Marijuana: Colorado to formally ask DEA to designate pot Schedule II controlled substance

Categories: Marijuana

Thumbnail image for marijuana in bong.jpg
The Drug Enforcement Administration dubs marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance -- meaning it has no accepted medical use. Switching pot to Schedule II, like morphine and cocaine, among other drugs, would instantly change the dynamic between the feds and medical marijuana states. And a Colorado spokesman confirms that his agency will make such a request by year's end.

Not that the state has a choice. Hidden within the language of House Bill 1284, the 2010 measure that established the regulatory structure for medical marijuana in Colorado, is a passage that enumerates the powers and duties of the state licensing authority. Under the heading "The state licensing authority shall," the seventh of them reads:

IN RECOGNITION OF THE POTENTIAL MEDICINAL VALUE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA, MAKE A REQUEST BY JANUARY 1, 2012, TO THE FEDERAL DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION TO CONSIDER RESCHEDULING, FOR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES, MEDICAL MARIJUANA FROM A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE TO A SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.

And who is the state licensing authority? An earlier section of the bill hands this role to "the executive director of the Department of Revenue or the deputy director of the Department of Revenue if the executive director so designates."

barbara brohl.jpg
Barbara Brohl.
That means Barbara Brohl, who was appointed executive director of the DOR on June 30 by Governor John Hickenlooper, is the person directed to make such a request. She hasn't designated this role to a deputy because, says Department of Revenue spokesman Mark Couch, there is not presently a deputy to whom she could do so.

Did the folks at the department remember this was on their state-mandated to-do list before receiving a call from Westword? That's unclear. But Couch emphasizes that Brohl will do so. "There's a 'shall' on this in 1284," he points out.

"It's on her radar," Couch adds. "She is aware of it. And I talked to the director of the Enforcement Division, George Thomson, and he's aware of it, too."

How and when will such a request be made? Will Brohl simply write a letter? Or will she pull together a more robust package featuring data demonstrating marijuana's medical qualities and Colorado's buy-in, as epitomized by a constitutional amendment and a regulatory scheme applied to hundreds of MMJ enterprises statewide? To whom at the DEA or the Justice Department will this material be addressed? And what kind of follow-up/lobbying will or will not accompany it?

All of that is "in development, at their discretion," Couch says. And while he doesn't have a timetable for the submission yet, he expects that it will "probably be sent closer to the deadline."

In other words, there's a lot up in the air. But what's not is Brohl's charge -- to formally request that the DEA move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.

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More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana PTSD study roadblock example of feds' schizophrenia, says Brian Vicente."

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rsteeb
rsteeb

There is NO rational reason for Cannabis to be "scheduled" any more restrictively than tobacco.  Quite the contrary.  Just LEGALIZE it.  I don't need a doctor or my mommy to give me approval; I find it useful-- that settles it.

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154443

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Martinezluke1

or in my words...

IN RECOGNITION TO THE OVERALL POTENTIAL OF MARIJUANA, MAKE A REQUEST BY YESTERDAY, TO THE FEDERAL DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION TO CONSIDER, FOR ALL PURPOSES, MEDICAL MARIJUANA FROM A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE TO AN ABSOLUTELY LEGAL weed.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

Remember in law you only look at the whole picture as a what if when you win, to beat them in court you must dissect to the finest point and elements then reconstruct the truth from the bottom up, with cases that support your legal reasoning 

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

here is a thought that should really stump ya john, so in nov of 09, AG sent out a legal opinion (#09-06) stating cannabis is considered tangible personal property and subject to taxes when sold between people, so how can they put a limit on the amount of personal property you can have?

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

ever heard of a pharmacy or apothecary church or a health food store?thats where i buy my natural plants like my peyote, ps its a schedule one and i need no dea license

Randy Eichner
Randy Eichner

Will not happen! They will make a half ass'd attempt at it, but only till the point of being eyeballed by the feds then they will run away with tales tucked. Just like when they had up until 2001' to make any changes to what was voted on, but still feloniously passed 3 bills that were illegal and detrimental to patients and cg's. They do only what will hurt us never help us. I have yet to see them do anything that actually HELPS patients. Hell we do not even get an update on any changes in the state in regards to cannabis, we are told to go and find it or figure it out. Oh and they get to interpret the rules how they want, we do not.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

all you dispensaries and state suit plaintiffs still think my suit is dumb, pointless and going to ruin MMJ in its entirety? I have emails two yrs old telling the ag as well as the health dept they have to follow this before the implementation of dispensary licensing as well as taking any fees or revenue from a dispensary.BUT NOOOOO i dont know what im talking about, but the attorneys taking all your money do LOL HAHAHA I TOLD YA MY SUIT HAD GROUND AND I WILL WIN

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule--

(1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he-- (A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and (B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by [[Page 381]] subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or (2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule. (c) Factors determinative of control or removal from schedules In making any finding under subsection (a) of this section or under subsection (b) of section 812 of this title, the Attorney General shall consider the following factors with respect to each drug or other substance proposed to be controlled or removed from the schedules: (1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse.

(2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.

(3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.

(4) Its history and current pattern of abuse.

(5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.

(6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health.

(7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability.

(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this subchapter.

DrJohn
DrJohn

Rev: You neglected to include a very important provision of 21 USC 811 that I mentioned in an earlier post regarding the requirement in the law for the FDA to recommend to the DEA whether a drug is to be scheduled. By regulation, the duties assigned to the AG have been delegated to DEA in this instance and the duties assigned to the "Secretary" of HHS have been delegated to FDA. Here's the relevant statute:

"(b) Evaluation of drugs and other substances    The Attorney General shall, before initiating proceedings under subsection (a) of this section to control a drug or other substance or to remove a drug or other substance entirely from the schedules, and after gathering the necessary data, request from the Secretary a scientific and medical evaluation, and his recommendations, as to whether such drug or other substance should be so controlled or removed as a controlled substance. In making such evaluation and recommendations, the Secretary shall consider the factors listed in paragraphs (2), (3), (6), (7), and (8) of subsection (c) of this section and any scientific or medical considerations involved in paragraphs (1), (4), and (5) of such subsection. The recommendations of the Secretary shall include recommendations with respect to the appropriate schedule, if any, under which such drug or other substance should be listed. The evaluation and the recommendations of the Secretary shall be made in writing and submitted to the Attorney General within a reasonable time. The recommendations of the Secretary to the Attorney General shall be binding on the Attorney General as to such scientific and medical matters, and if the Secretary recommends that a drug or other substance not be controlled, the Attorney General shall not control the drug or other substance. If the Attorney General determines that these facts and all other relevant data constitute substantial evidence of potential for abuse such as to warrant control or substantial evidence that the drug or other substance should be removed entirely from the schedules, he shall initiate proceedings for control or removal, as the case may be, under subsection (a) of this section." (ref: 21 USC 811)

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

DrJohn i have documented letters and phone calls from 2008 to last month demanding they reschedule, way before they added this in 1284, i was actually assured they would add it into 1284 to stop my threatened suit, then they stalled so as my statutes of limitations would run out in nov, so i filed my suit in oct.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

yes and they always rule the individual has no standing or ground, but an attorney general with over a decade of proof and implementations cant be denied, as he already has one of the seven beat, "accepted medical use in the usa" that is why no one has won since 70s because no one could force the AG to petition, as you state only the fda, dea, or ag have the power to petition successfully. the statute of limitations referred to me and the time running out on my suit against the AG forcing him to petition to correctly schedule cannabis

DrJohn
DrJohn

Rev: I don't understand. The CSA was passed in 1970 and the sections I cited are from the original statutory texts that have not changed since the Act was passed into law. There have been scores of petitions sent to the DEA over the years asking to reschedule pot and they've all ended up either being denied by the agency itself or, on appeal, being denied by the D.C. Court of Appeals, which is where you bring an administrative matter like this if the regulatory agency denies your petition. I don't know what you mean by a "statute of limitations" because this really does not apply to a petition to reschedule pot. Generally speaking, the DEA takes years, sometimes a decade or more, to decide a petition. If you look up the following reference in the Federal Register, you'll see that a petition to reschedule pot submitted in 2002 was only this year denied by the DEA: Federal RegisterVol. 76, No. 131 / Friday, July 8, 2011. It's a 39-page decision that is pretty comprehensive and a good illustration of how the DEA and FDA approach these sorts of things.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

NOT TRUEGonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243, 258 (2006) ("The Attorney General has rulemaking power to fulfill his duties under the CSA. The specific respects in which he is authorized to make rules, ***however, instruct us that he is not authorized to make a rule declaring illegitimate a medical standard for care and treatment of patients that is specifically authorized under state law.")*** once unscheduled and given the proper test our state law becomes our state regulation and the feds cant get involved as long as we abide state regs/laws. they signed off on our state regs and etc, all they have left to do is step 1 petition the DEA to let them know cannabis has accepted medical use

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

actually this is about extending life not ending it, personal possession and cultivation are all exempt under the ultimate user exception already even for schedule 1, and yes you are correct our state mmj is a bullshit sham and illegal as far as dispensaries and selling, but at the second our state ag petitions the dea it has accepted medical use in the US then it must be scheduled as low as marinol, Then the state rules and regulations are legal and that is how the chevron plays in we are not ending life we are extending it. I have the fed reg u speak of saved and i have new government science to dispute their science from decades ago, all i need is the ag to petition and i have all the evidence and precedents to win the argument.... still the main point is as i said it doesnt matter who petitions for rescheduling, if it isnt the ag it wont hold in court. PS I ALSO HAVE A NOTE FROM THE HEAD OF THE DEPT OR REV. saying they have no control over deciding or doing anything but collecting revenue...IN OTHER WORDS the dept of rev cant, wont and dont petition for rescheduling as they have no standing to reschedule

DrJohn
DrJohn

Rev: You need to read Chevron to understand what this reference is. According to US Constitution, all laws must be passed by the federal or state legislatures. In the 1800s, Congress realized it couln't run the day to day business of the nation and so it shared its authority with the executive branch in the form of administrative law. This is the catgory of law that administrations like the DEA, FDA, FAA, OSHA, etc. are permitted to enforce. These agencies, in turn, have administrative rulemaking authority but sometimes they don't exactly reflect the intent of the statutes that give them the rulemaking authority in the first place. The important finding in Chevron was a two part test the Supreme Court devised to determine if administrative rules accurately reflect the intent of congress. The first of these relies on knowing what the congress intended to achieve in the statute. If this is clear but the agency's rules do not reflect this, the statute rules and the agency loses. If the statute is ambiguous, then the court must decide if the agency's rule clarifies what congress intended. I don't see how you can bring Chevron into this because the statute is very clear and unambiguous in classifying pot as a Schedule I controlled substance. Moreover, as the July 11th Federal Register document denying the most recent rescheduling petition shows, the FDA and DEA have concluded that the drug has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S., and it lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision. To invoke a Chevron challenge, you would have to first show that these conclusions by the regulatory agencies in their decisions do not reflect the intent of Congress in the CSA. This would be very difficult, if not impossible, since the agencies are using the very criteria in the statute to define their conclusions. The Chevron issue in Gonzales was genuine because Gonzales was a case in which the government tried to use the CSA to prevent doctors from prescribing or dispensing controlled substances for use in state-approved assisted suicides in Oregon. The Supreme Court using Chevron decided that the CSA never addressed the underlying issue of a state-approved medical procedure and, as a result, the agency could not claim that its general authority to regulate controlled substances encompasses prohibiting the use of controlled substances in state-approved assisted suicides. In Gonzales the court was addressing the use of approved controlled substances, not unapproved controlled substances such as pot. Had Gonzales involved pot, the court would have been able to immediately see the fact that the drug has not been approved and therefore any use for whatever reason, medical or otherwise, is not consistent with the CSA. The big difference between Gonzales and this discussion is the scheduling classes of the drugs involved. As pertains to Section 903 of Title 21 that yo also quote, that is the preemption clause in the CSA. It reflects Article VI (not Amendment VI) of the Constitution in that whenever a positive conflict exists between state and federal law, the latter is the law of the land and must prevail. In Gonzales, no conflict existed because there was no federal law prohibiting assisted suicide. When pot enters the picture, it's a whole different story because the CSA specifically prohibits the production, distribution, possession, etc., of pot and so a state cannot declare it legal for any reason or it will be in a positive conflict. You may also want to review Gonzales v. Raich (2005) where this issue was raised at the Supreme Court that decided 7-2 against an individual being able to assert a state's right to possess pot for medical purpose because any state law or regulation allowing this would be in positive conflict with federal law.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

In determining consistency with thepublic interest, he must consider five factors, including theState’s recommendation, compliance with state, federal,and local law regarding controlled substances, and “publichealth and safety.” §823(f). **The CSA explicitlycontemplates a role for the States in regulating controlledsubstances. See §903.***No provision of this subchapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operates, including criminal penalties, to the exclusion of any State law on the same subject matter which would otherwise be within the authority of the State, unless there is a positive conflict between that provision of this subchapter and that State law so that the two cannot consistently stand together. (Pub. L. 91-513, title II, Sec. 708, Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1284.)

HERE dr john it is the exact same from the link you post>><<(c) TheInterpretive Rule is also not entitled to Chevrondeference. The statutory phrase “legitimate medicalpurpose” is ambiguous in the relevant sense. However,Chevron deference is not accorded merely because thestatute is ambiguous and an administrative official isinvolved. A rule must be promulgated pursuant to authorityCongress has delegated to the official. ****The specific respectsin which the Attorney General is authorized to make rules underthe CSA show that he is not authorized to make a rule declaringillegitimate a medical standard for patient care and treatmentspecifically authorized under state law.****

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

im going off of precedent carl olsen has set and our health department has already ok'd this just as every ag since 2000 has, at this point natural cannabis is neither a food or drug, and they cant patent the natural plant in its whole form so it will never be a drug

DrJohn
DrJohn

Rev: If you're referring to Gonzales, Attorney General et al. v. Oregon et al. (04-623) 546 U.S. 243 (2006) 368 F.3d 1118, affirmed, the US Supreme Court restated what I said in citinf the Controlled Substances Act. Here is what, in part, it said:"The Controlled Substances Act (CSA or Act), which was enacted in 1970 with the main objectives of combating drug abuse and controlling legitimate and illegitimate traffic in controlled substances, criminalizes, inter alia, the unauthorized distribution and dispensation of substances classified in any of its five schedules. The Attorney General may add, remove, or reschedule substances only after making particular findings, and on scientific and medical matters, he must accept the findings of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary). These proceedings must be on the record after an opportunity for comment." But, don't take my word for it, look up the case here:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/sup...

The bottom line here is that the AG (DEA) can only schedule or reschedule a drug or remove a drug from its schedule or place a drug on schedule AFTER receiving a recommendation to do so from the FDA. Since in the case of pot we're talking about potential medical uses, as the law clearly indicates, the AG must, as the Supreme Court noted in Gonzales, "accept the findings of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, which, as I said earlier, is the FDA in this instance because that authority has been delegated by law to the FDA for this purpose.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

only the AG has grounds to request this and thus is the base of my suit, however this statute is  a false petitioningTHE *POTENTIAL* MEDICINAL VALUE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA, MAKE A REQUEST BY JANUARY 1, 2012there is not a test or category for potential medicinal value.As carl olsen says, it is either medicine or it isnt, but you cant hang in the gray area in the court room!

denverdriveby
denverdriveby

How ironic the DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug that has no medical value while at the same time our very same federal government owns medical patents on that very same "illegal" plant. 

Here is a weblink to one of the United States' Government patents on marijuana filed in 1999: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi...

Justin Dreyer
Justin Dreyer

While I appreciate any movement forward, Let's let science determine what schedule it is besides automatically designating one.  Does it really belong in the same schedule as Cocaine?

DrJohn
DrJohn

Justin: Cocaine is actually a Class II controlled substances, the same as oxycodone, morphine, or methylphenidate. Cocaine has a limited but approved medical use in delicate eye surgery, zurgery of the mucous membranes or other similar types of surgery where you need a topical anesthetic and a vasoconstrictive agent to narrow the blood vessels and reduce blood flow during surgery. Its actual medicinal use is very small compared with the huge amount of illicit, nonpharmaceutical cocaine out there. Nonetheless, because it does have this medical usefulness, the law classifies it as a C-II drug. Similarly, the FDA and DEA have classified synthetic forms of THC as C-II and CIII drugs because they are approved as medicines by the FDA. Crude pot, however, remains unapproved, in part, because combustion is not an acceptable delivery system for whatever therapeutic properties may be in the plant material. There are other reasons why crude pot cannot be approved but they are more technical reasons that apply to all proposed drugs sponsored for approval.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Synthetic Cannabinoids -- such as research chemicals JWH-18 and 4 others -- have been recently Emergency Scheduled by the DEA as Schedule 1 controlled substances.

Many States have rushed to outlaw 100s of Synthetic Cannabinoid research chemicals as Schedule 1 controlled substances -- extending the original DEA list of 5 chemicals, and applying the harshest criminal penalties possible.

