As the rest of the world watches President Barack Obama and Congress play tug-of-war with a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, the marijuana industry is paying close attention to the man at the center.

On Wednesday, Obama announced centrist appeals court Judge Merrick Garland as his choice to fill the seat made vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

A group of medical marijuana industry leaders released joint statements in response, largely supporting the pick of a man who ruled against a move that would have made it easier to study the potential health benefits of the drug.

Garland sided with the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2013 against advocates seeking to force the agency to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug, the classification for narcotics such as heroin and cocaine.

Garland, on a panel of three judges, ruled that the DEA wasn't biased against pot, but also argued that scientists should determine the safety of the drug.

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Shay Castle ~ ~

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