March 31, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) A federal judge might finally free Cannabis from the clutches of the federal government’s archaic scheduling system which claims the plant has no medicinal value.
Lawyers with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) are working to convince a federal judge in Sacramento, California that the federal government’s Schedule I classification for Cannabis is unconstitutional. Schedule I substances are defined as a “high potential for abuse”, and “no currently accepted medical use.” The team of lawyers have filed a motion asking the judge to find the scheduling to be at odds with scientific research which has found an abundance of positive health effects from Cannabis.
As Counter Current News points out, this is the first time since the 1970’s that a federal judge has heard evidence conflicting the view that Cannabis is not a medicine.
“The defense attorneys Zenia Gilg and Heather Burke of the NORML Legal Committee, along with experts in the field who argue that the plant is safe and should be legal at least for medical use, presented evidence over a five-day period. They contend that “numerous clinical trials have been conducted using whole plant marijuana and have concluded the evidence strongly suggests therapeutic value.
“Physicians in 23 states and the District of Columbia have been recommending whole plant cannabis for treatment of a myriad of medical conditions. The United States, through SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of HHS), holds a patent [on the therapeutic utility of the plant],” they continued.
The judge heard closing arguments and will rule on the case within the next month.
The case is United States v. Pickard, et. al., No. 2:11-CR-0449-KJM, and the legal briefs for it are all available online here.
Photo Credit: Carlos Gracia