Yesterday, a coalition of advocacy groups and patients filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to compel the Obama Administration to formally respond to a 9-year-old petition to have marijuana rescheduled under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) argues that marijuana no longer satisfies the requirements of a Schedule I prohibited substance and that federal law requires that it be reclassified. President Obama’s Administration has had ample time to review the Coalition’s administrative petition but has refused to take final action, violating the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act which requires action within a reasonable period of time.
Relief sought from the Court of Appeals would enable states with medical marijuana laws to expedite efforts to change marijuana’s status under federal law and narrow the widening gap between state and federal law.
Timeline of Efforts to Reschedule Marijuana
1995 – 2001: Prior attempt by Jon Gettman to reschedule cannabis ended with a rejection of the petition by then DEA head Asa Hutchinson
2002: Coalition for Rescheduling files new petition to DEA to reschedule marijuana.
2003 – 2006: HHS reviews all science relevant and makes recommendation to DEA
2006 – Present: Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis awaits final decision by DEA.
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