9th Circuit To Hear Arguments On DEA Cannabis Classification

By Matthew Casey
Published: Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 6:15pm
Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 8:21am

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medical marijuana buds in glass jars
Claire Caulfield/KJZZ
Medical marijuana buds in glass jars at a dispensary in Scottsdale.

On Thursday a panel of 9th U.S. Circuit judges is scheduled to hear from lawyers for a Scottsdale-based researcher who wants the federal government to change how cannabis is classified.

Court documents filed by lawyers for the Drug Enforcement Administration say the legal challenge should be thrown out.

The DEA calls cannabis a Schedule I drug, which in part means the federal government considers marijuana to have no medical use.

But 36 states have legalized it for medical purposes.

Dr. Sue Sisley said the DEA’s label has blocked legitimate studies, and she’s optimistic about what a reclassification could bring.

Sue Sisley
Sue Sisley
Sue Sisley

“You will see a renaissance of cannabis research in our country where scientists will finally be able to readily get approved for these trials,” she said.

The DEA has argued the case should be dismissed because asking the 9th Circuit to rule was improper procedure and the original request the case is tied to didn’t pass the DEA’s test for deciding if a drug has an accepted medical use.