The U.S. government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug has been up for debate for nearly a decade as more and more U.S. states begin to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes
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While studies regarding the drug’s effects on the body are extremely limited, doctors and scientists alike claim that initial research is promising for certain conditions. 
 
Now, a legal dispute in California is bringing the divide in Washington, D.C. into the spotlight and could expedite discussions about reclassification.
 
Schedule I Classification: ‘Unconstitutional’
Nine men who’ve been accused of illegally growing marijuana on private and federal land are arguing that their charges should be dropped because the drug has been improperly classified by the federal government.
 
Defense attorneys for the men, who are fighting a penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine, say the fact that so many states have legalized the drug for medical use makes the government’s Schedule I listing unconstitutional.
 
Judge Kimberly J. Muller, who is overseeing the proceedings, said she was taking the defense’s argument very seriously and promised to deliver a ruling within 30 days.
 
Related Link: Is The U.S. Prepared To Legalize Marijuana?
 

Questions Raised At Federal Level

 
The California case underscores the growing need for uniform drug policies across the nation.
 
President Obama has said that the federal government will not interfere with states’ decisions to legalize marijuana and that the Schedule I classification will be evaluated in the future.
 
The president also expressed concern over the steep penalties assigned to people facing drug charges, but the deep divide in Washington over whether or not marijuana should be made legal has kept policymakers from making any changes at the federal level.
 
Laura Brodbeck ~ February 13, 2015
 
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