For almost 9 years a petition to reschedule cannabis out of its current category of Schedule I Of The Controlled Substances Act – meaning it has no medicinal value – has been stalled at the DEA. Now several groups – including Americans for Safe Access, NORML, and CA NORML – have filed suit in federal court in Washington D.C. in an attempt to force the feds to respond to the petition. The lawsuit asks the government to respond within 60 days.
“The federal government’s strategy has been delay, delay, delay,” said Joe Elford, chief counsel of ASA and lead counsel on the writ. “It is far past time for the government to answer our rescheduling petition, but unfortunately we’ve been forced to go to court in order to get resolution.”
We should expect much of the same this time, but hopefully the feds will at least be forced to make a decision and take responsibility for it. And if they do reject the petition, advocates can then take the fight back into the federal courts.
It’s time the federal government admits what all of us already know: cannabis has obvious and proven medical benefits and has no business being scheduled where it is.