On Tuesday morning, a federal appeals court panel has rejected Americans for Safe Access’ (ASA) petition to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I substance.
This case involves a 10 year old petition from the ASA and other medical marijuana advocates who asked to have marijuana rescheduled. On June 21, 2011, the DEA rejected that request and subsequently ASA filed an appeal.
By keeping marijuana classified as a Schedule I substance, the court is asserting that the DEA decided to label marijuana a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use in a logical and reasonable way.
In the panel’s opinion, they wrote, “The question before the court is not whether marijuana could have some medical benefits,” but rather whether the DEA’s decision to reject reclassification last year was “arbitraty and capricious.” The court decided that the DEA’s decision survived review by that standard because there was “substantial evidence” to back up the DEA’s claims that they could not find studies citing an acceptable medical use for the drug.
Marijuana will now remain a Schedule I controlled substance, putting it on par with LSD, ecstasy, and heroin.