Federal Judge Upholds Schedule I Classification of Cannabis: ‘Now is Not the Time’

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Sacramento, CA – A federal judge in Northern California has decided to rule against a motion that challenges the constitutionality of marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I prohibited substance that has no medicinal value. Had the motion passed, it could have offered a chance for the Supreme Court to legalize marijuana nationwide. While this announcement comes as a defeat, advocates say it isn’t over.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA):

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no current accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

Heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote

On April 15, Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Federal District Court issued an oral ruling during the 15-minute court hearing.

At some point in time, a court may decide this status to be unconstitutional,” Judge Mueller stated from the bench. “But this is not the court and not the time.”

The defense counsel—attorneys Zenia Gilg and Heather Burke of the NORML Legal Committee—intends to appeal the ruling.

Reports state that the judge had postponed her ruling for quite some time. The case appears to have begun in October of 2014, when defense counsel and experts presented evidence over a five-day period. The defense argues that the scientific literature is not supportive of the plant’s current categorization.

Lawyers for the federal government countered that as long as there remains any dispute among experts with regard to marijuana’s safety and efficacy, then it is rational for the drug to maintain its classification next to LSD and ecstasy. However, the defense further contended that “the federal law prohibiting Justice Department officials from interfering with the facilitation of the regulated distribution of cannabis in over 20 US states cannot be reconciled with the government’s continued insistence that the plant is deserving of its Schedule I status under federal law.”

In a statement from Paul Armentano, NORML’s deputy director who served as the principal investigator for defense counsel:

We applaud Judge Mueller for having the courage to hear this issue and provide it the careful consideration it deserves. While we are disappointed with this ruling, it changes little. We always felt this had to ultimately be decided by the Ninth Circuit and we have an unprecedented record for the court to consider.

In the interim, it is our hope that lawmakers move expeditiously to change public policy. Presently, bipartisan legislation is before the House and Senate to recognize cannabis’ therapeutic utility and to reschedule it accordingly and we encourage members of Congress to move forward expeditiously to enact this measure.”

In a brief filed with the court by the federal government:

Congress’ decision to treat marijuana as a controlled substance was and remains well within the broad range of permissible legislative choices. Defendants appear to argue that Congress was wrong or incorrectly weighed the evidence. Although they failed to prove even that much, it would be insufficient. Rational basis review does not permit the Court’s to ‘second guess’ Congress’ conclusions, but only to enjoin decisions that are totally irrational or without an ‘imaginable basis.”

They add: “Congress is not required to be ‘right,’ nor does it matter if the basis on which Congress made its decision turns out to be ‘wrong.’ All that is required is that Congress could rationally have believed that its action—banning the production and distribution of marijuana—would advance its indisputably legitimate interests in promoting public health and welfare. Because qualified experts disagree, it is not for the Courts to decide the issue and the statute must be upheld.”

Armentano states:

The continued Schedule I classification of cannabis, in 2015, is self-evidently ridiculous. But unfortunately, the law may be ridiculous and still pass constitutional muster.” He adds, “The judge in this case missed a golden opportunity to demand that federal law comport with available science, public opinion, and common sense.”


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Sources:

Armentano, Paul. The Daily Chronic. Apr 15, 2015. (http://www.thedailychronic.net/2015/42348/federal-judge-upholds-schedule-1-classification-of-cannabis/)

Broze, Derrick. Antimedia. Mar 31, 2015. (http://theantimedia.org/cannabis-is-not-a-crime-judge-to-rule-on-weeds-schedule-1-status-next-month/)

Inquisitr. Apr 16, 2015. (http://www.inquisitr.com/2014757/legal-marijuana-in-all-50-states-denied-now-is-not-the-time-what-about-later/)

