The nations’s highest court on Monday denied the appeal of a lower court’s decision against Americans for Safe Access, an organization that has been challenging the DEA’s classification of cannabis for years.
Currently marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance – a category shared by the most dangerous drugs and which denotes the plant as having no medical application. In spite of the fact that 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, the appeals court found no fault with the DEA’s refusal to reconsider cannabis, upholding the agency’s ruling that reclassification would require first that the FDA, which still considers cannabis a drug, recognize the medical uses of the plant.
Although advocates have worked toward reclassification for decades, this was the third formal rescheduling effort to be thwarted.
Joe Elford, lead attorney on the case for Americans for Safe Access, told Law360 that the Supreme Court decision was “disappointing, but not altogether surprising.”
Other appeals to reclassify cannabis – filed by governors of Washington and Rhode Island, where medical pot is legal – are still pending.