Medical Marijuana

BREAKING: In Fight Over Marijuana's Scheduling, Appeals Court Rules in Favor of DEA and Schedule I


The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. ruled today in favor of the DEA's decision to keep marijuana a Schedule I drug–a classification for substances that are highly addictive and have no widely accepted medical benefits.

"On the merits,  the question before the court is not whether marijuana could have some medical benefits," reads the court's ruling in Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. Rather, the court was tasked with deciding whether the DEA was following its own rules in refusing to initiate reschedule proceedings for marijuana. 

According to the appeals court, the DEA was following its own rules (there are five in all) when it claimed that petitioners for rescheduling marijuana had failed to provide "adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy." 

Americans for Safe Access in turn argued "that their petition to reschedule marijuana cites more than two hundred peer-reviewed published studies demonstrating marijuana's efficacy for various medical uses, and that those studies were largely ignored by the [DEA]."

"At bottom," the court wrote, "the parties' dispute in this case turns on the agency's interpretation of its own regulations. Petitioners construe 'adequate and well-controlled studies' to mean peer-reviewed, published studies suggesting marijuana's medical efficacy. The DEA, in contrast, interprets that factor to require something more scientifically rigorous."

How much more rigorous? "The DEA interprets 'adequate and well-controlled studies' to mean studies similar to what the Food and Drug Administration requires for a New Drug Application."

The discussion of medical studies starts on page 21 of the brief. You can read the entire ruling below: 

Americans for Safe Access v. DEA 

NEXT: Government as Lagging Indicator and Obama's Invocation of Gay History

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well, this is helpful.

  2. So there’s basically no way for the DEA to break its own rules, since it can just claim to interpret it in a way that they’re not breaking it. Lovely.

    1. Hey, it’s only fair to give the DEA the same escape hatch the rest of the government has.

    2. Sounds like a job for, you know, the actual most powerful branch of government to fix.

    3. (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) “”and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that””?

      A. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and

      B. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

      The “catch 22” of ONDCP policy which the DEA falls under makes anything they do to keep marijuana from becoming legal is legal,,,and Joe Biden was on the committee that wrote the above policy for the INDCP/DEA/NIDA and any bureacracy that recieves funding from the ONDCP.

  3. IOW the DEA is allowed to plug its ears and scream, “Lalalalalalala!”

  4. Good thing they outlawed those ‘adequate and well-controlled studies’.

  5. “The DEA interprets ‘adequate and well-controlled studies’ to mean studies similar to what the Food and Drug Administration requires for a New Drug Application.”

    Performing such a study would be a felony offense, and given the amount of trials needed would land the researchers in federal prison for life.

  6. I had thought it was ASA had more-or-less expected to lose this case and had pinned their hopes on having the case taken up by the Supreme Court.

    Is that possible? Am I wrong on the facts? Am I misremembering?

    1. I think you’re mostly right and I think they could have a real basis here based on that fallacy that the DEA can never violate it’s own rules.

  7. Why the fuck are there courts again?

    This is just absurd.

    1. The purpose of the courts is to defend the government from the people.

      1. Well said

        1. Get real. The courts aren’t there to your dirty work for you.

  8. The court says you need to take cannabis through three phases of human testing that show it can treat a medical condition. Okay, so fucking start the tests already. Need funding? There’s a kickstarter app for that.

    1. Human testing on dangerous sched. 1 drugs are prohibited. Anything else would be madness.

  9. “The DEA interprets ‘adequate and well-controlled studies’ to mean studies similar to what the Food and Drug Administration requires for a New Drug Application.”

    Which happen to be illegal for a Schedule I drug.

    Nice catch-22.

    1. And if they are not “similar” enough, so as to avoid illegality, they may be discounted.

      Catch-22 indeed.

    2. You can have clinical trials of a Schedule I drug, if you play by the very extensive rules of the DEA. Of course, that’s not the problem. The problem is that the clinical trials that the FDA requires cost tens of millions of dollars, which is only worth spending if you can expect to make lots of money selling your drug. But marijuana is a common weed and there is no patent holder who would capture all the benefits of the rescheduling. Weed is now the latest Orphan Drug to fall victim to the feds.

      1. That is true to a great degree, Christina. Except Marinol, being the synthetic form of THC, is their go to that, “THC is available to the public,” and hence their rationale for the exclusion in a more accountable formulation.

  10. I’ll remember this the next time an Obot tells me that the executive branch is powerless to do anything about the scheduling of drugs.

  11. Anybody ever heard of FRANCIS L YOUNG, Administrative Law Judge [DEA] ? Look him up and read why he said that;

    “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

    By its denial and suppression of evidence that conflicts with policy, one would think that the DEA is funded ~and run~ by and for Big Pharma, private prison industries, etc.

    1. “private prison industries”

      Try public – you ever see what the CA prison guards union pulls in?

  12. one would think that the DEA is funded ~and run~ by and for Big Pharma, private prison industries, etc

    If one would think that, one would probably not be so far off the mark.

  13. To admit to being wrong is to show weakness.

    The federal government will never show weakness.

  14. Because, FUCK YOU, that’s why.

  15. FUCK! We can’t even get our government to be reasonable in court and on the record. We are FUCKED economically (at least 90-95% of us) without cannabis/hemp production for as long as the financial elite keep our economy on par with the status quo of manipulating wealth into the hands of those who have the most already.

