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DEA Will Decide Whether To Change Course on MJ
Posted by CN Staff on April 06, 2016 at 13:32:19 PT
By Christopher Ingraham
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- In a lengthy memo to lawmakers, the Drug Enforcement Administration said it hopes to decide whether to change the federal status of marijuana "in the first half of 2016."Marijuana is currently listed under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that for the purposes of federal law, the drug has "no medical use and a high potential for abuse" and is one of "the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence." Marijuana shares Schedule 1 status with heroin, and it is more strictly regulated than the powerful prescription painkillers that have killed more than 165,000 people since 1999.
First set in 1970, marijuana's classification under the Controlled Substances Act has become increasingly out of step with scientific research, public opinion, medical use and state law. Citing marijuana's potentially significant therapeutic potential for a number of serious ailments, including chronic pain and epilepsy, organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have called on the DEA to change the drug's scheduling status.But the DEA has rebuffed numerous previous attempts at rescheduling, sometimes after decades of stonewalling, and in at least one case overrode the recommendation of its own administrative judge. The current petition before the DEA was initiated by then-governors Christine Gregoire of Washington and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island in 2011. In a previous letter to lawmakers, the DEA indicated it had all the information it needed to make the decision as of last September.The current memo, written in conjunction with the heads of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, also provides a detailed look at how the federal government provides marijuana to researchers. Currently, the government grants a monopoly on marijuana production for research purposes to one program at the University of Mississippi. "Because of this monopoly, research-grade drugs that meet researchersí specifications often take years to acquire, if they are produced at all," a Brookings Institution report argued last year.According to the memo, in the years between 2010 and 2015, the government provided marijuana for research purposes to an average of nine researchers per year. Given the rapidly changing marijuana policy landscape, experts say that level of support is nowhere near enough to keep up with research demand."That number is totally insufficient to meet public health needs and to answer the number of [research] questions that pop up yearly," the Brookings Institution's John Hudak said in an interview.Hudak said the small number of researchers working with marijuana in any given year is less a function of the government turning down applications, and more a function of an onerous, convoluted application process -- one that requires approval from multiple government agencies and deters academics from even pursuing this type of research. "People just aren't applying because of all the headaches involved," he said. "It's a huge disincentive for the academic community."The bureaucratic hurdles also mean that colleges and universities are often hesitant to fund marijuana research for fear of running afoul of complex federal regulations. One ongoing study on the use of marijuana to treat veterans with PTSD has been struggling to get off the ground for more than five years, for instance.Meanwhile, researchers say, families desperate for relief for loved ones' ailments are taking matters into their own hands, moving across state lines and turning to social media to answer complicated questions about marijuana dosing and treatment -- questions to which researchers themselves don't have the answers.Still, Hudak credits the DEA, HHS and ONDCP for the thoroughness of their response to lawmakers' questions in this instance. In addition to detailed information about the quantity and type of marijuana the federal government makes available to researchers, the memo outlines the steps the government is taking to improve coordination among federal agencies on data quality.Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Christopher IngrahamPublished: April 6, 2016Copyright: 2016 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters washpost.com Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ URL: http://drugsense.org/url/eQGAWZGGCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml 
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Comment #8 posted by Had Enough on April 08, 2016 at 18:41:02 PT
Bern and the Drug Wars
I guess...Bernie is the only one who would end the drug war...This would be a good time for Ron Paul to be running...He was really-really outspoken about ending the Drug Wars and was one of his top priorities...There was a debate in Tampa back then...his own party washed him out and he wasn't allowed to participate (anything to uphold the status quo) so he held a rally not far from the debate location... 
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on April 08, 2016 at 05:57:08 PT
Too BIG to fail.
Government treats cannabis prohibition as though it's too BIG to fail.America must Bern that notion.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 08, 2016 at 05:25:11 PT
Had Enough
The only thing different from then to now is the Internet and activists. We only have a short time until Obama isn't President and we must push hard now while we still have him. Trump or Clinton will bring us to a standstill. Go Bernie!
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Comment #5 posted by Had Enough on April 07, 2016 at 16:06:30 PT
DEA Judge
This what I was referring to in comment #3""But the DEA has rebuffed numerous previous attempts at rescheduling, sometimes after decades of stonewalling, and in at least one case overrode the recommendation of its own administrative judge. The current petition before the DEA was initiated by then-governors Christine Gregoire of Washington and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island in 2011.""
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Comment #4 posted by Had Enough on April 07, 2016 at 15:58:47 PT
Meanwhile...Still Thinkin'...
Nixon blamed the Jews for cannabis too...some big time politician tried to blame it on the communists also...Wow...How bizarre this whole pot thing is...and here we are watching this unfold...still...Wow...
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on April 07, 2016 at 15:48:58 PT
Re-schedule 
Even if they come to the conclusion to re-schedule ... It will more than likely be ignored...just like the Schafer Commission and LaGuardia Papers that came before the DEA...and didn't the head of DEA ignore their own people (some kind of an internal DEA court) to re-schedule it about 10 years ago or so...
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Comment #2 posted by Had Enough on April 07, 2016 at 15:33:47 PT
Interesting
Interesting...But we have seen this bunch in action before... Wasn't Nixon the one who created DEA with Executive Order...to punish the pot smokers and the hippies...then carried out through every administration since...
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on April 06, 2016 at 15:30:05 PT
DEA, legally mandated to uphold Schedule I
Hasn't this been discussed already?The DEA is mandated by law, that is, NOT ALLOWED to change cannabis from a discredited Schedule I substance.They're not even legally able to consider it or talk about it in favorable light.Legally, unable!-0-"the DEA indicated it had all the information it needed to make the decision as of last September."-0-Again, didn't this already come up??? And wasn't it already pointed out, -the DEA's legal position?
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