Hilary Bricken
by

We usually do not get excited over cases where a Federal judge is asked to deviate from Federal laws regarding marijuana — because they never do. This time, though, we are all ears, as according to The Daily Beast, this Federal judge is really listening:

After a five-day hearing in California, [U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller] is considering the validity of the science surrounding pot’s classification as one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. In May, she became the first judge in decades to agree to hear evidence relating to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification of marijuana which puts it in the same category as heroin and meth. Over the next few weeks, Mueller will comb through hundreds of pages of witness testimony, scientific research, and public health policy to determine whether the Schedule I Substance classification of marijuana is unconstitutional.

Should Judge Mueller strike down marijuana’s current scheduling, it will assuredly create a torrent of similar legal challenges in Federal courts around the country. What makes this case so unusual and potentially important is that it was Judge Mueller who seemed to push for conducting an evidentiary hearing on the validity of marijuana’s Schedule I classification in what would have been an otherwise run of the mill Federal marijuana criminal case. Judge Mueller seems to be basing her decision to hear such evidence on a footnote from the infamous 2005 case of Gonzalez v. Raich, where U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Stevens opened the door to a scientific review of treating marijuana as a Schedule I drug: 

We acknowledge that evidence proffered by respondents in this case regarding the effective medical uses for marijuana, if found credible after trial, would cast serious doubt on the accuracy of the findings that require marijuana to be listed in Schedule I … Respondents’ submission, if accepted, would place all homegrown medical substances beyond the reach of Congress’ regulatory jurisdiction.

Judge Mueller determined that Stevens’ footnote justified hearing evidence on the Schedule I issue, ruling that “there is new scientific and medical information raising contested issues of fact regarding whether the continued inclusion of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance … passes constitutional muster.”

The five day evidentiary hearing consisted of a heated debate  between physicians, drug policy experts, and government leaders. The defense (remember this is a criminal case) called multiple credible medical and social policy experts to testify regarding the medicinal value of marijuana. The federal government called only one witness, Dr. Bertha Madras, a Professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School and the former drug czar under George W. Bush. Dr. Madras based her testimony on the claim that “marijuana has no accepted medical value,” and that marijuana has not satisfied the “high standards of proof necessary to obtain FDA approval.” She also claimed that marijuana “contains significant amounts of toxic chemicals,” and that there is “no such thing as medical marijuana.” With (now) 25 states and D.C. having some form of marijuana decriminalization or legalization, whether medicinal or for adult use, Dr. Madras’s testimony is out of touch with reality.

Judge Mueller will need to review thousands of pages of complicated testimony and evidence and we should not expect her decision on whether marijuana should remain a Schedule I drug to issue for a few months at least. We will be following this case closely and updating you whenever anything breaks on it as this case could end up taking us a significant step closer to wiping out the failed war on marijuana.

4 responses to “Pending Federal Case May Undo Federal Marijuana Prohibition Laws”

  1. I just can not believe that the US Gov. continues to lie in the face of the people and the science! They know that even they don’t believe their selves. It is SO apparent that they are being paid to make their selves look like total fools. It is time for the Gov. to admit the truth that the reason they have a patent on cannabis IS because it is medicine. And if this medicine was available in all emergency rooms all patients coming in from heart attacks, strokes, and brain damage would instantly have damage reversed by up to 60% where we have no medication today that will reduce damage by even 3%!! Cannabis have been proven to make cancer cells comment suicide leaving all health cells in tact!! Cannabis regulates glucose naturally in fact cannabis regulates everything in your body if you ingest it on a daily basis if something in your body is too low ingestion of cannabis will raise it, if something in your body is too high, daily cannabis ingestion will lower it! It creates brain cells it does not destroy them I know this as my mother was suffering from dementia she had no memory for over 5 min. I put her on cannabis ingestion removed Big Pharma it has been 3 years she is in perfect condition she does get checked every 3 months by a Dr. she remains at 75 in perfect condition without big pharma meds only cannabis ingestion she just got a new car she could not even drive before. And she can continue to live on her own!! No it is TIME for the truth and ONLY the truth from our Government!!!!

      • The government can award patents and have their breeds patented by others, but it cannot own a patent. What they own is the right to pass the constituent properties along to be synthesized chemically. In other words, no plant, all chemically recreated chemical drugs.

  2. The lies that have been created since Hurst, et. al, and continuing with Richard Nixon’s paranoia that cannabis was a plot to overthrow the government (as only a drug addled mind could conceive of ending a war) have obviously continued long enough. These lies also include other non-lethal plants that should find inclusion into, if nothing else, religious freedoms acts. For an example of a certain lie, LSD was shown by government studies to split chromosomes, the truth is that when sterile water was applied to chromosomal material they split exactly the same way.
    Other toxic chemicals, BS at one time these toxic chemicals were the CBD oils that are medically useful as well. Cannabis possesses a synergy among its ingredients that exerts a powerful anti-carcinogenic effect, so it protects you from any carcinogens which may be in the material common to all plants. I hope they have on hand the same research I read during my later in life education. These studies and commonly unknown information changed my focus in medicine to become a specialist in cannabis, and being a former farmer/farm kid I have also been awarded as a Master Gardener, and my garden grew to include cannabis after my education by Ed Rosenthal. I should have known that as a tropical variety the smuggled breeds would never mature outdoors. This step toward indoor growing has prevented any plant contamination that would be unhealthy, such as unannounced spray overs.
    I am an organic believer, to the bone, and if one ever found a toxin, mold, or disease in my plants I would personally eat it (I’m not crazy, just that certain of my ability).

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The Canna Law Blog™ is a forum for discussion about the practical aspects of cannabis law and how it impacts those involved in this growing industry. We will provide insight into how canna businesspeople can use the law to their advantage…

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Please be mindful that possessing, using, distributing and selling marijuana are all federal crimes and that this blog is not intended to give you any legal advice, much less lead you to believe that marijuana is legal under federal law.