Marijuana to Stay A Schedule I Drug, Federal Judge Denies Reclassification

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By Anushree Madappa On 02/27/18

On Monday, a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a request to reclassify marijuana — currently a Schedule I drug, leaving the plaintiffs in a limbo after many states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

The plaintiffs — Marvin Washington, Dean Bartell, Alexis Bartell, Jose Belen, Sebastien Cotte, Jagger Cotte, along with the Cannabis Cultural Association Inc. — filed the petition challenging classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, hoping that it’s reclassification would pay way for legalization of cannabis across the nation. They sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the federal court.

They petitioners claimed that the “current scheduling of marijuana violates due process because it lacks a rational basis.”

For decades, Marijuana has been under the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, the highest level of drug classification making it on par with dangerous drugs like heroin. The government has repeatedly rejected appeals for reclassification. The substances in this schedule have “a high potential for abuse,” (2) “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and (3) there is “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”

Deeming marijuana as a highly dangerous drug, the U.S. Congress proffered the power to reclassify the drug with the attorney general. The power to reclassify was also granted to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), provided the attorney general signs off on the petition to reclassify the drug based on medical and scientific data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The data should be consistent with the argument for reclassification.

While dismissing the petition, which argued that there was no “rational basis” for the Congress to classify Marijuana under Schedule I, Judge Alkin K Hellerstein said, “By framing their claim in terms of the statutory factors outlined in Section 8 l 2(b) (1), plaintiffs’ lawsuit is best understood as a collateral attack on the various administrative determinations not to reclassify marijuana into a different drug schedule.”

“As such, plaintiffs’ claim is barred because plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies,” he added.

The “exhaustion rule” generally implies the plaintiffs to go through all parties and exhaust all “administrative remedies” before moving to the federal courts, which the judge found was not followed in the case.

By approaching the federal court, the petitioners chose to avoid the same fate dealt to previous complaints that challenged the administration agency and lost in 2016, the judge said.

In 2016, a request to reclassify marijuana was denied by the DEA. In a letter to the petitioners, the agency said, “HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.”

The federal court judge said he agrees with the previous verdict given by Judge Wolford of the Western District of New York in the United States v. Green case where he said the petition did not challenge the DEA’s decision “to conclude that there is no currently accepted medical use for marijuana” but the constitutional issue is “whether there is any conceivable basis to support the placement of marijuana on the most stringent schedule under the [Controlled Substance Act] CSA.”

In a document stating the verdict, Hellerstein said, “Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim under any constitutional theory, all of plaintiffs’ remaining claims are also dismissed.”

The judge concluded that the “defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint is granted. Plaintiffs have already amended their complaint once, and I find that further amendments would be futile.”

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RELATED:

Alexis Bortell, 12, Won’t Let Court Loss Stop Jeff Sessions Medical Pot Fight  (1-27-18)

Last year, then-eleven-year-old Colorado resident and medical marijuana patient Alexis Bortell joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal scheduling of cannabis. Yesterday, February 26, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, but Bortell, now twelve, wasn’t distressed. Shortly after the news went public, a post appeared on her Facebook page reading, “We were ready. Smile. We know #SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] is where we are probably going.”   LINK

The note ended with the hashtags #IStandWithAlexis and #AlexisBortell.

http://floridamarijuana.net/breaking-news-jeff-sessions-dea-stand-trial-federal-lawsuit-de-schedule-cannabis/

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SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” that gives the Attorney General of the United States the power to ban any “analogue” of an opioid that controls pain or provides an increase of energy.

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Kratom Advocates:

If you’ve had one of those days that starts with friends calling you with bad news, and the news just gets worse and worse as the day goes on – then that describes my day perfectly.

On Friday of last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, dropped a bill in the U.S. Senate that our lobbyists believe will give the FDA and DEA a backdoor way of banning kratom completely in the United States.

S. 1327 is euphemistically called the SITSA Act.  And a companion bill in the US House of Representatives has already been filed, H.R. 2851, by Representative John Katco of New York.

The SITSA Act stands for the “Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017.”
SITSA creates a new “Schedule A” that gives the Attorney General of the United States the power to ban any “analogue” of an opioid that controls pain or provides an increase of energy.

That is kratom. Because kratom’s 2 primary alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, though not opioids, act similarly in some ways.
They could of just called this bill the “Schedule Kratom” Act.

This legislation will allow the Attorney General, and his supporters at the DEA, to add kratom to Schedule A on a “temporary basis” that will last for 5 years.
And once added to Schedule A, the Attorney General can convert it to a permanent schedule.
After everything that we’ve fought successfully against and endured together as a movement, our lobbyists are concerned that this is now the perfect storm for banning kratom.

Under the current Controlled Substances Act, the FDA and DEA have to prove conclusively that kratom is dangerously addictive and unsafe for consumer use. That’s why we were able to stop them in their tracks when they tried to ram through an “emergency scheduling” ban on kratom.

And it is why the FDA is having such a tough time in finding some justification to schedule kratom under regular rulemaking.

So now the anti-kratom bureaucrats in Washington want to ban kratom simply by claiming it has the same effects as an opioid – calling it an “analogue” of the opioid.

And the SITSA Act can enforce a ban on kratom by criminalizing any manufacturer or distributor of kratom. Ten years imprisonment just for manufacturing or selling a kratom product, and a fine of $500,000 if you are an individual, $2,500,000 if the defendant is a company.

If you import or export kratom, it is a 20-year sentence.

And then there are harsh penalties for what they call “false labeling” of a Schedule A substance.
That’s why am writing – because I need your help again.

We have to convince Sen. Grassley, Sen. Feinstein, and Representative Katko that they have to exempt natural botanical plants from the SITSA Act.
We have to act quickly, because I learned today that the House Judiciary Committee is looking to schedule a Hearing before they leave for recess next month.

