If that sounds like a familiar headline, it is. Back in 2013, Bong Blotter reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit had ruled that there were no "adequate and well-controlled" studies documenting any medical benefits of pot-smoking.
Today, to the great dismay of medical marijuana activists everywhere, it's deja vu all over again. Specifically, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, who had made history by actually agreeing to hear the case in the first place, has ruled that the U.S. Congress did not violate the Constitution in 1970 when it ruled that pot is as harmful as heroin or LSD.
"At some point in time, a court may decide this status to be unconstitutional," Mueller announced today. " But this is not the court and not the time."
Mueller's ruling stems from a pretrial motion brought on behalf of marijuana growers who are being prosecuted for cultivating cannabis, so that's bad news for the defendants. It's also bad bad for America, argues Chris Conrad, a marijuana expert who testified in the hearings.
"While I respect Judge Mueller's courage in holding this hearing and considering the issues, "I clearly disagree with her opinion and cannot help but feel disappointed," Conrad says "The Americans people deserve better. Real harms will continue to be done to our people as a result of the DEA's misclassification of marijuana as a schedule 1 drug."
Although the ruling can be appealed in the future, for now, we have to depend on the entity with the lowest approval rating in the country–the U.S. Congress–to do the right thing.
Sounds like a pipe dream.