With a wave of states passing liberal marijuana and medical marijuana policies, it’s easy to forget that federal laws concerning the drug are still really terrible. Under current federal drug policy, marijuana is still considered “a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use.” And once again, a federal appeals court has rejecting a petition to change that classification, finding no “adequate and well-controlled studies confirming the efficacy of marijuana for medicinal uses.”
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 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.”
Sigh … perhaps it lacks a currently accepted medical use because every government branch and agency keeps trying to pass the ball to another when it comes to changing pot policy.
Americans for Safe Access, one of the groups bringing the petition, cited more than 200 peer-reviewed and published studies demonstrating marijuana’s health benefits, including one by government health adviser the Institute of Medicine.
“The IOM report does indeed suggest that marijuana might have medical benefits,” the court said. “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.”