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Is marijuana close to being legalized?

MONDAY, OCT 15, 2012 12:47 PM EDT

Federal courts are reconsidering the science behind medical marijuana, which may be legal use’s biggest barrier

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Is marijuana close to being legalized?(Credit: Reuters/Cliff DesPeaux)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNetOnce again, medical-marijuana advocates are taking to the courts to eliminate the biggest barrier to legal use—the federal law that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug with no valid medical use.

On Oct. 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the federal appeals court that usually handles cases involving government regulations, will hear oral arguments onAmericans for Safe Access v. DEA. It will be the first time in almost 20 years that federal courts have considered the science of medical marijuana, says ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes.

Specifically, ASA, a California-based patient-advocacy group, is trying to get the Drug Enforcement Administration to move marijuana out of Schedule I, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970s category for drugs with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and no “accepted level of safety for use under medical supervision.” Heroin, LSD, and PCP are also in Schedule I. Cocaine, methamphetamine and OxyContin are in Schedule II, legal for medical use but strongly restricted. Continue reading

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