The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the federal government’s decision to classify cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance (without any accepted medical utility) is arguably “irrational,” but it is not unconstitutional.
In the case ‘United States of America v. Green’, the defendants argued that cannabis’s scheduling in the US Controlled Substances Act “has no rational basis because cannabis does not meet the statutory criteria for inclusion on Schedule I,” reported NORML.
Under the law, Schedule I substances —by definition— must meet three specific criteria: “A high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use (…) under medical supervision.”
“The Act’s scheduling criteria are largely irrelevant to our constitutional review because the rational basis test asks only whether Congress could have any conceivable basis for including marijuana on the strictest schedule,” said Judges for the US Court of Appeals rejecting the defendant’s argument.
“Because there are other plausible considerations that could have motivated Congress’s scheduling of marijuana, we conclude that its classification does not violate the [plaintiffs’] due process or equal protection rights.”
Moreover, Judges acknowledged that the defendants “convincingly argue that it is irrational for the government to maintain that marijuana has no accepted medical use.” Nevertheless, they ruled that the argument is insufficient to compel the Court to determine that cannabis’ Schedule I status is unconstitutional.
Published: September 15, 2022
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