Occupy the DEA – Trenton NJ, Thursday February 16 – while CRC storms the citadel

Apparently, this is “Medical Marijuana Week.”

I didn’t get the memo but I did see an announcement on the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in NJ site that there will be a protest this coming Thursday outside the Trenton NJ federal building focusing on the DEA’s ruling in July of 2011 that cannabis must stay in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

There is an interesting history behind that ruling. It appears to have been prompted by the most recent petition to reschedule cannabis brought, appropriately enough, by “the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis” in 2002. Yes, 2002.

CRC filed its petition in 2002. In April 2011 CRC applied to a US District Court to force the DEA to issue a decision on the petition. Until there is a decision, there is nothing for CRC to challenge in court; the petition just sits there in limbo…forever. Wouldn’t you know…. three months after CRC commenced an action to force DEA to issue a decision – eight years after CRC applied for a decision – the DEA issued its July 8, 2011 decision, holding (of course – this is “Permanent Prohibition” after all) that cannabis has no medical use. Now that there is a decision there is a challenge to the decision in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

I consider this proceeding to be the key legal event of contemporary cannabis legal control. This one is where the action is.

I read CRC’s brief, which is available along with the July 8, 2011, decision (published in the Federal Register) at the website of Americans for Safe Access. ASA’s general counsel, Joe Elford, is identified as the author of the brief, which I consider excellent. I am waiting to see DEA’s response.

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