Federal Appeals Court Orders Action On Cannabis’ Status

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Many cannabis activists felt extreme disappointment when the 2017 legal case brought by the parents of Alexis Bortell, U.S. Army veteran José Belén, and several other medical cannabis activists got thrown out of court.

Essentially, the courts ruled that the activists involved had not made enough efforts to remedy the issue of how the government schedules cannabis via other methods. This is despite the fact that Congress has for years stalled and the various agencies involved, including the DEA, have been adamantly resistant to looking at science and social research when determining whether to change the Schedule I status of cannabis.

Now, a federal appeals court has ruled that the lawsuit can move forward. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wants the lawsuit reopened. More importantly, they want the petition brought by the plaintiffs to deschedule cannabis considered by the DEA and the federal government “with all deliberate speed.”

Part of the reasoning is that some of the plaintiffs in this case may literally suffer life-or-death consequences based on their ability to access cannabis medicines. That is one reason why the appeals court ordered the reconsideration to take place in a timely manner.

There is no scientific justification to the Schedule I status of cannabis, which rates it as both addictive and without known medical benefits. In other words, there could be massive changes coming at a federal level regarding cannabis’ scheduling in the upcoming weeks or months. A change in the schedule status of cannabis could have dramatic consequences across the country and even in other nations. Ladybud will continue to track this and other breaking legal stories.

For previous Ladybud articles about federal prohibition, click here.