Earlier this week the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the state of Nevada that it is illegal for medical marijuana card holders to own a firearm for self-defense, according to Fortune.
The 3-0 court decision is based on a federal law that classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other drugs in the schedule include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, peyote, and methaqualone.
The court ruled the use of medical marijuana “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
While a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration claims the use of marijuana increases the potential for violence, other studies contradict this conclusion.
A study published by the journal of Addictive Behaviors determined use of the drug is unrelated to IPV (intimate partner violence). Alcohol increased the odds of several types of aggression while marijuana did not appear to affect any, according to data. A scientific study in Spain found that found THC-like chemicals “significantly decreased the aggression levels” of mice, a conclusion suggesting the effect of marijuana may in fact be the exact opposite of alcohol.
Numerous studies have determined cannabis is beneficial for a wide variety of ailments, including cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, PTSD, arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, and a number of other illnesses. Scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute found cannabidiol inhibits proliferation of breast cancer cells and other studies have concluded cannabis medicine helps relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Many oncologists agree medical marijuana alleviates the side effects of chemotherapy.
A review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health found cannabis has medicinal properties beneficial for chronic pain, muscle spasms, involuntary movements, sleep disorders, HIV-related weight loss and Tourette syndrome, Reuters reported last year.
However, the federal government insists there is not sufficient evidence proving the medical value of cannabis. Earlier this month the Drug Enforcement Administration turned down requests to remove marijuana from Schedule I.
“Right now, the science doesn’t support it,” the acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chuck Rosenberg, said after the decision was made public. He said the government’s decision “is tethered to the science,” The Washington Post reported.
On August 10 the Obama administration announced it plans to remove federal barriers prohibiting marijuana research. Currently the University of Mississippi is the only institution authorized to grow the drug for use in medical studies.
“It will create a supply of research-grade marijuana that is diverse, but more importantly, it will be competitive and you will have growers motivated to meet the demand of researchers,” John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The New York Times.