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Federal Court Asked to Compel Decision in Marijuana Scheduling Action
Date:5/24/2011

ited States, it has a lower abuse potential than drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, and it is safe for use under medical supervision.  All of these characteristics are well-documented scientifically and legally.  Federal law requires the Obama Administration to reclassify marijuana."

"The federal government's strategy has been delay, delay, delay," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel of ASA and lead counsel on the writ. "It is far past time for the government to answer our rescheduling petition, but unfortunately we've been forced to go to court in order to get resolution." The writ of mandamus filed accuses the government of unreasonable delay in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

A formal rejection of the CRC petition would enable the group to take the issue to the federal courts.  Gettman believes that, "The Obama Administration's refusal to act on this petition is an irresponsible stalling tactic; it denies us due process under the law and, more shamefully, it continues to deny countless patients a chance to use current law to seek legal access to marijuana for medical use."

The CSA classifies marijuana and other drugs in various schedules.  Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, designating it as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. 

The CSA provides a procedure to have scheduling classifications changed in response to scientific research and other relevant factors, such as recognition of a drug's accepted medical use and its dependence liability as compared to other controlled substances.  Schedule I substances include heroin, GHB and MDMA (ecstasy).  Cocaine and oxycodone are both Schedule II substances, which allows for severely restricted medical use while maintaining the assertion that its abuse may lead to severe physiological and
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SOURCE DrugScience.org
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