Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin
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Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin
Posted by CN Staff on August 13, 2016 at 06:13:49 PT
By The NYT Editorial Board
Source: New York Times
Washington, D.C. -- Supporters of a saner marijuana policy scored a small victory this week when the Obama administration said it would authorize more institutions to grow marijuana for medical research. But the government passed up an opportunity to make a more significant change.The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday turned down two petitions — one from the governors of Rhode Island and Washington and the other from a resident of New Mexico — requesting that marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs on that list, which include heroin and LSD, are deemed to have no medical use; possession is illegal under federal law, and researchers have to jump through many hoops to obtain permission to study them and obtain samples to study. Having marijuana on that list is deeply misguided since many scientists and President Obama have said that it is no more dangerous than alcohol.
Over the years, Congress and attorneys general have deferred to the expertise of the D.E.A., which is the part of the Justice Department that enforces the nation’s drug laws. So the D.E.A. has amassed extensive control over drug policy making. It determines who gets to grow marijuana for research and which scholars are allowed to study it, for example. It has strongly resisted efforts by scientists, state officials and federal lawmakers to reclassify marijuana by rejecting or refusing to acknowledge evidence that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as federal law treats it.Since 1968, the University of Mississippi has been the only institution allowed to grow the plant for research. This has severely limited availability. The D.E.A. now says that because researchers are increasingly interested in studying marijuana, it will permit more universities to grow the cannabis plant and supply it to researchers who have been approved to conduct studies on it. This should make it easier for researchers to obtain varieties of marijuana with varying concentrations of different compounds.Apart from the scarcity of research-grade marijuana, the drug’s Schedule 1 status means that scientists have to obtain multiple approvals from different federal agencies like the D.E.A. and the Food and Drug Administration to conduct research. By comparison, the government makes it much easier to study opioids and other dangerous drugs that are listed on Schedules 2 to 5.The D.E.A. and the F.D.A. insist that there is not enough scientific evidence to justify removing marijuana from Schedule 1. This is a disingenuous argument; the government itself has made it impossible to do the kinds of trials and studies that could produce the evidence that would justify changing the drug’s classification.As the D.E.A. tiptoes toward reconsidering marijuana policies, voters all over the country are expanding access to the drug through initiatives. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use, and 25 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have legalized medical marijuana. Residents of at least five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — will vote on ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana in November, and residents of Arkansas and Florida will vote on measures to legalize medical marijuana.The Obama administration has done the right thing by allowing state legalization efforts to proceed. But the next president could easily undo that policy. Hillary Clinton has said she supports letting states legalize the drug and removing it from Schedule 1. Donald Trump has said he is personally opposed to legalization of recreational use, but he supports medical marijuana and the right of states to set their own policies.Removing marijuana from Schedule 1 would be ideal. Reducing research restrictions and lessening penalties for users would be a step in the right direction.A version of this editorial appears in print on August 13, 2016, on page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin. Source: New York Times (NY) Published: August 13, 2016Copyright: 2016 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis  Archives
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on August 17, 2016 at 14:01:36 PT
It's a Plant. Therefore FDA & DEA Will Not Approve
Not just marijuana: The FDA has always denied the existence of therapeutic benefits associated with ALL plants.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 by: Daniel Barker.
Learn more: needs reform. It's definition of medicine is woefully outdated.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on August 15, 2016 at 20:47:34 PT
one more
We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.- Carl Sagan
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on August 15, 2016 at 10:07:53 PT
The pace of nature...
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on August 15, 2016 at 10:05:36 PT
“Hope” is the thing with feathers - 
That perches in the soul - 
And sings the tune without the words - 
And never stops - at all - 
~ Emily Dickinson
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on August 13, 2016 at 10:59:22 PT
We, The People
Think the DEA should be investigated and evaluated.Many people are concerned about them. You don't have to be doing anything wrong to get crossways of the kind of organization they are.Remember the young man in California they locked in a dark room for three days without food and water?Remember the lies that we know about?Just saving what they spend on confidential informants and hired liars would save many hard earned resources and indicate to the people that there was someone with some sense at the controls of the people's government, not dictating, but serving as a representative of the people. I'd like to say to all the members of Congress and the President of these United States, what the hell kind of representation is this? Like the mother that stands by and watches her boyfriend beat her kid to death?Investigate them.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on August 13, 2016 at 08:56:05 PT
The NY Times always tip-toes around the evil government in obedient tones. The DEA aren't lying criminals, condeming millions of patients to extra suffering and pain, they're "disingenuous". And never any mention of the 20,000 peer-reviewed medical studies on-line at Pubmed that were done over the last 2 decades.  Instead they promote the fed's narrative that cannabis hasn't been studied enough.They never mention the racial aspect of cannabis prohibition alongside articles on medical use, that is verboten as well. 
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