Medical Marijuana Patients Sue Federal Government

Categories: Marijuana
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Stoners aren't the only ones who are slow to react
We all know that the wheels of government move slowly -- but nine years slowly? That pace is too lazy for Americans for Safe Access, which just wants answers. So it's going to court to force the federal government to get some response.

At issue is a petition filed Oct. 9, 2002, by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, a group of medical-marijuana patients and attorneys, which asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to drop marijuana from Schedule I, its list of most dangerous illegal drugs. This classification means a drug has zero medical value and a high potential for abuse.

Since the petition was filed, the DEA has taken no action and provided no response to the claimants, who had filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request to get a 2006 memo from the Department of Health and Human Services. That memo was written in response to a DEA inquiry asking if a rescheduling was appropriate That, in turn, led to today's filing in a District of Columbia federal Court of Appeals.

"The federal government's strategy has been delay, delay, delay," said attorney Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access and the lead lawyer on the writ filed Monday.

In the writ, which accuses the federal government of "unreasonable delay," in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, the claimants argue that cannabis is not a dangerous drug because evidence of its use as medicine is legion around the world. It also claims that "despite numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies that marijuana is effective," the government "continues to deprive seriously ill persons of this needed and often life-saving therapy by maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I substance."

If the feds were trying to hide the fact that medical cannabis patients were asking for their medicine to be declared safe, they're doing a good job: When Angel Raich took her case to use medical marijuana legally to the Supreme Court in 2005, Justice Stephen Breyer told her she or someone else should have asked the government to take marijuana off Schedule I. In other words, the Supreme Court had no idea such a petition had already been filed.

Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have called on the feds to review marijuana's classification. And who can forget the National Cancer Institute's inclusion of cannabis as an accepted "Complementary Alternative Medicine"? That says that "cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years prior to its current status as an illegal substance."

Readers might wonder why a pot group would demand that the federal government give them an answer which will undoubtedly say, "No, now fuck off." Well, here's why: No answer would allow the claimants to challenge, in court, the government's assertion that marijuana has no medical value, and to force a judge to sound off.

"We don't know what's gone on inside the DEA toward resolving this issue," says Kris Hermes, a spokesman for ASA. "They've clearly taken some effort to think about this issue, but have not responded to the petition."

An answer could come within a matter of "weeks or months," Hermes says. After that, it's more court time -- but at least there will be less waiting. Or so patients hope.

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9 comments
Mort Caniff
Mort Caniff

I am so tired of hearing and reading about pot.  Find another plant.  I find it difficult to believe that pot is the *only* plant that can help cancer patients.  The magic one and only?  Doubtful.  Why don't you try eating insects that feed on the cannabis plant?  Why do all the stoners hanging out in front of the dispensaries have long, greasy hair and look like addicts?  Get your dispensaries out of my town.  I'm trying to raise children to believe that life itself is the high.

rsteeb
rsteeb

Why don't you Google "Storm Crow's List" and get a clue?

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators for using a little marijuana. None of us would want to see our parent's home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants to ease the aches and pains of growing older. It's time to stop putting our own families in jail. It's time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards; how about $100 per year for an annual permit to grow a dozen plants? This will go a long way toward putting the criminal drug gangs out of business for good! Also, check out http://www.northpoint.org/  if you’d like to see some more very positive material about Jesus at work in people’s lives.

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators for using a little marijuana. None of us would want to see our parent's home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants to ease the aches and pains of growing older. It's time to stop putting our own families in jail. It's time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards; how about $100 per year for an annual permit to grow a dozen plants? This will go a long way toward putting the criminal drug gangs out of business for good! Also, check out http://www.northpoint.org/  if you’d like to see some more very positive material about Jesus at work in people’s lives.

Admin
Admin

i want the tinctures and pills..im a professional and smoking is too intense gets me blasted..but sublingual/oral thc is pretty mellow..like a replacement for addictive anti-anxiety drugs (aka benzodiazpines like clonazepam, xanax, etc)

Charles
Charles

Let Freedom Grow If you are a prohibitionist then you need to ask yourself the following questions:

Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing drugs which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself use and approve of (alcohol and tobacco)?

Why are you willing to waste another trillion dollars on this garbage policy

Why do you need to wage war on your own family, friends and neighbors?

Why are you happy that America has the largest prison population of the whole planet?

Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing schools and libraries?

Why are you helping to waste precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free?

Why aren't you not concerned that many cases do not get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy of prohibition?

Why are you such a fan of the prison-industrial-complex to the point of even endangering your own children?

Will you applaud when, and due to your incipient authoritarian approach, your own child is caged and raped?

Will you also applaud when your own child , due to an unnecessary and counter productive felony conviction, can no longer find employment?

Private prisons are publicly traded and their stock value is tied to the number of inmates. Here's what the UK Economist Magazine thinks of the situation: "Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little" http://www.economist.com/node/...

According to Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary to the treasury under Ronald Reagan, "Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public." http://www.newstatesman.com/no...

"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents." – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

There is no conflict between liberty and safety. We will have both or neither.Ramsey Clark (1927--)

You must know by now, that prohibition does not keep drugs away from our children. Drugs are easily obtainable in almost every school in the US. There would be less drugs in US schools if drugs were legally regulated. This is no different than what happened during the 1920s:

"It has made potential drunkards of the youth of the land, not because intoxicating liquor appeals to their taste or disposition, but because it is a forbidden thing, and because it is forbidden makes an irresistible appeal to the unformed and immature. It has brought into our midst the intemperate woman, the most fearsome and menacing thing for the future of our national life."

http://www.druglibrary.org/sch...

- malcolmkyle

Mari Jane
Mari Jane

People need to be educated regarding medical marijuana, the false statements that have been made for the past decades to turn people blind to the benefits of this natural remedy is the number one problem. As a nurse it sadens me to see how acceptable it is to treat a symptom with pharmaceuticals without taking in to consideration medical marijuana due to a preconceived conccept. Medical marijuana is a much better alternative to pharmaceuticals regarding symptoms that medical marijuana can aleviate. People need to understand that it is not addicting and it is natural and effective. For example if you need vitamin C you can buy a pill form with additives, preservatives,Etc.Or you can just squeze a couple of oranges and get it in your system that way.I belive it is great to have choices but no one should be deprived fron treating their symptoms naturaly just because a pharmaceutical company will lose billions of dollars and terefor the goverment will lose their cut in the form of tax revenue.If one does not mind the side effects and constantly damaging teir liver,kidneys and posibly other organs to treat their pain or other symptoms that medical marijuana can aleviate is their choice, but not everyone should be forced to do so.What hapened to people first ?Is the driving force behind this self interest?Money????????????Stop and think how our laws issue citations for no seat belt, yet they allow motorcycle riders to ride with out one, If you crash in a vehicle @ 10MPH head on into a tree without a seat belt, most likely you will walk away; same scenario but on a motorcycle?most likely you would suffer bodily injuries that require inmediate attention. Yet motorcycles are legal and no ticket for no seat belt. Oh but the ticket for no seat belt when driving is issued due to the fact that they are consserned for our safety.Why do they sell cars that travel 80+ MPH when it is beeing sold in a state that has a set speed limit, they can very well equip these vehicles with governors that will limit the vehicle to not excced a the set speed limit by much.OH I forgot because if they did they could not issue speeding citations" stop and think why"

1dog
1dog

to cool about time

Charles
Charles

Amen to that brother...

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