So I hope you will help by doing three specific things:

1.    Click on the link below and sign our petition that the AKA will have delivered to every member of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. 

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION URGING LAWMAKERS TO REMOVE KRATOM FROM THE SITSA ACT.

2.    I need you to pick up the phone and call Sen. Grassley’s office, Sen. Feinstein’s office, and Representative Katco’s office. When the staff member answers the phone, tell them that their boss should exclude natural botanicals like kratom products from the SITSA Act.

Here are the phone numbers you should call:

Senator Grassley:    (202) 224-3744
Senator Feinstein:    (202) 224-3841
Congressman Katco:    (202) 225-3701

When you call, be polite, but firm.  Kratom should be exempted from SITSA.

3.    Please click on the donation link below and help us once again to take on this fight with a team of lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations professionals.  Please consider making a monthly contribution to the AKA.

DONATION LINK TO HELP THE AKA FIGHT THIS LEGISLATION.

I know I am asking a lot.

But we need to fight back hard, or they will steal our freedoms from us to make our own decisions about our health and well-being.

So please, sign the petition, call the the sponsors of SITSA, and please, please, give as generous a contribution as you can to help us put our team on the ground in Washington, D.C.

With your help, we have established ourselves as a real force in Washington.

With your continued help – help that I am so grateful for – we can win this battle against the enemies of kratom.

Your contribution will help us hire the lawyers we need for a brief on why this legislation violates due process and current law; our lobbyists to knock on doors on Capitol Hill; and our public relations team to rally the press to tell our story.

We will stand up for freedom.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Susan Ash
Founder and Spokesperson
American Kratom Association
www.americankratom.org

http://mailchi.mp/americankratom/new-legislative-attack-on-kratom?e=2709219685

https://www.facebook.com/kratom.us/photos/rpp.260289027341069/873568049346494/?type=3&theater

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29

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Here is an essay that I’ve written to the News Enterprise, the Courier Journal, the Lexington Herald, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Brett Guthrie, Matt Bevin, Rick Sanders, and the Kentucky Medical Association. I’m still looking for more people to write to, but I thought you might appreciate it. Love what you guys are doing, and keep up the great work! –Joshua

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Genesis 1:29

Those are the very first words that God spoke to mankind. He told us that He Himself made every herb, and He has given us every single one of them.

Cannabis being legalized isn’t just about the fact that the Controlled Substance Act is grossly unconstitutional, that mothers and fathers are going to prison and having their children ripped from their homes, that Congress abuses the Commerce Clause to tell us what we cannot have in our own homes and bodies, or the countless lives that have been destroyed because of the failed War on Drugs. Cannabis is a God given right.

The governments tell us God was wrong; that He made a mistake. Why should anyone, whether they support legalization or not, stand for such a thing? Cannabis laws have nothing to do with helping anyone, nor do they have to do with money. The government uses cannabis to invade the rights of everyone. The DEA has put GPS tracking devices on vehicles, they have intercepted millions of American’s phone calls, they can open your mail, and they can search your home or car without a warrant by simply saying, “It smelled like marijuana”.

The Commerce Clause of the Constitution says that Congress has the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes”. From this single sentence, Congress created the Controlled Substance Act. This is how it works:

Congress has the authority to control “interstate commerce”, or commerce between state lines. Commerce within state lines, or “intrastate commerce” is supposed to be regulated by the individual States. However, Congress says that it is not feasible for law enforcement to know whether cannabis is being sold or was obtained through interstate commerce, so they regulate the intrastate commerce as well.

In 2002, Angel Raich’s home was invaded by DEA agents who destroyed her six medical cannabis plants. Raich took this to the Supreme Court, claiming that her plants were for personal use and obviously did not affect interstate commerce. The Court disagreed, stating that in Wickard vs. Filburn (1942), the Court had decided that growing wheat for one’s personal use was within Congress’s power to regulate. This essentially means that Congress has the authority to prohibit absolutely anything. If they wish to prohibit chairs, you cannot have a chair for personal use. They may also ban all materials used to “manufacture” chairs. This is not just about “drugs”. This is about our rights and liberties as American citizens.

The Controlled Substance Act says cannabis, or “marihunana” as it’s called in the Act, is a Scheduled 1 substance along with heroin and LSD, which means it has no acceptable medicinal value. However, Patent 6630507 is the U.S. Govenment’s own patent on the various cannabinoids present in cannabis. The government is lying, and millions of people are forced to use prescription drugs which have rampaged Kentucky and the country.

Yet alcohol, which must be manufactured and has destroyed countless lives, is sold and celebrated all over the country. The Scriptures have plenty to say about alcohol and why it is wise to avoid it. When God made all the plants on the third day, before there was ever a man to till the ground, cannabis grew without any help. There is no need to “manufacture” cannabis. It’s a plant!

Some will say “But it’s against the law of the land!” Nonsense. The law of the land is that God made all plants and herbs, because the very first words that God said to man is “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed”.

God made it, and He made it for you. He made it because He loves you. He made it to bring you health, wellbeing, and to supplement your endocannabinoid system, which He also made. Nobody has the right to tell you that you can’t have that which God explicitly said is yours.

“He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth” Psalm 104:14

If you have access to the internet, I urge you to research whether these things are true. Search where Congress draws their power for the Controlled Substance Act, the endocannabinoid system that exists in every human, Patent 6630507, and the history and science behind this very ancient herb. Then contact our representatives and tell them that we will not stand for having our rights trampled on any longer; because we are Kentucky, we are patriots, and we believe the Word of God.

(Written and received from an “Anonymous” reader, sk.)