Court rejects bid to have marijuana reclassified - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Court rejects bid to have marijuana reclassified

Posted:
  • Most Read StoriesMost Read StoriesMore>>

  • Radar Alert

    Stormy night in central Wisconsin

    Stormy night in central Wisconsin

    A few scattered light showers through early afternoon, then heavier rain and storms possible toward evening.More >>
    A few scattered light showers through early afternoon, then heavier rain and storms possible toward evening.
    More >>
  • Newsline 9 says goodbye to Cami Mountain

    Newsline 9 says goodbye to Cami Mountain

    (WAOW) -- It's a bittersweet day at Newsline, as we say goodbye to Cami Mountain. Cami is leaving us to start an exciting new chapter in her life as a mother.Friday morning, hundreds of you left your well wishes on our Facebook page. And we gave her a special surprise for her last day on air. We are happy to announce Paige Hulsey will be taking over the chair on Tuesday.More >>
    (WAOW) -- It's a bittersweet day at Newsline, as we say goodbye to Cami Mountain. Cami is leaving us to start an exciting new chapter in her life as a mother.Friday morning, hundreds of you left your well wishes on our Facebook page. And we gave her a special surprise for her last day on air. We are happy to announce Paige Hulsey will be taking over the chair on Tuesday.More >>
  • Stewart says Ward's death will affect him forever

    Stewart says Ward's death will affect him forever

    (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File). FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2014, file photo, Tony Stewart is introduced before the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.(AP Photo/Terry Renna, File). FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2014, file photo, Tony Stewart is introduced before the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
    Tony Stewart says the death of Kevin Ward Jr. will "affect my life forever" as he returned to the track for the first time since his car struck and killed the fellow driver during a sprint-car race in New York.More >>
    Tony Stewart says the death of Kevin Ward Jr. will "affect my life forever" as he returned to the track for the first time since his car struck and killed the fellow driver during a sprint-car race in New York.More >>

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected a petition to reclassify marijuana from its current federal status as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use.

The appeals court panel denied the bid from three medical marijuana groups, including Americans for Safe Access, and several individuals. In 2011, the Drug Enforcement Administration had rejected a petition by medical marijuana advocates to change the classification.

In his majority opinion Tuesday, Judge Harry T. Edwards wrote that the question wasn't whether marijuana could have some medical benefits, but rather whether the DEA's decision was "arbitrary and capricious." The court concluded that the DEA action survived a review under that standard.

The ruling came just months after Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use. Last month, President Barack Obama said that federal authorities have "bigger fish to fry" than recreational drug users in those states

Edwards, an appointee of Democratic President Jimmy Carter, was joined by Judge Merrick B. Garland, an appointee of Democratic President Bill Clinton. The third judge on the panel, Karen LeCraft Henderson, an appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush, wrote that none of the petitioners was in a legal position to challenge the government's stance and that the case should have been dismissed. The other two judges concluded that at least one of the people bringing the suit had standing to challenge the DEA's action.

In the federal system, marijuana is classified as a controlled substance, categorized as having a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use, together with drugs like heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

The court noted that the DEA denied the petition after the Department of Health and Human Services gave the DEA its evaluation that marijuana lacks a currently accepted medical use in the United States.

"Because the agency's factual findings in this case are supported by substantial evidence and because those factual findings reasonably support the agency's final decision not to reschedule marijuana, we must uphold the agency action," the court ruled.

DEA regulations define "currently accepted medical use" to require, among other things, "adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy."

Americans for Safe Access cited more than 200 peer-reviewed published studies demonstrating marijuana's efficacy for various medical uses, including a 1999 study by the respected Institute of Medicine, a government adviser on health issues.

"The IOM report does indeed suggest that marijuana might have medical benefits," the court conceded. "However, the DEA fairly construed this report as calling for 'more and better studies to determine potential medical applications of marijuana' and not as sufficient proof of medical efficacy itself."

Contrary to what Americans for Safe Access suggests, "something more than 'peer-reviewed' studies is required to satisfy DEA's standard, and for good reason," the court said.

Those challenging the government "have not pointed to 'adequate and well-controlled studies' confirming the efficacy of marijuana for medicinal uses," the court found.

Americans for Safe Access did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The DEA referred questions to the Justice Department, which also did not immediately respond.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WAOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Chief Engineer Russ Crass at 715-842-2251. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.