Marijuana Law Reform Advocates Await DEA Ruling on NIDA Marijuana Monopoly

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Bajeda, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Bajeda

    Bajeda Super Moderator Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Jul 13, 2006
    from U.S.A.


    Marijuana law reform advocates are anxiously awaiting a ruling from a Drug Enforcement Administration administrative law judge on whether the National Institute on Drug Abuse will be allowed to maintain a monopoly on growing and distributing pot for use in clinical research.

    The question has been hanging out there since 2004, when the DEA rejected an application – after sitting on it for more than three years – from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that sought permission to grow pot for Food and Drug Administration-approved research. Granting such a request, the DEA opined, simply wouldn't "be consistent with the public interest."

    The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies – a nonprofit research outfit that assists scientists with pot-related research – and U. Mass' Medicinal Plant Program Director Lyle Craker cried foul, challenging the DEA's decision. In testimony last year before Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner, they argued that a U. Mass pot-production facility is in the public interest because it would encourage production of a better crop of test pot – researchers have increasingly complained about the poor quality of NIDA's stash, which reportedly makes accurate clinical testing difficult – and would "promote technological and scientific advancement in the field of medicine," reports the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "The DEA's refusal to permit me to grow marijuana for research necessarily prevents an accurate assessment of this plant's potential medical properties," Craker testified.

    Unfortunately for researchers, even if Bittner rules in their favor, federal law would allow DEA head Karen Tandy to ignore the decision in the same manner that the DEA has, essentially, ignored research requests.


    I am generally an optimistic person but I just don't have a great feeling about this. After reading about the hell Dr. Strassman had to go through to get his DMT trials underway I have a better understanding of just how hard it is to obtain the psychedelics necessary for research (not to mention how hard it is to get simple permission to do the research!), and DMT is a substance the DEA didn't even care about!

    I think at this point they should just give up on trying to do the research in the US and just focus on a more hospitable country, but this may just be pessimistic thinking. In any case, I think its quite evident that the NIDA having a monopoly on growing research marijuana isn't helping research any...