The U.S. Department of Justice has finally responded to a 2002 petition to reclassify marijuana as a medical treatment.

Nothing like a sense of urgency, right guys?

Of course, after sitting on this for nearly a decade, the department responded with the same old line -- ruling against medical marijuana under no uncertain terms.

The DOJ even went as far as to state that "marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision."

Sorry -- as serious as this is, I can't help but find that a little funny. Replace the word "marijuana" with the name of the useless Big Pharma med of your choice, and you might have something.

Antidepressants, painkillers, and ADHD drugs all spring immediately to mind.

In fact, studies have shown that medical marijuana is not only effective for many forms of pain, including cancer pain, it comes with few side effects -- unlike the dangerous and addictive opioid painkillers openly and legally abused across the country.

Back in 1999, the Institute of Medicine -- a part of the National Academy of Sciences -- told Congress that pot can help keep pain and vomiting in check, and that even with all the risks we've come to associate with this stuff, it's worth a try when other meds have failed.

The FDA has even approved of at least two synthetic drugs based on the ingredients in marijuana -- which only proves
that if marijuana itself could be patented by Big Pharma, it would have been approved ages ago.

After all, the science is there: In addition to cancer pain, it's famously effective against glaucoma -- and studies have
shown that it can fight inflammation, mental illness, Alzheimer's disease and more.

One review last year found that marijuana can even help multiple sclerosis patients with both pain and mobility issues. (Read about it here.)

But this is a political battle, not a scientific one -- and all the research in the world won't convince those who are against it otherwise.

The one bright side to the Department of Justice's recent ruling is that medical marijuana backers can now take the issue to court -- and maybe now we won't have to wait a decade to see the science finally overcome the politics.