Appeals court rejects lawsuit seeking to force DEA to reschedule marijuana

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals shot down the latest legal attempt to force the federal government to loosen regulations around marijuana.

According to Courthouse News Service, the three-judge panel appellate court ruled against a lawsuit filed last year that asked the court to force the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to move marijuana from its current status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance to a less-restrictive category.

Schedule 1 narcotics are considered to have a high potential for abuse and offer no accepted medical value, such as LSD and heroin.

The San Francisco-based court on Monday ruled against the pro-marijuana plaintiffs on a technicality, writing in an opinion that the petitioners “failed to exhaust other avenues of relief that they could have pursued before coming to court,” Courthouse News Service reported.

The case was originally brought by medical marijuana patient Jeramy Bowers and a California inmate named Stephen Zyszkiewicz.

Then, in June 2020, Sue Sisley – a medical cannabis researcher – also got involved as a plaintiff and attempted to argue that the Schedule 1 classification of marijuana impedes her work as a scientific researcher.

An attorney for the plaintiffs told Courthouse News Service they are considering their legal options.