A common criticism of medical marijuana is how it's dispensed. Why, enemies of the drug like to say, is cannabis sold in shady storefronts by budtenders with tattoos if it's such a lovely and wonderful wonder drug?
The answer is that tattoos are popular -- and the Supreme Court believes cannabis is still highly dangerous and medically worthless.
Hard at work while the rest of the federal government takes a break, the nation's war against the plant continued Monday when the high court denied an appeal of the Drug Enforcement Administration's classification of cannabis as no use to the health profession.
Meanwhile, of course, clinical trials for a pharmaceutical based on synthetic cannabinoids continue.
The Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal of a lower court's decision against Americans for Safe Access, which has for years been trying to challenge the DEA classification of pot.
Cannabis is right now a Schedule I controlled substance, in the same category as peyote and most opiates (but not methamphetamine or cocaine, which both have medical application -- and more medical application than cannabis, the DEA says).
An appeals court ruled that the DEA is abiding by the rules by refusing to budge on weed until the Food and Drug Administration recognizes pot as a drug, Stopthedrugwar.org reported.
This means the lovely Catch 22 can continue: cannabis remains illegal, which makes it harder to come by for researchers who wish to pursue for clinical studies. And that creates less of the kind of science that would please federal law enforcement, which in turn keeps cannabis right where it is: illegal.
Other appeals of marijuana's status -- filed by governors of Rhode Island and Washington, two of the 20 states where medical marijuana is legal -- is still pending.