The Right To Grow

The Right To Grow
Posted by CN Staff on August 24, 2005 at 19:53:51 PT
By Mike Miliard
Source: Boston Phoenix
Massachusetts -- Dr. Lyle Craker, a professor of plant and soil sciences at UMass Amherst, has been trying since 2001 to get a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to grow research-grade marijuana for use in Food and Drug Administration–approved studies of the plant’s potential to become a legally prescribed medicine. Last December, after more than three years of stonewalling, the DEA officially rejected his application, holding that his study "would not be consistent with the public interest." 
See "Up in Smoke," This Just In, December 17, 2004: Craker, along with the Belmont-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the ACLU’s Drug Law Reform Project, is challenging that ruling. Hearings began in Washington this week before DEA administrative-law judge Mary Ellen Bittner. Supporters hope the proceedings will end the DEA’s obstruction and remove the federal government’s monopoly on research marijuana.In the wake of the Raich v. Ashcroft decision in June, in which the Supreme Court affirmed that federal law supersedes state law in matters of drug enforcement, FDA approval is really the only avenue left for medical marijuana. Before that can happen, there must be studies into its safety and efficacy. "We have considerable lay information about the potential health benefits of this plant material, but we lack the scientific studies that are necessary to prove the value of medicine," Craker told the Phoenix in December. "The first step in that is producing quality plant material that will have bioactive constituents in it."But at the moment, all marijuana used for research in the US comes from a closely monitored crop maintained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The complainants in the Craker case maintain that the supply is insufficient, and of inadequate quality, for proper research — let alone for prescription sale should the FDA ever approve it. Moreover, the feds are stingy in distributing the plants. MAPS president Rick Doblin says that just last week, NIDA refused to provide 10 grams of marijuana for a MAPS-sponsored vaporizer study at Chemic Labs in Canton.Last month, Democratic Massachusetts representatives John Olver and Michael Capuano sent a letter to DEA administrator Karen Tandy, expressing "strong support" for issuing Dr. Craker’s license and pointing out that NIDA’s monopoly makes little sense since the DEA has licensed privately funded production of other Schedule I drugs, such as MDMA and LSD. (MAPS has funded studies using independently produced MDMA and psilocybin.)"The government is basically scared of this research," says Doblin, during a break in testimony. "They want it two ways. They want to say there’s not enough research to make marijuana into a medicine, and they want to block the research." Still, he feels reasonably confident that the DEA’s decision might be reversed. "My sense is that the judge is fair, she’s asking good questions, I have a lot of respect for the way she’s interacted with us so far." Time will tell if his optimism is well-founded. There will be another week of testimony toward the end of September, and another (if need be) in December, before Judge Bittner makes a recommendation to the head of the DEA. In the meantime, Doblin will be commenting nightly on the goings-on in Washington at: A second chance for medical marijuana? Source: Boston Phoenix (MA) Author: Mike MiliardPublished: August 26 - September 1, 2005Copyright: 2005 Phoenix Media Communications GroupContact: letters Website: Related Articles & Web Sites:ACLU Medical Marijuana Hearings Begin Begin Today in ACLU Challenge Ruling Renders Approval Impossible 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #16 posted by Ferre on September 03, 2005 at 00:36:16 PT
It's not about health at all
it's about ethnic cleansing. cannabis is an ancient religious sacrament and been hunted down since the Inquisition. Nothing has changed, OUR people (cannabis culture) are still living in the "dark ages" with so called "good Xtians" who are in charge and make laws to oppress our culture and lifestyle.
First Universal Church of Kantheism
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by Hope on August 25, 2005 at 11:40:35 PT
It can't get any worse
than slaughtering innocents.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by Zandor on August 25, 2005 at 11:38:20 PT
The problem is they already know the answes
They have done studies under Clinton and the results were denied and kept from public viewing. They were crushed and hidden because they did not fit the policy they want to keep going.There is so much more money to be made under prohibition the ever will if they granting it medical status. The war machine is just getting started up again. Sorry to put a damper in the party but it will get worse before it gets better. We need a full change in Washington before that happens. The Christian right is training the next round of elected officials right now at several special collages on the easy coast just to tech the next generation of politicians that they will own out right. They will vote the way the Christian right wants them to vote with out asking questions. It’s the new version of Manchurian Candidate they are brain washing. Our time will come and they will fall on their face but I'm afraid that is still about 10 years away or more if we are lucky.Stay safe everyone and watch each others back.
Grooming Politicians for Christ - from the LA times
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by Hope on August 25, 2005 at 11:12:05 PT
When the "mountain" is finally 
"thrown into the sea", we won't gloat. We might celebrate, but we won't gloat. There has been way too much loss, and sorrow, and damage to ever be able to gloat. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Hope on August 25, 2005 at 09:56:50 PT
I suppose that some sort of warning
might be called for in consideration of going to the MAPS site. It's probably a more direct connection to the DEA than if you were sitting in Tandy's office.I feel uncomfortable thinking I'm "surveiled"...but I've rather gotten accustomed to the feeling.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Hope on August 25, 2005 at 09:45:27 PT
It's "on the table" over there at the DEA.
"On Wednesday, DEA attorney Brian Bayley took a different tack with Doblin, by pressing him repeatedly about his own marijuana use. Over his lawyer's objections, Doblin acknowledged he had begun smoking marijuana in the early 1970s and still smokes it recreationally about once a week.Bayley then asked him who he bought his pot from; at that point, the judge said the DEA had gone far enough." 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by Hope on August 25, 2005 at 09:39:40 PT
DEA appears to be bragging that NIDA
can roll a thousand joints a minute and has the means and supply to do so.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Hope on August 25, 2005 at 09:35:38 PT
Must Read
Picked this up over at Pete's DrugWarRant.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by potpal on August 25, 2005 at 06:54:15 PT
10 grams
...NIDA refused to provide 10 grams of marijuana for a MAPS-sponsored vaporizer study at Chemic Labs...Unbelievable. Talk about bogarting the joint...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on August 25, 2005 at 06:45:10 PT:
One more thing
Right from the beginning, the kind of disingenuousness that the DEA engaged in (the Catch-22 of not testing cannabis because the most common means of ingestion was smoking, and smoking is too harmful to the volunteers, so it can't be allowed to be tested) is illustrated in the very first pages of testimony...which becomes very embarassing because the Good Doctor Craker never mentioned smoking, only *vaporization*. I repeat: the DEA's refusal was predicated upon a method of ingestion not mentioned by the plaintiff. I guess the quality of coffee they get at DEA must not be very strong, as it would appear someone was asleep at their desks when they came up with this malarkey. And we pay these guy's salaries? Can't they *at least* make their dissembling more entertaining? My earlier comment, included in the link the author provided, still stands: it's on par with "The dog ate my homework!". 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on August 25, 2005 at 06:32:53 PT:
People really ought to read this testimony
Yes, at times, it gets boring. But you can see how the Feds are trying to disparage the effort of Dr. Craker with insinuations of 'guilt by association' with 'undesirable' groups like MAPS. When they start off with that kind of behavior from the get-go, you know they are sweating. And the former ONDCP type's testimony about Barry McCaffery's attempt to pitch the hot potato of proving once and for all cannabis's safety or lack thereof to the Institute of Medicine as NOTHING BUT a political ploy verifies what all of us who followed this move knew way back when. She makes it quite plain that ONDCP was hoping the report would vindicate them, and instead it (oh-so-delicately and gingerly with its' overly meek language) put them back on the hot seat. The implication is they were already crying at the water cooler about being put on the spot; this sworn testimony confirms it. If this judge remains as seemingly impartial and intent on determining the facts, shorn of official rhetoric, as she so far has appeared to be from the testimony transcripts, the result will be another Francis Young moment. Hopefully, this one will have much sharper teeth.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by gloovins on August 24, 2005 at 22:00:47 PT
bye bye bannna's, hello industrial hemp?
interesting view here...
hello belize!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by gloovins on August 24, 2005 at 21:52:52 PT
facts all should know re. topic
What is Biodiesel?Biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester-based oxygenated fuels made from hemp oil, other vegetable oils or animal fats. The concept of using vegetable oil as an engine fuel dates back to 1895 when Dr. Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Diesel demonstrated his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 using peanut oil as fuel.Properties of Biodiesel:Today's diesel engines require a clean-burning, stable fuel that performs well under a variety of operating conditions. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that can be used directly in any existing, unmodified diesel engine. Because it has similar properties to petroleum diesel fuel, biodiesel can be blended in any ratio with petroleum diesel fuel. Many federal and state fleet vehicles are already using biodiesel blends in their existing diesel engines.The low emissions of biodiesel make it an ideal fuel for use in marine areas, national parks and forests, and heavily polluted cities. Biodiesel has many advantages as a transport fuel. For example, biodiesel can be produced from domestically grown oilseed plants such as hemp. Producing biodiesel from hemp and other domestic crops reduces the United States' dependence on foreign petroleum, increases agricultural revenue, and creates jobs.Advantages of Biodiesel:  1. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel in the US to complete EPA Tier I Health Effects Testing under section 211(b) of the Clean Air Act, which provide the most thorough inventory of environmental and human health effects attributes that current technology will allow.
  2. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine. It can be stored anywhere that petroleum diesel fuel is stored.
  3. Biodiesel can be used alone or mixed in any ratio with petroleum diesel fuel. The most common blend is a mix of 20% biodiesel with 80% petroleum diesel, or "B20."
  4. The lifecycle production and use of biodiesel produces approximately 80% less carbon dioxide emissions, and almost 100% less sulfur dioxide. Combustion of biodiesel alone provides over a 90% reduction in total unburned hydrocarbons, and a 75-90% reduction in aromatic hydrocarbons. Biodiesel further provides significant reductions in particulates and carbon monoxide than petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel provides a slight increase or decrease in nitrogen oxides depending on engine family and testing procedures. Based on Ames Mutagenicity tests, biodiesel provides a 90% reduction in cancer risks.
  5. Biodiesel is 11% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur. The use of biodiesel can extend the life of diesel engines because it is more lubricating than petroleum diesel fuel, while fuel consumption, auto ignition, power output, and engine torque are relatively unaffected by biodiesel.
  6. Biodiesel is safe to handle and transport because it is as biodegradable as sugar, 10 times less toxic than table salt, and has a high flashpoint of about 300 F compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which has a flash point of 125 F.
  7. Biodiesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed crops such as hemp.
  8. Biodiesel is a proven fuel with over 30 million successful US road miles, and over 20 years of use in Europe.
  9. When burned in a diesel engine, biodiesel replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with the pleasant smell of hemp, popcorn or french fries.
 10. The Congressional Budget Office, Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, and others have determined that biodiesel is the low cost alternative fuel option for fleets to meet requirements of the Energy Policy Act.Biodiesel Impact:An important factor that is not usually considered when calculating the costs and benefits of industrial feedstock materials is the macroeconomic effect associated with domestically produced, renewable energy sources. Economic benefits of a biodiesel industry in the US would include value added to the feedstock (oilseeds or animal fats), an increased number of manufacturing jobs, an increased tax base from plant operations and income taxes, investments in plant and equipment, improvement of our trade balance, and reductions in health care costs due to improved air quality and greenhouse gas mitigation.Biodiesel has positive impacts on the state economy. An Iowa State University study concluded that three economic benefits would accrue to state from biodiesel. First, biodiesel expands demand for soybean oil, causing processors to pay more for soybeans, In addition, soybean farmers near the biodiesel plant would receive slightly higher prices for soybeans; and third, the presence of a facility that creates energy from soybeans would add value to the state's industrial and income base.Dr. Hayes concluded that, "If the state of Iowa were to mandate the use of a 20 percent biodiesel blend in its state vehicle fleet where feasible, the total additional cost of this policy would range from $400,000 to $500,000. If it could be shown that this policy would result in a new five million gallon biodiesel plant in the state, then the policy would create more new tax revenues than it would cost and would clearly be in the best interest of the state."Biodiesel has positive implications for production agriculture. A 1996 economic study published by the USDA Office of Energy predicted that a modest, sustained annual market for biodiesel of 100 million gallons in the US would contribute approximately seven cents to the price of each bushel of soybeans produced in the US. Based on last years harvested crop, the increase could have resulted in more than $168 million directly to the use of biodiesel.Biodiesel has a positive impact on the US balance of trade.A 1998 biodiesel lifecycle study jointly sponsored by the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture concluded that increased use of biodiesel and biodiesel blended fuels such as B20 would substantially benefit our economy. The report concluded that national spending to import petroleum sends significant amounts of dollars out of our domestic economy every year. Biodiesel offers the potential to shift this spending from foreign imports to domestically produced energy. The report notes: "With its ability to be used directly in existing diesel engines, biodiesel offers the immediate potential to reduce our demand for petroleum in the transportation sector."Biodiesel contributes jobs to the local economy. Economic work conducted at the University of Missouri estimated the benefits of producing biodiesel in a metropolitan region. This study concluded that 100 million gallons of biodiesel production could generate an estimated $8.34 million increase in personal income and over 6,000 additional temporary or permanent jobs for the metropolitan region.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by ekim on August 24, 2005 at 20:33:21 PT
Spain cellulose to ethanol where is USA
this might help 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by ekim on August 24, 2005 at 20:28:10 PT
Hemp is 77% cellulose
While corn is primarily used to distill ethanol, a new facility in Spain
will convert wheat straw as the ethanol's feedstock.The full story is available at
 This is a pdf overview of NREL/Genencor work from 2003. is an NREL Press release about Genencor/NREL winning a Top 100 R&D
award in 2004. Forum Centers on Ethanol's Return on Energy Investment (8-23-05) debate over the net energy balance of ethanol took center stage at a
forum hosted by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today in
Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club. Representatives of both sides
in the debate agreed on one point - the United States desperately needs to
find a liquid fuel replacement.NCGA coordinated the event to address points made in a report issued
recently by Cornell University entomologist Dr. David Pimentel and Dr. Tad
Patzek, professor at the University of California-Berkeley. The professors
have claimed that ethanol uses more energy than it produces. Dr. Bruce Dale,
professor of chemical engineering and material science at Michigan State
University, and John Sheehan, senior engineer at the National Renewable
Energy Lab (NREL), said it is time to end this debate and focus on real U.S.
energy needs and real energy options.With the recent enactment of a new energy policy and skyrocketing gasoline
prices, more attention has turned toward renewable fuels, including ethanol,
to help solve the nation's energy problems. Yet, some critics of the
7.5-billion-gallon renewable fuels standard contained in the Energy Policy
Act of 2005 continue to question the efficiency of ethanol, claiming ethanol
has a "net negative" energy balance. Ethanol supporters disagree, saying
that viewpoint is outdated."Our focus as a society needs to be on finding replacements for crude oil.
Ethanol is-now and will be in the future-an important contributor to
reducing our petroleum addiction," said Dale."With aggressive research and development, biofuels technology offers us the
opportunity to deliver environmentally sound and domestically produced fuels
for our transportation sector at costs less than or equal to the cost of
fuels made from petroleum today," said Sheehan. "Besides improving our
energy security, these technologies offer opportunities for economic
development in our struggling rural communities."Pimentel, a long-standing ethanol critic, has authored papers dating back to
1980 that state ethanol production uses more energy than ethanol fuel
contains, which he says creates a negative net energy ratio. But Pimentel
and Patzek found their research under intense scrutiny today.According to Dale and Sheehan, Pimentel and Patzek routinely inflate the
energy inputs of both farming and fuel production. Their estimates of fossil
inputs for farm production are twice as high as those estimated by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, and their grain processing input estimate is 40
percent higher, Sheehan said."Their analyses are simply wrong in many important details," said Dale.
"They really need to update their information.""Pimentel and Patzek ignore the huge benefits of petroleum savings for all
biofuels," Sheehan said. "For every unit of petroleum energy consumed in
corn ethanol production, more than six units of fuel energy are produced.""Our focus needs to be on finding replacements for crude oil, and the debate
over 'net energy' will mislead us to make irrational choices," said Dale.Pimentel and Patzek agreed with the need to reduce U.S. dependence on fossil
fuels, but they offered few alternatives."Our situation is more serious than you think," said Patzek, referring to
the United States' ever-increasing energy consumption. "We have to start by
cutting down on fossil fuels."Last reviewed August 23, 2005ST. LOUIS OFFICEWASHINGTON D.C. OFFICE632 Cepi Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63005
Phone: (636) 733-9004
FAX: (636) 733-9005 122 C Street, N.W., Suite 510
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 628-7001
FAX: (202) 628-1933
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 24, 2005 at 20:04:16 PT
Another Article from The Boston Phoenix
The Patriot Ax
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment