US Supreme Court Refuses To Review DEA’s Denial Of Petition That Sought To Reclassify Cannabis

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 8, 2013

    United States Supreme Court yesterday declined to review a lower court ruling upholding the federal government’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule I prohibited substance that lacks medical utility or adequate safety.

    In January, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Drug Enforcement Administration had acted properly when it rejected an administrative petition calling for a scientific review of marijuana’s safety and therapeutic efficacy. Petitioners had requested a hearing to determine whether existing science contradicts the federal categorization of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance that possesses “a high potential for abuse;” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment;” and “a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug … under medical supervision.” The DC Court of Appeals affirmed the DEA’s position that insufficient clinical studies exist to warrant a judicial review of cannabis’ federally prohibited status. On Monday, the US Supreme Court denied an appeal to review that decision, rejecting petitioners’ argument that adequate peer-reviewed studies already exist to sufficiently contradict the plant’s placement in Schedule I – the same classification as heroin and PCP.

    The DEA’s stance willfully ignores volumes of scientific studies. For example, a 2012 review of FDA-approved clinical trials assessing the safety and therapeutic efficacy of cannabis, published in The Open Neurology Journal, concluded: “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification [of marijuana] is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

    The case is Americans for Safe Access et al. v. Drug Enforcement Administration, case number 13-84, in the United State’s Supreme Court.

    118 responses to “US Supreme Court Refuses To Review DEA’s Denial Of Petition That Sought To Reclassify Cannabis”

    1. Ben says:

      re: “What was the vote to not uphold or hear the vase?

      [Paul Armentano responds: ‘… however, remains wholly disappointing.]'”


      Thanks for your additional information.

      With that information available, I now ask,
      what does this mean, then?

      ‘more of the same’?

      or does this change the next step?
      (such as an appeal would be in regular court proceedings)

    2. leo says:

      If they won’t play nicely then the only answer is mass social disobedience. Riot!

    3. bobwv says:

      Duh. This is a medicine in 20 states right. Has been for years.

    4. Dave Evans says:

      So the Not Really Supreme Court supports non-constitutional law. Hmm…

      What they seem to be saying, we’re not going knock down the schedule one system because there isn’t enough data about marijuana. This is nothing short of a bold faced lie.

    5. Anonymous says:

      Who cares what the govt has to say….

    6. Chris in WI says:

      THIS is why lifetime judges are a bad idea… How long do we wait for the stupid justices to die to get justice and truth?

    7. Im so glad that supreme court is acting retinal. says:

      Im am so glad to hear that our supreme court is acting rational about clasifly this harmless medicine. member the commercials with the bag of weed and drops the floor and someone steps on it instead of pikcing it up. Whe i was little i thought that thing is the worst evils demonic bad thing. Now i have smoked weed the worse thign about weed is it illegal. it is medicine most plants come medicne it in medical books, it scniefi at university across the world has been proven it kills cancer cells on contact and hundred of other laments proven i science labs. DEA taught weed is so bad have they ever used it nope, if they did they wouldnt act like it somethign so bad as bad a herion and cocian no according to them worse.

    8. xDIRTYSOUTHx says:

      ” the same classification as heroin and PCP.”


    9. I thnk i read it wrong says:

      i thought the supreme court wouldn’t look at the DEAs believe it shouldn’t be a class 1 drug. or they denied to reavult the 1 schdleing drug under scientific study. in 5 yeas all the states will be legal in some way or another. Will our supreme court continue to go againt what a huge majority of americans want done? The national study said 82 percent want weed legal i thought this was deomacary why are they fighting the most logical answers get it scientificaly stuided and then make a decision. The demonizing is humorous they hae no idea what they are talking about.

    10. David says:

      The court’s decision and the DEA’S position on marijuana is a personal insult to me and millions of people who can benefit from it’s use.I am quadriplegic from a diving accident in 1969. I have severe muscle spasms that were treated with pills by my doctors for a couple years then i used alcohol for a couple years.BAD IDEA !! I found out marijuana was most effective in relieving my spasms and have used it for the past 40 years.The DEA’S position on marijuana is hard to believe. GOD.gave us a majical herb for doctors to treat many diseases and medical problems.Remember the most honorable JUDGE ANDREW YOUNG’S decision in 1987? Apparently not!! I am not just an anecdotal story. I am living proof of marijuana’s medical value The DEA’S position is hard to understand Wake up and smell the herbs!. Thank GOD for marijuana!! Ty David

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