What Happened at the Federal Hearing Challenging Marijuana Prohibition?

The stability of marijuana prohibition now rests in the hands of a federal judge, who listened to testimony last week during a five day evidentiary hearing aimed at determining if the Schedule I dangerous drug classification slapped on the cannabis plant by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1970 upholds the US Constitution or blatantly hijacks the freedom of American citizens.

Throughout the proceedings, United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller was challenged to act as a high court referee in a bare knuckle brawl between the defense, who argued that science proves marijuana does not belong in the same category as heroin, and its opposing forces, who maintained that weed has a high potential for abuse, and therefore should remain listed as a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

The defense seemed fully prepared to unleash a heap of carnage against prohibitionists by introducing a respected legion of medical experts and researchers intent on selling Judge Mueller on the truth as opposed to over four decades of vile propaganda. Several of the witnesses introduced by the defense, including Dr. Greg Carter, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, testified that they did not consider themselves activists for the movement to legalize marijuana, but rather believers in the scientific evidence.

Marijuana is safe under supervision of a doctor. If I’ve advocated for anything it’s exactly that,” said Carter, during the first day of testimony.

Fighting on behalf of the federal government was Dr. Bertha Madras, Professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School and one time crony for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the George W. Bush administration. Uncle Sam’s team, however, appeared unprepared to strategically battle it out with the defense. At one point, Dr. Madras admitted to failing to locate important research crucial to the case. “But there are thousands of studies on marijuana,” she said. “It’s very difficult to study all of them.”

By the third day, there were times when both federal prosecutors and the defense agreed that cannabis has medicinal benefits, which inserted Uncle Sam’s hypocritical foot in his naysaying mouth by substantially discounting the claim that marijuana should remain a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use.”

Unfortunately, Judge Mueller is not expected to deliver her verdict until after the beginning of the year.

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