The feds have spoken: marijuana has no legitimate medical use and will continue to be classified as a hard drug. This decision comes nine years after medical pot advocates asked the federal government to reclassify marijuana to reflect growing evidence that it has beneficial medical properties. DEA to medical weed advocates: “No way, hippies.” On the other hand, this isn’t all bad news for the medical marijuana folks, since now they can start appealing the decision.
The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis filed a petition in 2002 to reclassify weed, and nothing happened. This spring, they filed a lawsuit demanding that the DEA finally attend to the request. The DEA sent them a big “no” on June 21, and their response was published yesterday.
The LA Times quotes Joe Elford, the chief counsel of Americans for Safe Access: “We have foiled the government’s strategy of delay, and we can now go head-to-head on the merits.” Yeahhhh! But then they also quote him saying “One of the things people say about marijuana is that it gives you the munchies and the truth is that it does, and for some people that’s a very positive thing.”
And the above quote is a good illustration of one reason we’re not going to get widespread access to medical pot in this country for a long, long time. As long as medical marijuana advocates continue to toss around stoner terminology, squares will continue to think of the harmless plant as a drug and associate it with various societal ills, and no progress will be made. “Munchies,” dude? You’re a lawyer. Damn.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 9, 2011