A federal district court will soon hear a case that challenges the federal government to reclassify marijuana. The case is brought to the court by Michael Krawitz, an Air Force veteran who used medical marijuana to relieve pain and was then denied further treatment by the Department of Veteran Affairs because of his drug use. Krawitz is now suing the federal government, backed by groups like the American Medical Association and Americans for Safe Access, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments in the case on October 16.
Marijuana is now classified by the federal government as a dangerous drug, meaning it has no medical benefits. Medical marijuana advocates are hoping that the case will reclassify the drug as having therapeutic value. According to The Guardian, this is the first time in 20 years that the court will review evidence regarding marijuana’s use as a beneficial drug. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, although 17 states have legalized medical marijuana.