to keep it illegal or follow the U.S. that’s there problem. As far as truck being self driven or automated. Well, everything will be ran by machine or computers someday and everyone will be out of a job, JUST NOT TODAY.

  9. I suppose, with the inundation of new research and investigation on this, there are still some issues, which may have been or are purposely not yet being addressed.

    How are we not seeing any testing or otherwise criminal trials for those who are on other Schedule 1 pharmaceuticals?

    I contend that there is a major discrimination of such happening and as far, and as much as I have researched; and being a former legal user of medicinal cannabis, I fail to see or understand other than discriminating against cannabis while allowing others to at this point and purpose, use other schedule 1 pharmaceuticals while operating cars, trucks, and other modes of operation.

    I truly feel this is a constitutionality issue, which will at least put other schedule 1 pharmaceuticals on such a list of testable and illegalities, or bring more of this to its logical conclusion and resolution.

    I do find it interesting and would like to have some email addresses to send such thoughts to.


    Please do not sale or send my email to non-articles of this topic.

  10. Another issue is that of funds.

    While other banking industries cannot allow for such funds to be placed in the banking system, I do find interesting the fact that both state and federal tax systems do count the taxation of what is paid into the tax base.

    I suppose and admit, I am a little uneducated about such things, but I am learning more every day.

    The point being, all the revenue we are hearing about is the counted tax revenue. We are hearing nothing about outside revenue being made.

    We are also not hearing what is or how a person who makes such money is able to keep it all safe and otherwise as non-counted revenue.

    And, while this cannabis revenue is not even close to being accurate, we do hear about all the funds being made by the pharmaceutical companies, who pay off legislative bodies and lobbyists.

  11. Greg, I think you’re making my point for me. Regulate and we’ll get more accurate count of revenues. No one needs to go to jail or spend tax payers money trying to prosecute marijuana users for smoking a joint. People won’t be in jail that don’t really don’t deserve it. More people will be able to work, more money being spent and money being circulated in the U.S. Economy. It’s a law that shouldn’t been law in the first place. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Just think of why and when this came into law. Remember, alcohol was against the law at one time.

  12. If anyone really want to know more about marijuana and its advantages, look up Dr. Sanja Gupta’s videos on YouTube and decide from that. One cannibus madness is one of his doc.

  13. HB 2165 has been referred to Criminal Jurisprudence Committee…

    Now we must call the Reps. on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and ask for a hearing on HB2165.

    This is our chance at legalization and to start a trend of repeal. The current Texas Legislative Session ENDS JUNE 1ST….. Texas law makers will not meet again till Jan 2017.


    Rep. Herrero, Abel – District 34 – (512) 463-0462

    Rep. Moody, Joe – District 78 – (512) 463-0728

    Rep. Canales, Terry – District 40 – (512) 463-0426

    Rep. Hunter, Todd – District 32 – (512) 463-0672

    Rep. Leach, Jeff – District 67 – (512) 463-0544

    Rep. Simpson, David – District 7 – (512) 463-0750 (filed HB 2165) THANK HIM!

    Rep. Shaheen, Matt – District 66 – (512) 463-0594

    Bombard (respectfully) all of these guys with calls, we must get this bill a hearing!

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