Advocates of looser federal restrictions on marijuana suffered a significant legal setback Tuesday, as a panel of three judges found that the federal government acted properly in refusing to loosen restrictions on pot.
But by a 2-1 vote, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Tuesday that the DEA did consider all the available information. "We find nothing in the record that could move us to conclude that the agency failed to prove by substantial evidence that such studies confirming marijuana's medical efficacy do not exist," the majority opinion said.
Q: Should marijuana be placed on a lower tier of federal restrictions?
"We defer to the agency's interpretation of these regulations and find that substantial evidence supports its determination" that no studies exist that are "adequate and well-controlled" proving its effectiveness in medical treatments.
The dissenting judge, Karen LeCraft Henderson, expressed no view on whether marijuana has medical benefits. Instead, she said the court should have dismissed the case on the grounds that none of those filing the lawsuit had legal authority to bring the case to court in the first place.