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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 03:20 PM

2. Some additional info

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is the second-most powerful U.S. court.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/17/1025131/powerful-federal-appeals-court-considers-marijuanas-medical-benefits/

The three judges on the D.C. Circuit panel expressed some sympathy for claims that plaintiffs were harmed by the Schedule I classification, necessary to establish standing to sue in the first place. Judge Harry T. Edwards said at least one of the plaintiffs, Michael Krawitz, had established a strong argument that he had standing based on his inability to obtain medical marijuana through his Veterans Administration doctor to treat chronic pain and trauma. But neither the parties nor the judges devoted much time to an even tougher hurdle: overcoming the courtís traditional stance of extreme deference to the decisions of administrative agencies like the DEA.

Even if the court did side with the plaintiffs, it would likely return the case to the DEA to reconsider its decision or require a hearing on the issue, and the agency has already declined to reclassify marijuana several times before in 1972 and again in 1988, even after an Administrative Law Judge ruled that the drug should be reclassified.


from a comment at ASA:

Judge Edwards was appointed by President Carter. He has been a law professor at several Ivy League schools. It appears that he was strongly involved in the civil rights movement, or at least had close friends that were. Wikipedia also shows that Judge Edwards was heavily involved in the Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community. The Committee published a report that did NOT simply follow the status quo, but instead recommended major changes. Judge Edwardsís biography strongly suggests that he will be fair and impartial and willing to consider change in our nationís drug policy laws.

Judge Henderson worked for over 10 years as a prosecutor and was nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan (trial level) and George H.W. Bush (appellate level). As compared to Judge Edwards, Judge Henderson appears much more conservative.

Last, Judge Garland. Appointed by Clinton. Clerked for Brennan (well-known as a very liberal Justice). Also spent substantial time as a prosecutor. It appears that Judge Garland is moderate, which is good. He will likely be fair and impartial about this issue.


Kravitz, whose issue of "standing" is under consideration, is also the executive director of Veterans For Medical Marijuana Access. His site provides this bg:

http://www.veteransformedicalmarijuana.org/content/about-vmma

A disabled United States Air Force Veteran, Michael Krawitz served from 1981 to 1986 and was injured in an accident in Guam that was
deemed "in the line of duty" although not in any way combat related.

Mr. Krawitz had 13 surgeries to put him back together including some done in the Air Force and some done by the Department of Veterans Affairs. His job title in the Air Force was Electronic Warfare Systems Technician.

In Guam he worked on avionics equipment onboard B-52's. Since his disability - separation he attended college at Virginia Tech and although attaining a 4.0 grade point average in his Junior year of Computer Engineering he had to leave
college because of his medical disability.

Since leaving college Mr. Krawitz tried to use his time well as an advocate and in 1997 he was part of a small team of activists that protected Virginia's longstanding medical marijuana law from being repealed. In 1998 he was able to be part of a United Nations drug summit. He gave testimony and presented information inside the UN General Assembly Hall on the basic right to access required medicine. In 1999 Mr. Krawitz presented testimony to the National Academy of Science, Institute of Medicine and his story and that of a patient he advocated for were both chosen as reference patient stories and published in the reports written.

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