    We all know it was outlawed on racial grounds but why do you think it is still illegal? It is too lucrative not to be.

    1. why do you think it is still illegal?

      Here’s a short list of those who benefit from it being illegal:

      Police departments/unions that depend upon federal drug war dollars and forfeited (stolen) assets.

      Private prisons and the guard unions have a perverse incentive to lock up as many people for as long as possible.

      Alcohol companies don’t want to lose market share.

      Big pharma doesn’t like it when people self medicate.

      And they use millions and millions of dollars to influence those with power.

  16. Rather, the court was tasked with deciding whether the DEA was following its own rules in refusing to initiate reschedule proceedings for marijuana.

    INteresting where this country is going.

    An unelected body of bureaucrats can’t be challenged on their actions or authority, only if they’re acting consistently within that authority.

    If they’re found to be acting outside their authority, the unelected body merely need change its own rules to reflect whatever it is they want or need to do, then re-do the action.

  17. There is no controversy. There is only truth.
    Facebook: Patriots Grow Alliance
    Allone Free the Seed Free the People

    Cannabis is a “keystone” issue that if freed will create a wealth of social good. Our current collapse in Energy, Environment, Health, Currency, Food, Fiber and Freedom are all linked to the incarceration of the cannabis/hemp seed and the denial of a holistic approach to solving the corrupt human condition. Cannabis was part of our world from the beginning of time until the last 100 years. “Allone Free the Seed Free the People” is the educational extension of Patriots Grow Alliance. Patriots Grow Alliance is doing the unthinkable…we are a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation using Citizen’s United to unite all ideologies to protect the our unalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as described in the Declaration of Independence and laid out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, to grow, study and manufacture our own food, fiber, fuel and medicine as the Founding Fathers did and the Creator intended.

  18. I can’t begin to describe how disgusted I am with our federal government and their unconscionable war against the citizens. I think at this point the DEA is going to be shocked to find out we are not going to just stand by and let their thugs continue to invade our lives. Enough is enough and I encourage all citizens to pay attention to what is actually happening here. We have a governmental agency that has become a rule onto itself and nobody has the balls to call them what they really are, a self sanctified domestic terrorist force. We shall see how long they last as more and more states start to advocate for citizen rights. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back!

  19. They need to be Tared Feathered and tossed into the Patomic

  20. If you’re reading this and feeling happy and proud, that’s what it’s all about when you’re in the cannabis culture. Marijuana is a wonderful medicine. Those of us who grow hydroponics and outdoor marijuana are spreading cannabis joy and healing throughout the world!…..-bowl-buds

  21. Our government will bankrupt our nation before releasing hemp to the open market in the US or anywhere in the world because the backbone of the world economy is rooted in corporations that depend on hemp prohibition remaining in place.

    The oil industry,,with bio-fuel produced from renewable hemp crops,,how would they keep their profits and assets secure if they couldn’t have fuel shortages and price control when they cannot control farmers but they can turn off oil wells? And they are a major part of the foundation of world’s economy.

    And of course the pharmaceutical corporations,,if you are familiar with all the health issues cannabis can treat,,imagine the losses they will suffer from cannabis legalization.

    The arms manufacturers,,imagine no wars over oil or the loss of control when any country can grow enough hemp to fuel their own transportation systems.

    And all the other hemp products from lumber to plastic that our markets depend on selling other countries.

    It is going to take a serious in their face situation to ever change and it may take more patriots blood to cleanse the roots of freedom.

  22. it will lower the unemployment rate since those not looking for work aren’t counted.

  23. Somebody can do the studies in Portugal. Fuck these DEA pigs.

  24. Also! I’m starting up kad?k?y kombi servisi
    a new forum dedicated to my fellows stoners. Come on webmaster forumlar?
    over and join the high conversations! We’re quite new, but VERY welcoming.

  25. exactly. there will be a point kombi servisi
    of critical mass, and that will prompt the feds. they will be on the losing side of history FOR A WHILE. beylikd?z? kombi servisi
    it always happens that way. but eventually, the rescheduling will commence. in some way that allows them to think they are saving face.

  26. and in regards to legalized MJ, vaillant kombi servisi i am seeing little to no negative comments amongst the cops. mostly support, and a few people are like “i think this is vaillant kombi servisi a dumb decision, but whatever. i’ve got better things to do with my time than MJ enforcement”.

  27. I think it’s time vestel klima servisi we start legalizing Marijuana everywhere. Stop living in demird?k?m kombi servisi fear and start thinking about how great the future will be! LEGALIZE IT!

  28. If you live in a state where Marijuana isn’t legal yet and still want the same type of highs,klima servisi I suggest checking out It has amazingly detailed legal highs reviews and where to get them without getting ripped off!
    Also! I’m starting up ar?elik klima servisi a new forum dedicated to my fellows stoners. Come on over and join the high conversations! We’re quite new, but VERY welcoming.

  29. earned that one “Sharon Levy” cares more for boot licking than the Hip sohbet odalar? & cinsel sohbet

  30. All the marijuana activist groups should challenge SAM to a debate

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.