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Landmark Federal Medical Marijuana Hearing Begins In D.C.

Posted on  October 16, 2012 by  News Admin

  Advocates challenge marijuana's classification, present scientific evidence for first time in nearly 20 years For the first time in nearly 20 years, advocates will use scientific evidence of marijuana's medical efficacy to try to force a change in the federal government's classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. Medical marijuana advocates will participate in oral arguments Tuesday before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the landmark case Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. Advocates contend that the government has arbitrarily and capriciously kept marijuana classified as a Schedule I substance and out of reach for millions of Americans by ignoring overwhelming research on the therapeutic value of marijuana "Medical marijuana patients are finally getting their day in court," said Joe Elford, who will be arguing the case before the court Tuesday as chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group. "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," Elford said. Tuesday's oral arguments are the culmination of efforts started 10 years ago by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC). In 2002, the CRC filed a rescheduling petition that the federal government refused to answer until last year when advocates sued the Obama Administration for unreasonable delay. After the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied...