Marijuana: DEA takes nine months to brush off Colorado's reschedule-pot request
Here's the signature from the first letter:
And here's the second signature.
The lack of similarity from one to the other suggests that the first letter was signed by an underling, while Rannazzisi may have actually scribbled on the latter -- although that's speculation. What's not up for debate, though, is the content of the brief missives, which are dominated by statements about current policy and information intended to support it as opposed to actual consideration of Colorado's argument.
The opening paragraph notes that the DEA will be "evaluating" a prior request to reschedule marijuana by two governors, Washington's Christine Gregoire and Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee. From there, Rannazzisi writes:
"It should be noted that the levels of marijuana use in the United States are steadily increasing. According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 17.4 million Americans aged 12 years and older reported using marijuana in the past month. In 2010, approximately 2.4 million Americans aged 12 years and older used marijuana for the first time, which is an average of approximately 6,600 new users every day. According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future report, the number of current users of marijuana among 8th, 10th and 12th graders was at peak levels, the highest since 2002. In 2011, daily marijuana use markedly increased among all three grade levels compared to 2009 data."Critics of federal marijuana policy will recognize this approach as the save-the-children tack used by the federal government for many years. Activists counter that rescheduling marijuana would have no effect on its availability to children.
Rannazzisi then goes on to site figures suggesting a "sharp rise" in the number of emergency room visits related to marijuana -- factors that "contribute to the significant strain of marijuana use on our healthcare system" that "pose a considerable threat to the health and safety of the users, their families, and the communities as a whole." He closes by reiterating, as if anyone was confused, that "under Federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule I substance with no currently accepted medical use."
Continue to see the two versions of the DEA responses to Colorado's rescheduling-marijuana request, the original Colorado letter and the DEA's schedule of controlled substances.