After accepting a case brought by lawyers defending accused marijuana growers and after holding an extensive five-day hearing to examine the classification and determine the constitutionality of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller announced her decision Wednesday (April 15) to uphold the law, saying that she could not just overturn a law passed by Congress. Therefore, the pressure is now on both chambers of Congress to reclassify marijuana and reform the criminal justice system.

However, and while this decision was a major defeat for those pushing for the legalization of marijuana nationwide, it is a sign of hope given the fact that the hearing marked the first time in decades that a U.S. judge was willing to consider the constitutionality of marijuana’s Schedule I classification under the Controlled Substances Act. Therefore, possibly leading to a higher court hearing this case and similar cases in the near and not-so-distant future.

“At some point in time, a court may decide this status to be unconstitutional,” Mueller was quoted as saying on leafonline.com, a pro-marijuana blog that has been covering the case. “But this is not the court and not the time.”

As soon as the criminal case against the accused marijuana growers is resolved, then Mueller’s decision will most likely be appealed to a higher court, with a trial expected late this year or early next year.

Stay tuned.

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