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9 COMMENTS

  1. SMOKING CIGARETTES IS LEGAL BUT WEED ISN’T?! You guys can just quit now. Shut it down. Go home. You’re fucking retarded!
    Now obviously I’m speaking from an advocates perspective and perhaps I am lacking in my knowledge of the subject.
    REGARDLESS!!
    Even if weed is a substance that can be “ABUSED” Why not consider the other far more dangerous alternatives (and I use the word “alternatives” loosely.)
    Alcohol! WHY IS IT LEGAL?
    Cigarettes! WHY ARE THEY LEGAL?
    NOW try to restate your original BOGUS reason for keeping marijuana illegal.
    I’m sick of typing this out. I’d much rather have a face to face to whoever’s in charge of this kinda’ shit and comvince them MYSELF!!

  2. I have an Idea why don’t let the people decide the legalization or prohibition or Marijuana thru a referendum after all is the people voices that will be heard for this issue. In a government of the people, for the people, and by the people should be the people who decide.

  3. blah blah blah blah medicine is not enjoyable blah blah blah blah medicine is not enjoyable blah blah blah blah medicine is not enjoyable ….

    Some things are really not illegal. They never have been and they never will be. It’s similar to blaming guns for crimes.

    It’s organizations imposition on truthful law. It’s misdefining the law as something new and novel, or to control people. People are controlled by what they know, and conditioning and lies have a temporary effect. We all know what the law is. We can understand peace, prosperity, justice, and fairness. Some people falter from what is a truthfully good thing to due and that’s criminal. Smoking marijuana can be a good thing to do and it frequently is. It doesn’t impose on peace, prosperity, justice, or fairness, and it’s also the most versatile, with fewest negative effects, and safest drugs for a wide range of commonly faced problems, particularly those regarding the stress of society, anxiety, and depression, which are common and no man-made medicine comes close to the physiological compatibility (including lack of side effects, safety, and enjoyability), and it’s easy and safe to produce. The truth needs to be respected, anything that’s not the truth is a lie, and a lie holds no weight.

  4. This is sad. The US has its drugs scheduled like a bunch of fucktards. LSD is more dangerous than meth? <— Right there if you have EVER studied drugs, ever, would tell you that American law makers are fucking idiots. Meth should be schedule ONE, LSD S2, and Marijuana with Alcohol even though Marijuana is still safer for people around you and yourself!

  5. If a law or laws or made and/or upheld based on false data & inaccurate information…How can it be or remain the law? What are the laws concerning making laws? What are the prerequisites in making a law or having said law get passed? You cannot just make things up & continue to have laws that were based on flat out lies & false information! If this is ok then what’s to stop other laws from being made based on lies? I can’t go out & proclaim I have the cure for every disease known to mankind anymore than these constant morons continue to say cannabis has no medicinal value…We All Know BY NOW That This Is 100% UNTRUE! The ENTIRE WORLD KNOWS the medicinal value. Other countries are way ahead of us on this because of downright stupid people like this judge! Why are these lies not being challenged? Why are they not being held accountable for continuing to hold on to their lies, then making the rest of us follow these false & inaccurate laws that they continue to support due to MONEY & GREED! They should be sued by us, The People! Start holding “Lawmakers” accountable then maybe they will stop passing & upholding laws based on FICTION! I’m Not Following Any Laws Based On Lies! I don’t think there is any law that forces people to obey laws that are based on lies! Hemp Is Another Fine Example Of The Absolute Ignorance, Lies & False Information Regarding Our Laws Against It! Absolutely Moronic! …AND these people hold seats of power?! I hope she is voted out of her position. We have to vote accordingly so that these people finally get the message that were not going to put up w/ it anymore!

  6. How can they say a substance IS A schedule one WHEN I AM SURE NONE OF THEM HAVE EVEN TRIED MARIJUANA? WAKE UP JUDGES, REEFER MADNESS WAS CRAP. WHY DONT YOU JUDGES WATCH A PERSON ON HEROIN, LSD,THAN OBSERVE A PERSON ON MARIJUANA. SEEING IS BELIEVING

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