Keeping marijuana under the government’s list of most controlled, most dangerous substances is easy for the Drug Enforcement Administration — all the federal drug warriors have to do is deny researchers access to the plant, then claim that there’s insufficient research to determine that cannabis has benefits.
That “circular game of gotcha” continued Tuesday morning, but at least advocates of marijuana’s medical benefits enjoyed a change of venue — and a significant one. An appeal seeking to reschedule marijuana from the panoply of the world’s most dangerous drugs is now in federal judges’ hands, following oral arguments in Americans for Safe Access’s lawsuit against the DEA in Washington, DC, Tuesday.
Win or lose, the rescheduling lawsuit is a milestone in the marijuana movement. Still, there’s a few points to consider: The lawsuit won’t make cannabis legal, but rather lessillegal. And, perhaps unfairly, the deck’s stacked against ASA, since the federal government doesn’t have to prove that cannabis is harmful. Instead, ASA has to prove that it is NOT harmful.