AOH :: BANMJ.TXT|
Federal Appeals court upholds ban on medical marijuana use.
From: Jim Rosenfield <jnr #0 @igc.apc.org> Internet
Re: BAN ON MED MJ UPHELD by US COURT
RTw 02/18 1158 COURT UPHOLDS U.S. BAN ON MARIJUANA MEDICINAL
WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuter) - A federal appeals court Friday
upheld the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's decision in
refusing to make marijuana legally available for medical purposes.
In a 3-0 decision written by Judge James Buckley, the court
rejected the challenge by three private groups which had opposed
the 1992 decision by the head of the federal drug enforcement
agency to keep marijuana from patients.
The groups -- the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, the
Drug Policy Foundation and the National Organisation for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws -- had argued that marijuana should be
reclassified to allow doctors to prescribe it legally.
They said marijuana has eased nausea in cancer patients
undergoing chemotherapy, has lessened muscle spasms caused by
multiple sclerosis and has reduced eye pressure for glaucoma
The groups cited testimony from a number of patients and
physicians who said that marijuana can be used safely and
The first request by the groups to make marijuana available
for medical purposes was filed in 1972 and the case has produced
four previous decisions by the appeals court.
Buckley in the 12-page opinion rejected the argument that the
DEA chief had been unfairly biased, reflecting the agency's long
history of anti-marijuana prejudice.
He said DEA's decision did not appear unfair on the grounds
that there was only anecdotal evidence rather than rigorous
scientific proof supporting the use of marijuana.
The DEA's decision "recites the testimony of numerous experts
that marijuana's medicinal value has never been proven in sound
scientific studies," he said.
David Fratello, a spokesman for the Drug Policy Foundation,
was unable to say if the ruling would be appealed, but added,
"This puts the ball into the Clinton administration's court."
He noted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced
it would review the issue and said, "DEA is the wrong agency to
make these sorts of decisions."
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