The US Congress is currently writing legislation to ban and outlaw HUNDREDS (100's) of Synthetic Cannabinoid research chemicals -- placing them all as Schedule 1 -- "no known medicinal use, high potential for abuse" -- which will eliminate them from legitimate research into beneficial Cannabiniod actions and functions in pharmacology.

Ain't America great ?

James McVainy
James McVainy

Schedule 2 requires a DEA drug handlers license and that would shut most MMCs down. Preplanned? who knows but it's not so simply. But hey GW will be getting a license!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

The law of unintended consequences.

Clueless stoners have been begging for "legislation, regulation and taxation" ...

They get played as political ignorami every time.

PatientPatient
PatientPatient

For better or worse, changes to federal law (i.e., rescheduling cannabis from CI to CII or even CIV) will not affect state medical marijuana laws in the least.

That said, if the federal government wasn't so hardheaded & would've just rescheduled cannabis back in 1996 (when the first modern medical marijuana state laws were passed) allowing it only for cancer, MS, AIDS & a few other very serious diseases, public support for state medical marijuana laws would likely have dissipated & we wouldn't be having this conversation.

But, alas, that ship has sailed...

Occupy Bank of Denver
Occupy Bank of Denver

Colorado Medical Marijuana Patients Need Your Help:The Bank of Denver has been Colorado’s last bank to accept Medical Marijuana business checking accounts. Their policy has been to charge an extra monthly fee for MMJ accounts but now the Bank of Denver is turning it’s back on MMJ Patients by closing all MMJ industry accounts at the end of October. What will this do for MMJ Patients? Well it will make it much more difficult for legitimate Medical Marijuana Centers to continue to decrease prices, increase quality and increase variety:-Now MMC’s will be tied down with the daily functions of trying to operate without a checking account.-Running payroll for employees and paying appropriate payroll taxes will now be much more tedious for legitimate MMC’s (MMC’s will no longer be able to use traditional payroll companies and payroll taxes will have to be paid in cash or with money orders).-Sales Tax payments will now have to be paid in cash, monthly sales tax payments typically range from $1k to $4k. This creates an unnecessary increased risk to MMC workers transporting large sums of cash.-Employees will have to be paid in cash. This will also increase an unnecessary risk to MMC employees.-All vendors will have to be paid in cash making all vendors potential targets for robbery.-MMC’s will not be able to purchase supplies via the internet with a debit card or bank account limiting the items available to MMC’s to provide outstanding patient service.-It will be harder for law enforcement to analyze the transactions of an MMC to make sure we are supporting MMC’s that are focused on patient service and compliance rather than creating an open door for illegitimate transactions.SPREAD THE WORD!! OCCUPY BANK OF DENVER MMJ PATIENTS!! WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR SICK!!!!!     

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

This has NOTHING to do with "protecting patients" ... and everything to do with facilitation for-profit dispensaries.

When will the naive stoners wake up and realize that their Individual interests are in DIRECT CONFLICT with those of the profiteering commercial retail dispensaries?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"It will be harder for law enforcement to analyze the transactions of an MMC ..." -- good point; I don't believe that I will be joining your occupation.

Patients do not support the unconstitutional laws that pretended to outlaw caregivers and under which MMCs do business -- very, very few people not involved in the industry are wringing their hands over MMCs' banking woes.  Why don't you direct your entreaties to all the legislators who voted for SB10-109, HB10-1284, and HB11-1043 and see how concerned they are (not much) and what they can do for you (nothing).  I do support MMCs providing cannabis for patients, but their foundation is built on sand, and banks cannot buck Federal pressure, so the entire idea of occupying the last bank to close MMCs' accounts is daft.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You are a rare voice of reason and reality in the fog of bong smoke being blown by greedy profiteering retail dispensaries and their high-paid lawyer-lobbyist shills.

The Political and Financial interests of Individual Patients/Caregivers are in DIRECT CONFLICT with those of the greedy profiteering retail dealer industry.

Hapless stoners and naive patients have been used as tools and fools by propagandists in blindly supporting an over-regulated, over-taxed, for-profit retail industry -- all against the patients own self-interests. Many of the so called "patients rights groups" are political astro-turf for the profiteering retail dispensary lobby ... or they are really clueless stoners who have zero political acumen or strategy. These "patients groups" have self-sabotaged their own cause and interests better than any government agent could have dreamed of.

Amendment 20 authorized Patients and Individual Caregivers only ... it did NOT authorize or even mention for-profit commercial retail dispensaries.

