Feds Are Creating a Catch-22 for Marijuana Research and Policy with Ruling

Feds Are Creating a Catch-22 for Marijuana Research and Policy with Ruling

DEA is saying that marijuana needs FDA approval to be removed from Schedule I, but at the same time they are obstructing the very research needed to gain FDA approval.

WASHINGTON, DC — On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in a case challenging the Drug Enforcement Administration’s designation of marijuana as a Schedule I substance.  The court was to decide whether the DEA followed its own rules when making the decision not to review scientific evidence that supports removing marijuana from Schedule I. The court ruled that the DEA did adhere to their rules and did not have to reconsider the scheduling of marijuana.

Schedule I is the most restrictive category for controlled substances, including those drugs defined as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

The lawsuit was brought by a coalition of organizations and individual patients, including Americans for Safe Access, the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis, and Patients out of Time.  Since California became the first U.S. state to pass and implement a medical marijuana law in 1996, 17 other states and the District of Columbia have followed suit by passing legislation or voter initiatives that allow certain patients to legally access marijuana.

According to the appeals court, the DEA was following its own rules when it claimed that petitioners for rescheduling marijuana had failed to provide “adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy.”

While the petitioners had provided peer-reviewed research as to the medical benefits of marijuana, the DEA requires studies more in line with the specific trials required by the FDA.

“We’re stuck in a Catch-22 – the DEA is saying that marijuana needs FDA approval to be removed from Schedule I, but at the same time they are obstructing that very research,” said Tamar Todd, senior staff attorney for the Drug Policy Alliance. “While there is a plethora of scientific evidence establishing marijuana’s safety and efficacy, the specific clinical trials necessary to gain FDA approval have long been obstructed by the federal government itself.”

Largely out of public view, for more than four decades the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the DEA have obstructed medical marijuana research by maintaining a government monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can legally be used in research.

Marijuana remains the only Schedule I drug that DEA prohibits from being produced by private laboratories for scientific research.

Although DEA has licensed multiple privately-funded manufacturers of all other Schedule I drugs, it permits just one facility, located at the University of Mississippi, to produce marijuana for research purposes.

This facility, under contract with NIDA, holds a literal monopoly on the supply of marijuana available to scientists, including researchers seeking to conduct FDA-approved studies of the plant’s medical properties – studies that, of course, squarely conflict with NIDA’s mission to study drug abuse. The DEA, for its part, protects NIDA’s monopoly by refusing to license other qualified manufacturers.

Every independent commission to examine marijuana policy has concluded that its harms have been greatly exaggerated – from the 1944 LaGuardia Report, to President Nixon’s 1972 Schaffer Commission report, to the Institute of Medicine’s congressionally-mandated 1999 report.

  • MikeParent

    Who elected the DEA heads and endorsed their Prohibitionist Morally Bankrupt Policy? No One!

    • Johnny oneye

      Harry J Anslinger

  • http://www.facebook.com/mhp.ofspokane Mhp Of-Spokane

    This federal guy, Dick something(?), said to me”…because the federal government doesn’t recognize medical marijuana, that’s why.” To which I responded, “What are you going to do when people no longer recognize the federal government?”

  • Guest

    No agency should ever possess BOTH regulatory and enforcement powers. There is the power of regulation and the source of Catch-22. All agencies should

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.silverio.77 John Silverio

    No agency should ever possess BOTH regulatory and enforcement powers.
    There is the power of regulation and the source of Catch-22. All
    agencies should be accountable to We the People.
    Marijuana is SAFER than Alcohol.

  • firetheliberals

    Where is comrade Obama… The dea works for him. C’mon choomer

  • alfred e newman

    if they changed the law it would have practically put the dea out of business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregorykarl.davis Gregory Karl Davis

    “We’re stuck in a Catch-22 – the DEA is saying that marijuana needs FDA approval to be removed from Schedule I, but at the same time they are obstructing that very research,” said Tamar Todd, senior staff attorney for the Drug Policy Alliance. The attorney here fails to comprehend or is unaware of US Supreme Court law in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Oregon that establishes the exemption for the State of Georgia to license a grow room defined at law as, “certified pharmacy” in O.C.G.A. 43-34-120 entitled Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Act. http://clatl.com/atlanta/doctors-wanted-for-georgias-medical-marijuana-law/Content?oid=7263262#.UPcKCSi4vvo.facebook

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.locke.31 Tim Locke

    NOTE TO ALL: THIS IS HOW THEY HAVE BEEN HANDLING IT SINCE NIXON THE NAZI (PROVEN FACT< HE WORKED VERY CLOSELY AND WAS SPONSORED BY THE NAZI PARTY MEMBER PRESCOTT BUSH) STARTED THE WAR ON DRUGS.

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