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DEA decides against medical marijuana

For the third time, as John Hoeffel reports for the Los Angeles Times, legal medical marijuana advocates have failed in convincing the federal government to reclassify marijuana as something other than a Schedule I drug, a classification which includes heroin.

But that doesn't mean their fight is over. Most types of drug possession may still be illegal in North Carolina and many other states, but medical marijuana advocates are closer to getting another day in court.

Already 16 states allow the use of medical marijuana, excluding North Carolina (which has recently banned synthetic marijuana as well). The national trend toward medical marijuana among the states contrasts with the stance taken by the DEA. The federal agency continues to crack down on the medical marijuana movement.

But now that the DEA has decided against reclassifying marijuana, medical marijuana advocates can appeal the case. As Hoeffel reports, counsel for Americans for Safe Access Joe Elford says, "We have foiled the government's strategy of delay, and we can now go head-to-head on the merits."

While Elford heads the lawsuit appealing the DEA's decision, organizations like the National Cancer Institute are coming forth with their opinions that marijuana is good for those who suffer from disease or injury, treating a range of maladies, from nausea to insomnia.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "U.S. decrees that marijuana has no accepted medical use," by John Hoeffel, 7/9/11

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