The current problems all started with the explosion of retail dispensaries -- profiteering drug dealers hiding behind the pretense of "medical" marijuana -- circa 2008.

Prior to that, 1000s of Patients and Individual Caregivers functioned just fine for over 8 years ... without drawing the ire and hatred of the Public and Legislature.

Colorado destroyed its own MMJ program.

Fortunately the people, patients and caregivers in Oregon were smart enough to learn from Colorado's debacle, and voted NO to retail dispensaries last November.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

The DEA understands all too well that their mission and therefor their budget depends on maintaining a strict prohibition on cannabis. They will never co-operate willingly with any scheme to remove cannabis from Shedule I. To do so would be economically crippling for them. There just aren't enough other illegal drugs around to justify maintenance of their paramilitary army. They must have cannabis as a cash cow.

DrJohn
DrJohn

A silly self-serving argument that makes no sense but is intended solely to be cynical. Stop smoking pot and go to the library and read the laws and regulations of this nation and stop thinking the entire country revolves around your CNS. You may be surprised to learn it does not. Then, what will you say and who will you blame?  

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

It makes perfect sense!  The DEA is a criminal gang of parasites on American society whose only work-product is more Federal prisoners -- the DEA is as useful as an enormous pack of rabid dogs loosed upon the community.  It does depend for its existence (at least on its present scale) on the prohibition of cannabis.  As Americans begin to get an inkling of how stupid it was to pass the Controlled Substances Act in the first place, the DEA is casting around for ways of justifying its existence, such as the expired-prescription collection program heavily advertised this past summer -- I hardly think that that (or any other putatively beneficial activity of the DEA) is a good exchange for the criminalization of our entire society.

P.S. I very much hope that you are not a doctor!

DrJohn
DrJohn

PP: It very well could be and you're right to point that out. One juvenile example hardly moots another.

PatientPatient
PatientPatient

Dr. John: Wouldn't you agree that accusing those you don't agree with of being high ("put down the weed", "stop smoking pot", etc.) is in itself a "wrongly directed" "juvenile example of frustration"?

DrJohn
DrJohn

Robert: Your post is a juvenile example of frustration but it is wrongly directed. Your own inability to understand the phenomenon that irks you is what's really frustrating you, not the fact that the government won't let you smoke pot. My adive to you is to put down the weed and go to the library and study law and medicine and try to be as good as those you fear.

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

So if Seedy is so wrong, what explanation can you give for the DEA's anti-research stance? 

PatientPatient
PatientPatient

Put quite simply, you're very wrong on this point. The DEA & NIDA are very much involved in preventing research into the potential medicinally beneficial properties of cannabis--at least according to their spokespeople & the New York Times:

Under federal law, NIDA (along with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) must approve all clinical and preclinical research involving marijuana. NIDA strictly controls which investigators are allowed access to the federal government's lone research supply of pot - which is authorized via a NIDA contract and cultivated and stored at the University of Mississippi.

In short, no NIDA approval = no marijuana = no scientific studies.

And that is, and always has been, the problem. But to the folks over at NIDA, there's no problem at all. Speaking to The New York Times in a January 19, 2010 article entitled, "Researchers Find Medical Study of Marijuana Discouraged," NIDA spokeswoman Shirley Simson said: "As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use. We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

So, you're very welcome to study the negative effects of cannabis, but not any potentially positive effects.

And this is completely the fault of NIDA & DEA as they're the sole suppliers of research-grade cannabis for American studies.

DrJohn
DrJohn

It's a law enforcement agency and has responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act. If you're looking for research responsibilities, try NIH or FDA. If you comply with the rules, there's a provision in the law to permit research protocols for unapproved drugs. The problem, however, always comes down to two main issues: 1) very few docs are willing to pursue research on pot and 2) the required tests that must be given for any drug, whether an antibiotic, a chemo drug, or pot, are quite sophisticated and not easy to fake and the results from pot do not show that its benefits outweigh its risks because whatever therapeutic claims are made for it are relatively general and there are many other, safer drugs that are approved for those indications and which do not have the toxic side effect of producing psychic reactions.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

It will go like this:

Brohl: Yeah, hey DEA, this is Colorado.  You know about this whole marijuana thing, are you guys cool with it yet?

DEA: NO!

Brohl: Ok, have a nice day.  See you soon!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Nice post, Patient -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

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