facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Court won't order pot reclassification

Jan. 23, 2013 at 7:57 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A U.S. appeals court refused to order a change to the U.S. government's drug classification that lists marijuana as dangerous and with no accepted medical use.

Because of Tuesday's decision, marijuana will remain classified as a drug as dangerous as heroin even though 20 states and the District of Columbia approved its use for medical purposes, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Writing for the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Judge Harry Edwards said the judges don't dispute that "marijuana could have some medical benefits," but were unwilling to overrule the Drug Enforcement Administration because they haven't seen "well-controlled studies" establishing the marijuana's medical worth.

The opinion said the judges must defer to the judgment of federal health experts who said more evidence was needed before marijuana could be reclassified.

In its court challenge, the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access argued that federal officials were obligated to re-examine medical evidence and reclassify marijuana as a drug that has benefits for those suffering and in pain, the Times said.

The court's opinion cited the DEA's counter-argument that to establish accepted medical use "the effectiveness of a drug must be established in well-controlled, well-designed, well-conducted and well-documented scientific studies [with] a large number of patients. To date, such studies have not been performed."

Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, told the Times the group would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We are also turning our attention to Congress," she said. "It is time we had a conversation about marijuana at the federal level."

Topics: Marijuana
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Texas man on trial for 'public execution' of drunk driver
2
Northrop Grumman developing reusable space plane for lifting spacecraft into orbit
3
Britain pardons World War II code-breaker castrated for homosexuality
4
American photojournalist James Wright Foley executed by Islamic State
5
White House: Intel agencies examinig Islamic State execution video
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback