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Sat Jun 1, 2019, 01:07 PM

Judges: Feds must act if asked to take a fresh look at pot

Source: Associated Press

Judges: Feds must act if asked to take a fresh look at pot

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
May 31, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration must “act promptly” if formally asked to take another look at laws that consider marijuana as dangerous as heroin or LSD.

The ruling came Thursday in a 2-to-1 vote by judges from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who agreed that the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the DEA and other parts of the federal government needed to ask the agency to change its designations for marijuana before bringing the issue to the courts.

The plaintiffs — which include the Cannabis Cultural Association and an Iraq war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder — now have an opening to persuade federal authorities to change how they classify marijuana. Many states have legalized recreational pot use, but marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

“It is possible that the current law, though rational once, is now heading towards irrationality; it may even conceivably be that it has gotten there already,” wrote Judge Guido Calabresi.

“A sensible response to our evolving understanding about the effects of marijuana might require creating new policies just as much as changing old ones,” Calabresi added in a majority opinion that included the conclusions of Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a district judge sitting on the Manhattan appeals court temporarily.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/e1900a439b4a4de4acb5594f27546132

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