It’s probably not news to anyone that the federal government doesn’t much care for marijuana. It’s a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law (see 21 U.S.C. § 812(c)(I)(c)(10)), which, according to 21 U.S.C. § 812(b)(1), means that:
(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
A fair number of doctors would most likely disagree with (B) and (C) there, and I don’t know much about (A)’s truth (as compared to its truthiness).
Federal courts have repeatedly held, however, that Congress has the authority to designate marijuana as a Schedule I drug, whether Congress has any clue what it’s talking about or not (see Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics v. DEA, 15 F.3d 1131 (D.C. Cir. 1994); Gonzalez v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)). Back in April, a federal judge declined to rule that marijuana’s Schedule I classification was unconstitutional in a 38-page order (PDF file) (see the court’s blog, or this page at The Daily Chronic, for more info on that case).
As more and more states pass laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical reasons, or for whatever the hell reason you want, it gets a bit more complicated for the federal government to enforce its laws and regulations. That must be frustrating, but they don’t have to get all snarky about it. Observe: Continue reading