Administrative Petition Challenging Pot’s Prohibitive Status Goes Before U.S. Court of Appeals

Washington, DC: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia refused to hear arguments Tuesday regarding whether Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials improperly rejected a 1995 rescheduling petition to reclassify marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“The court declined to hear discussion [regarding] the merits of our case and instead raised the procedural obstacle of whether petitioners had sufficient standing to bring their dispute with the DEA to the federal courts,” said former NORML Director Jon Gettman, who filed the 1995 petition. “The three-judge panel was skeptical that petitioners were sufficiently injured by the DEA’s denial of their rescheduling petition. … Petitioners await the court’s formal decision and are considering various options to address the merits of their case that marijuana lacks the high potential for abuse required for prohibited schedule I status.”

Gettman filed an administrative petition with the DEA to reschedule pot in 1995 arguing that marijuana does not have a high potential for abuse comparable to other schedule I substances. The DEA issued a final denial of Gettman’s petition on March 20, 2001.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751 or the law offices of Michael Kennedy at (212) 935-4500.