UMass Prof Fights For His Right To Grow

  UMass Prof Fights For His Right To Grow

Posted by CN Staff on April 21, 2008 at 14:35:27 PT
By Olesia Plokhii 
Source: The Mass Media 

MA -- A University of Massachusetts Amherst professor may be taking the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to court if his appeal to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes is denied.Lyle Craker, Professor of Plant Science at UMass Amherst, was denied his petition to acquire a license to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes in 2006 after submitting his request to the DEA in 2001.
Although the DEA Chief Administrator initially ruled against the license, a separate administrative judge within the DEA ruled in favor, leaving Craker and his horticultural team at UMass Amherst waiting for the final verdict, which could take another eighteen months. Even if the ruling is disappointing, though, Craker said he's determined to take the case to court."If the DEA administrator denies this, then we can go to court outside the DEA and then the DEA has to follow the court ruling," he said. "The court makes their own decisions, so I don't know if I'll be denied. Who knows, this is ultimately a political decision."This would not only be a political, but a controversial and a precedential decision for the advancement of marijuana research if the court rules in Craker's favor. Despite persistent outcries from scientists and citizens suffering from AIDS, glaucoma and other illnesses who could potentially benefit from medicinal marijuana, the federal government has maintained its chokehold on the monopoly of medicinal marijuana research. According to Craker, the federal government grows marijuana by contracting with a researcher in Mississippi for medical research, but that "they essentially do not approve any studies and the plant material they have supplied has very low levels of bio-active constituents, so that the patients get no benefit."If granted a license to cultivate and grow marijuana, that's exactly what Craker and his team at UMass Amherst plan to do. Since Amherst is one of the leading universities in terms of research of medicinal plants in the country, Craker is confident that his team will be able to grow quality marijuana plants with known levels of bio-active constituents. Afterwards, these plants will be supplied to medical doctors and researchers who plan to test the medicinal benefits of marijuana on human patients in clinical trials."What we want to propose to do is grow this material to specifications with different types of cannabinoids and bio-active constituents in it and so they could run an honest clinical trial on it," said Craker.It is imperative that scientists are granted the right to grow medicinal marijuana for clinical trials because otherwise, Craker warned, needy people end up illegally buying marijuana-unaware of its chemistry and potency-from the black market."The thing that bothers me is when people say they're using this material for treatment of their sister or their child who's been vomiting from chemotherapy, and they're wondering why the government forces them to go on the black market to buy it," he said. "I'd like to see it brought into the pharmaceutical trade and bought by prescription, so that medical doctors could prescribe it, the same as any other medicine."While Craker is adamantly opposed to recreational marijuana use, he believes it's wrong to deny an ill person medicine that could potentially help them. And even though there has been plenty of lay evidence suggesting the medicinal benefits of marijuana, Craker insists that clinical trials are needed to test these claims and provide scientific conclusions, whatever they may be."Have there ever been any clinical trials that actually demonstrate this [the claim that marijuana inhibits vomiting and is of medicinal value] better than a placebo? The answer is no, so that's why you have to do research on it," Craker said. "If clinical trials show there is no difference [in using marijuana for medical purposes] than giving somebody sugar water, then go ahead and keep it illegal." Lyle E. Craker: The Mass Media (MA)Author: Olesia PlokhiiPublished: April 21, 2008 Copyright: 2008 Mass Media Contact: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 22, 2008 at 09:49:06 PT

Re-Posting Storm Crows Links
About this quote..... "Have there ever been any clinical trials that actually demonstrate this [the claim that marijuana inhibits vomiting and is of medicinal value] better than a placebo?"Marijuana as antiemetic medicine improves appetite and reverses weight loss in AIDS patients effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. mechanism and antiemetic activity of structurally-diverse cannabinoids marijuana as an antiemetic for cancer chemotherapy. of dronabinol alone and in combination with ondansetron versus ondansetron alone relieved by tetrahydrocannabinol (dronabinol). efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology. of nabilone on nausea and vomiting after total abdominal hysterectomy. Nabilone versus prochlorperazine for control of cancer chemotherapy-induced emesis in children of nabilone and metoclopramide in the control of radiation-induced nausea. and metoclopramide in the treatment of nausea and vomiting an alternative antiemetic for cancer chemotherapy. of the antiemetic efficacy of nabilone and alizapride versus domperidone in the treatment of cytotoxic-induced emesis. THC or Compazine for the cancer chemotherapy patient--the UCLA study of nabilone and prochlorperazine for emesis induced by cancer chemotherapy. and subacute bronchial effects of oral cannabinoids. vs. prochlorperazine for refractory emesis induced by cancer chemotherapy. vs. placebo in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. vs response of tetrahydroannabinol (THC) vs prochlorperazine delta 9-There is even more on cannabinoids vs nausea at these sites- think I've made my point! 

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 22, 2008 at 06:36:15 PT

Storm Crow
It would be very hard for me to fix your post. Could you repost and put a double space under the links and then it won't throw off the comments? I will remove this one then.Thank you.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on April 21, 2008 at 18:19:19 PT:

No testing?
I'll tell you what they're testing. They're testing my sanity. We here at C/news could list half dozen studies right here in America. There have been many more test done abroad. What the DEA already knows, what they are trying to delay is, the inevitable shrinking of their budget, department and of course exposure of their phony war on drugs.Their are only about 400 DEA Agents in this department. That doesn't count administrative and other personal but there are 400 para-military soldier/cops. If you remember they used one tenth of their force [40 agents] to bust me and my wife, alone in our house robes with only my toke pipe in my pocket.Gosh! What a bunch of rugged Rambos! American heroes!-NOTWhat a self serving, despicable bunch of low life thugs!  
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