Medical Marijuana Research Should Be Legalized

Medical Marijuana Research Should Be Legalized
Posted by CN Staff on September 08, 2005 at 19:06:13 PT
By Michael Krawitz, Columnist
Source: Collegiate Times
Virginia -- A classic question of morals, ethics and philosophy: Would you rather be a righteous man in prison or an immoral man lavished with accolades and riches? This classic conundrum is quite evident today if you pay close attention. For example, a group of nuns travel to the terrorist-training School of Americas in Fort Benning, Ga., each year to protest and often get arrested. I would call those nuns righteous prisoners. Real life is most often less cut-and-dry than philosophy class and the moral decisions we make are often heavily colored by the many variables of our lives.
It may be at less personal expense for an artist, for example, to stand up against the unjust marijuana laws than a college professor. Indeed, in my research, I have found a professor who caved in to the pressure that seems to naturally oppress the righteous. Then drug czar of the United States, Dr. Robert Dupont was a righteous man who read the literature, knew the truth and acted on it. ĎMarijuana should be decriminalizedí he declared! Well, Dupont, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, was besieged with soccer moms armed with bongs bought at the corner store and butts of joints they found stashed by their clean-cut suburban kids. What was probably the last straw for Dupont was the fact that newspapers were now referring to him as the pot doc!! Him, a Harvard trained physician! Dupont changed his ways and now is one of the most prominent anti-drug zealots worldwide. His Harvard accolades restored, Dupont was soon bestowed with great riches. Dupont, together with ex-DEA administrator Peter Bensinger, run Bensinger, DuPont & Associates which boasts 1,200 branch offices across the country. The problem is that marijuana is the backbone of workplace drug testing and both these guys had pivotal roles in marijuanaís prohibition. If it were as legal to smoke a joint after work as it is to drink a martini, then a trace of either substance in urine days later means nothing. The implications make my soul ache. Another Harvard graduate took a different path. Dr. Rick Doblin learned the truth about Cannabis early on and weaved his knowledge into his career. His Harvard masterís thesis focused on the attitudes and experiences of oncologists concerning the medical use of marijuana. Doblinís dissertation (Public Policy, Harvardís Kennedy School of Government) was on the regulation of the medical use of marijuana. When I spoke with Doblin he assured me that he was very well received at the Kennedy school. He retold a story of an early assignment where he and his team were given a police department in Portland, Ore., to streamline. Doblin insisted his teamís submission state that the Portland police resources could be better spent than on marijuana arrests. When Doblinís teamís submission was chosen as a model paper by the professor, Doblin was no longer afraid to stand by the truth. Doblin started an organization called the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a non-profit membership-based research and educational organization that sponsors clinical studies designed to obtain FDA approval. A non-profit pharmaceutical company, how cool! Today the MAPS organization has studies going on with all kinds of schedule 1 drugs, except one. One drug the U.S. government considers far too dangerous to handle. That plant substance is, you guessed it, marijuana! Doblinís organization has been duking it out with the DEA for years and years over this. His organization backed a doctor out in California, Dr. Donald Abrams of U.C. San Francisco. Abrams had one study protocol after another passed by FDA and declined by DEA until the doctor figured out the only way he would ever conduct a marijuana study was if the protocol only discussed potential harms of pot and no potential benefits. Ever hear a drug warrior say that marijuana should pass the same rigorous FDA trials as other drugs, well now you see this is because they have a jack boot squarely on the neck of that process. Doblin doesnít give up; I told him he has the patience of Job in dealing with the DEA and he chuckled. But he does! I think he is like the Albert Schweitzer of Enthogens. Some day kids will read about him in high school history books. But for now the saga continues. The method by which the DEA prevents medical marijuana research is through a legal monopoly over the NIDA supply. MAPS has teamed up with prominent University of Massachusetts in Amherst horticulturist Dr. Lyle Craker to grow a small supply of research grade marijuana. The DEA is fighting this tooth and nail as you might expect. The two sides are now embroiled in a DEA federal court battle due back in court at DEA 26 Sept. Ė 30 Sept. 2005 but as was the case in 1988 when DEA federal administrative court judge Francis L. Young, declared that marihuana in its natural form fulfilled the legal requirement of currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States the DEA brass can just overrule the judges order as they did in March 1992. The DEA was created in 1973 and the petition to reschedule marijuana was filed in 1972. Ever since 1973 the DEA has used its immense power to stifle any progress into marijuana medical testing while all the while claiming marijuana should not be used medically since it hasnít been tested. Very frustrating indeed. Doblin said that his Amherst project could be easily funded if student organizations dedicated to marijuana legalization at various colleges would each submit a donation of 1,250 ó enough to pay for one ounce of research grade Cannabis. I hope the NORML chapter here at Virginia Tech is able to contribute to this worthy project. It will be good for their souls. Source: Collegiate Times (VA)Author: Michael Krawitz, ColumnistPublished: September 9th, 2005Copyright: 2005 Collegiate Times Website: Contact: comments Related Articles & Web Sites:MAPS Virginia Tech NORML Pipe Dreams Over Pot Research Gets Personal DEA's Smokescreen 
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Comment #4 posted by AlvinCool on September 10, 2005 at 08:25:56 PT
the BIG picture
One of the points you may have missed as why the DEA doesn't want anyone else growing cannabis. In the reading I've done the standard yeild for indoor plants is about 1 - 2 ounces. But the DEA contends that each plant is capable of 4 lbs.If it's proven that indoor grows can't do that won't they have to let a LOT of people out of jail and change sentencing guidelines?
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Comment #3 posted by Richard Zuckerman on September 09, 2005 at 15:14:33 PT:
Perhaps the government is afraid the American people will disbelieve their propaganda against Cannabis? Especially when people learn that our bodies make Cannabinoid-like substances!!!!
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Comment #2 posted by Max Flowers on September 09, 2005 at 10:02:46 PT
Grade AAA
It just means good stuff that hasn't been ruined by some dummy who let it mold, or didn't know how to avoid leaving it full of yucky chemical fertilizers, or ruined by spider mites or powdery mildew or killed by a nutrient lockout/deficiency, etc. Well I probably shouldn't say dummy, because I've been that dummy before. This is what most folks don't get, that it actually takes a few years of experience growing it to work through all the pitfalls and learn how to avoid them. If you ever hear somebody say "oh, how hard can it be? It's just a weed!" (when talking about growing it indoors, anyway) you should laugh loudly, as that is very naive.
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Comment #1 posted by Trekkie on September 09, 2005 at 08:19:07 PT
I've always wondered...
just what, exactly, is "research grade" cannabis? Should there be some research into what research grade is? Volunteers? :D
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