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  US Decrees That Marijuana Has No Accepted Use
Posted by CN Staff on July 09, 2011 at 04:53:41 PT
By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times 
Source: Los Angeles Times  

medical Los Angeles -- Marijuana has been approved by California, many other states and the nation's capital to treat a range of illnesses, but in a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that it has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin.

The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

Advocates for the medical use of the drug criticized the ruling but were elated that the Obama administration has finally acted, which allows them to appeal to the federal courts. The decision to deny the request was made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and comes less than two months after advocates asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to force the administration to respond to their petition.

"We have foiled the government's strategy of delay, and we can now go head-to-head on the merits," said Joe Elford, the chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access and the lead attorney on the lawsuit.

Elford said he was not surprised by the decision, which comes after the Obama administration announced it would not tolerate large-scale commercial marijuana cultivation. "It is clearly motivated by a political decision that is anti-marijuana," he said. He noted that studies demonstrate pot has beneficial effects, including appetite stimulation for people undergoing chemotherapy. "One of the things people say about marijuana is that it gives you the munchies and the truth is that it does, and for some people that's a very positive thing."

In a June 21 letter to the organizations that filed the petition, DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana "has a high potential for abuse," "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States" and "lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision." The letter and 37 pages of supporting documents were published Friday in the Federal Register.

This is the third time that petitions to reclassify marijuana have been spurned. The first was filed in 1972 and denied 17 years later. The second was filed in 1995 and denied six years later. Both decisions were appealed, but the courts sided with the federal government.

The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis filed its petition in October 2002. In 2004, the DEA asked the Department of Health and Human Services to review the science. The department recommended in 2006 that marijuana remain classified as a dangerous drug. Four and a half years then elapsed before the current administration issued a final denial.

"The regulatory process is just a time-consuming one that usually takes years to go through," said Barbara Carreno, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA's decision comes as researchers continue to identify beneficial effects. Dr. Igor Grant, a neuropsychiatrist who is the director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at UC San Diego, said state-supported clinical trials show that marijuana helps with neuropathic pain and muscle spasticity. He said the federal government's position discourages scientists from pursuing research needed to test the drug's medical effectiveness. "We're trapped in kind of a vicious cycle here," he said. "It's always a danger if the government acts on certain kinds of persuasions or beliefs rather than evidence."

Popular opinion has also swung behind medical marijuana. Americans overwhelmingly support it in national polls. When the petition was filed, eight states had approved medical marijuana. Now 16 states and the District of Columbia have done so. In 2009, the American Medical Assn. urged the government to review its classification of marijuana "with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods."

When Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, it listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the most restrictive of five categories. But some federal officials have questioned that decision. In 1972, a commission recommended that marijuana be decriminalized. And in 1988, a DEA administrative law judge concluded that "marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people." The National Cancer Institute, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, notes that marijuana may help with nausea, loss of appetite, pain and insomnia.

Nonetheless, the DEA concluded that marijuana has no accepted medical use, Leonhart wrote in her letter, because its chemistry is not known and adequate studies have not been done on its usefulness or safety. "At this time," she said, "the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy."

Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Author: John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
Published: July 9, 2011
Copyright: 2011 Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/h2MsE5pB

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Comment #17 posted by Hope on July 15, 2011 at 14:59:37 PT
Hat tip to DrugWarRant
UNODC Report - Afghanistan cannabis survey 2010

http://idpc.net/publications/unodc-afghanistan-cannabis-survey-2010

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #16 posted by FoM on July 15, 2011 at 07:14:48 PT
Tincture of Opium
I was thinking today about Schedule I drugs. Heroin is Schedule I and it is considered not to have any medical use if I am getting this right. Tincture of opium is legal and is just an alcohol based extract taken from the Opium poppy. I guess all these double standards don't make sense to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laudanum

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #15 posted by Hope on July 10, 2011 at 07:50:50 PT
josephlacerenza
Good work and a "Huzza" to you to, Joseph... and to everyone that is making the effort to contact the politicos that are supposed to represent us.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #14 posted by Hope on July 09, 2011 at 16:20:50 PT
josephlacerenza
I don't think so either. Even if he did get a chance to vote on it.

As far as my understanding... there's no chance of the open House of Representatives even hearing the bill, much less voting on it, unless it gets through that committee that Smith chairs.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #13 posted by josephlacerenza on July 09, 2011 at 15:36:20 PT
#12 Hope
This is what I got from my rep Denny Rehberg:

"...Dear Joseph:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. It's good to hear from you.

In 2004, Montana voters passed Initiative 148, allowing qualifying patients to use marijuana under medical supervision. Eligible medical conditions include cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, wasting syndrome, seizures, and severe or chronic pain. To be eligible for treatment, a doctor must certify the patient has a debilitating medical condition and that the benefits of using marijuana would likely outweigh the risks. This initiative was supported by 62% of Montana voters.

Fifteen states now have laws supporting the use of medical marijuana. However, the federal government does not recognize these laws and continues to prosecute residents found in possession of marijuana even if it is for medicinal purposes. In the past, I supported legislation that would have prevented the Justice Department from using appropriated funds to interfere with the implementation of medical cannabis laws in states that had approved such use.

While Montanans support the use of medical marijuana, I applaud the community efforts to protect Montana's children from the scourge of illegal drug use, and support the efforts of law enforcement to catch and punish those who profit from the trade of illegal narcotics.

Thanks again for contacting me. If you get a chance, I encourage you to visit my website at http://www.house.gov/rehberg where you can find the latest news about what's happening in Congress. Keep in touch..."

Sincerely, Denny Rehberg Montana's Congressman

I do not think he's going to vote for it!! He does not even address H.R.2306!!

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Comment #12 posted by Hope on July 09, 2011 at 15:13:16 PT
Huzza! Afterburner!
"I sent my hand-typed or hand-written letter to Representative Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee urging him to re-consider his obstinate opposition to giving H.R.2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 a fair hearing."

I'd like to see him get three or four thousand letters, at least, on the matter.

Or even just ten. They used to say the legislator started paying attention when they got ten letters on the same bill or issue. Or maybe it was three.

Walking the walk, Bro!



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by Hope on July 09, 2011 at 13:18:23 PT
GW Pharmaceuticals
Anytime I see anything about them, I think of Dr. Russo and wonder how he is doing. Sometimes I wonder if he has to work with Andrea Barthwell and what he thinks of that.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on July 09, 2011 at 13:06:45 PT
decrees
the situation here is becoming similar to a theocracy like Iran, which has a secular govt. AND a parallel religious one, with the clerical decrees overriding the secular president and controlling the military as well.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on July 09, 2011 at 13:05:08 PT
nice headline
The LA Times is finally getting it - recognizing a "decree" from the emperor with no clothes!

We have a govt. now with scientists on one side listing the medical benefits (NCI website), whilst the High Priests of propaganda in another bureaucracy issue fatwas against it.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 09, 2011 at 11:48:07 PT
Afterburner
I thought it was good too. This was all going to happen sooner or later. Reform has happened in tiny steps. Prohibitionists are upset about our progress. I look at reform over time like I am reading a book. I know the end too. We win!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by afterburner on July 09, 2011 at 11:03:20 PT
FoM
Good video of Bill Mahar & Ethan Nadelman.

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart: thanks for the outdated faux history lesson about the "fact" that cannabis has "never" been used as medicine in the USA and that all the other countries in the world do not count!

Now, let's get on with reality. Congratulations, ASA, let the court trial begin.

Chip, chip, chip, we are breaking the wall of Prohibition.

I sent my hand-typed or hand-written letter to Representative Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee urging him to re-consider his obstinate opposition to giving H.R.2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 a fair hearing.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 09, 2011 at 09:02:54 PT
Bill Maher and Drug Policy Alliance Ethan Nadelman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMDq6Bnbqkg

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by weedoflife on July 09, 2011 at 08:54:08 PT:

public saftey
Ms.Leonhart and public saftey is ironic when it comes to the No knock raids held by the DEA that endangers every united states citzen.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by runruff on July 09, 2011 at 07:39:30 PT
Ms. Leonhart is concerned with public safety.
This is the one and only safety concern of the feds for it's people. Her concern for me just warms the cockles of my heart!

What other areas of concern are the feds so adamant about?

Illegal wars kill young American and other living things.

The Re-thugs want to end national health care, Medicare and S.S.

They pass legislation that allows oil spills in Alaska, The gulf, Yellowstone...etc, and the oil co.s walk!.

They allow every kind of GMO, hormones, and antibiotics in our food.

Our main export is weapons of war, murder and destruction.

They defund education.

They have a history of conducting draconian experiments on American citizens for corporate interest.

The pill pushers have never answered for the many lives and mutilations.

The DEA is now up to Michelle's nappy hairdo in espionage and intrigue around the world in support of CIA secrete OPPS.

Why has there never been an investigation into the crime activities of various fed agencies starting with the DEA. About two or three dozen retired or resigned DEA and CIA officers have written books on the crimes being committed daily by these agencies.

It is putting the fox in charge of the hen house, or Albert Fish in charge of the morgue or Ted Bundy the college dean, when you put the DEA in charge of drugs?

It is about protecting corp-profits. It is more about keeping hemp out of the industrial picture than anything else. Even the government structure that supports the Praetorian Guard [DEA] would lose power and fade.

Michele M. Leonhart is a nappy headed 5' troll with pock marks you could hide Navy Seal Team Six in. She is clinically diagnosable and the perfect personality type [power sycophant] to carry out any order no matter how ridiculous or destructive.

It is obvious looking at our gov and the players in it, it is many of these bureaucrats, politicians, and corporate CEO's who need to be in prison.

I personally am having visions of the French Revolution and how they flushed the elite refuse.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by Tim on July 09, 2011 at 07:26:15 PT:

Govt. officials need to check their stocks...
It's all about money! Here's the interest. Drug Companies!

GW Pharmaceuticals website: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?ticker=GWP:LN

GW Pharmaceuticals manufactures Sativex. It's all on their website.

Recognized medical benefits at the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines: http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/bulletin/ww_en_db_cannabis_artikel.php?id=351#2

USA: Sativex The company GW Pharmaceuticals announced that a second phase III clinical trial with their cannabis extract Sativex was started in the USA to investigate the effects in pain of patients with advanced cancer. This indication represents the initial target indication for Sativex in the United States. This trial is fully funded by Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the licensing partner of GW in the USA. (Source: Press release by GW Pharmaceuticals of 30 June 2011)

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on July 09, 2011 at 07:24:28 PT
Marijuana is dangerous because it gives you the
munchies. Yes, I agree Michele, you got a point there.

Michele Marie Leonhart is an American career law enforcement officer and the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Since the resignation of Administrator Karen P. Tandy in the fall of 2007, Leonhart also served as Acting Administrator of the DEA.

On 2 February 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Leonhart for the position of DEA Administrator;[1] the nomination was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate Leonhart as Deputy Administrator on 31 July 2003,[2] and submitted her nomination to the United States Senate on 3 October 2003.[3] The Senate confirmed her nomination on 8 March 2004.[4] On 15 April 2008, the White House announced that President Bush intended to nominate Leonhart to succeed Tandy as the next Administrator of DEA.[5] Leonhart's nomination was received by the Senate the same day and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.[6] However, the committee did not hold any hearings on Leonhart's nomination, and on 2 January 2009, the nomination was returned to the President under the provisions of Senate Rule XXXI, paragraph 6 of the Standing Rules of the Senate pursuant to sine die adjournment at the end of the 110th Congress. During Leonhart's testimony before the Judiciary Committee, she was questioned by a member of the Committee on Aging, Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), about her policy for nurses prescribing painkillers for patients in nursing homes. The problem of DEA interference during Leonhart's acting administratorship with the prescription of painkillers by nurses in nursing homes had come before the Committee on Aging. Unsatisfied with her responses to his questions, Senator Kohl threatened to put a hold on Leonhart's nomination that could have postponed the vote on her confirmation indefinitely. In correspondence between the Committee on Aging and the DEA, Senator Kohl received assurances that patients suffering intractable pain could receive painkillers prescribed by nurses.[7] On 22 December 2010, the Senate confirmed Leonhart's nomination unanimously by voice vote.[8] Leonhart has consistently turned down research into the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of marijuana, and has a track record of undermining state law with regard to legal medical marijuana. She has also spoken in favor of the Eighteenth Amendment and suggested a federal ban on production, possession, transportation, sale, and consumption of alcohol. Recently several pro-legalisation agencies have called on President Obama to withdraw his support of Leonhart, including SSDP, MPP, NORML, LEAP, and DPA. [9][10] In 2011, the Washington Post reported that "994 people younger than 18 were killed in drug-related violence between late 2006 and late 2010" and that "n 2009, the last year for which there is data, 1,180 children were killed, half in shootings."[11] In response to these statistics, Leonhart declared that while it "may seem contradictory, the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs.

Go figure ...

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on July 09, 2011 at 06:46:33 PT
WTF DHHS??!!
"U.S. Patent # 6630507.

In 2003 The U.S.A.'s Government as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services was awarded a patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. U.S. Patent 6630507."

http://tinyurl.com/6hwwmt

Need I say more! It appears to be a conflict of interest for the Feds, DHHS, to take the continued position cannabis has no ACCEPTED medical use! According to their OWN patent, cannabinoids DO have accepted medicinal uses in the U.S. If cannabis has no accepted medical use in the U.S., I ask then, how where they granted the patent?

http://montanabiotech.word​press.com/

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