That's the question before a federal court this week as medical cannabis advocates celebrate a 10-year journey to overturn the government's classification of pot as an outlaw drug worse than cocaine.
A challenge to a Drug Enforcement Administration denial of a petition to reschedule marijuana as a medically legit drug has made its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C:
The court recently agreed to take on Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. Oral arguments start Oct. 16.
In 2002 the DEA denied the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis' petition to have marijuana reduced from a Schedule I outlaw drug with no possible legit use to Schedule II, which consists of drugs that have some medical legitimacy and can be essentially administered by by doctors.
Joe Elford, chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access, rejoiced:
Medical marijuana patients are finally getting their day in court. This is a rare opportunity for patients to confront politically motivated decision-making with scientific evidence of marijuana's medical efficacy. What's at stake in this case is nothing less than our country's scientific integrity and the imminent needs of millions of patients.
ASA cites a recent study published in The Open Neurology Journal that concludes marijuana's Schedule I classification is "not tenable" and that it is "not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking."