The following are excerpts from three current news stories. They give a glimpse into the untold stories of the current war on cannabis, hemp and the free flow of information in the US. At the end is a still relevant commentary from 1983 by the late William F Buckley.
Posted: 06/11/2014 6:53 pm EDT
New Report Blasts DEA For Spending 4 Decades Obstructing Marijuana Science
The Drug Enforcement Administration has been impeding and ignoring the science on marijuana and other drugs for more than four decades, according to a report released this week by the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug policy reform group, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a marijuana research organization.
“The DEA is a police and propaganda agency,” Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said Wednesday. “It makes no sense for it to be in charge of federal decisions involving scientific research and medical practice.”
The report alleges that the DEA has repeatedly failed to act in a timely fashion when faced with petitions to reschedule marijuana. The drug is currently classified as Schedule I, which the DEA reserves for the “most dangerous” drugs with “no currently accepted medical use.” Schedule I drugs, which include substances like heroin and LSD, cannot receive federal funding for research. On three separate occasions — in 1973, 1995 and again in 2002 — the DEA took years to make a final decision about a rescheduling petition, and in two of the cases the DEA was sued multiple times to force a decision.
The report criticizes the DEA for overruling its own officials charged with determining how illicit substances should be scheduled. It also criticizes the agency for creating a “regulatory Catch-22” by arguing there is not enough scientific evidence to support rescheduling marijuana while simultaneously impeding the research that would produce such evidence.
A spokesperson at the DEA declined to comment on the report.
“The DEA has obstructed research into the medical use of marijuana for over 40 years and in the process has caused immeasurable suffering that would otherwise have been treated by low-cost, low-risk generic marijuana,” Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, said in a statement. “The DEA’s obstruction of the FDA approval process for marijuana has — to the DEA’s dismay — unintentionally catalyzed state-level medical marijuana reforms.”
Nadelmann said the DEA has “demonstrated a regular pattern of abusing its discretionary powers.”
Fortunately, next month there was much better news…
I didn’t know their were 5 men serving a life sentence for cannabis. Thank you AlterNet for reporting on this. Lets work to release these men! Do you know what side of the drug war you are on?
hempmeister ~ Brian
“Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”
— William F. Buckley,
Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495