The bill includes an amendment that prohibits the Department of Justice — which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration — from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. A similar amendment has been offered seven times in Congress, failing in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2012. The House finally approved it in May when it was offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
Archive for the ‘Drug Enforcement Administration’ category
According to a Denver Post story, Colorado is scheduled to begin administering significant funding for the largest ever state-supported medical marijuana research grant program starting in early 2015. It is anticipated that Colorado’s health department will release the program’s official request for applications sometime this week. The state expects to deliver $9 million geared towards research on the medical effects of marijuana. There is, however, skepticism over who will be able to accept funding for the research program due to marijuana’s federally illegal status.
At a recent meeting, several members of the health department questioned whether or not university-based researchers would be able to participate in the research program without first receiving approval from the federal government. Some members fear that the university review boards may disapprove of projects that are seen as being too controversial or as threats to the university’s federal funding, regardless of state-funded approval for the research.
As stated by the health department’s executive director, Dr. Larry Wolk, “It’s going to be a challenge for the applicant.” Although, Dr. Paula Riggs, a council member who is an addiction medicine specialist at the University of Colorado, said researchers can reduce that concern by getting approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration, but such approval typically takes a long time. “You can do it,” she said, “but you have to jump through hoops.”
[MPP emphasis added]
With the Governor of Colorado signing a law allowing the state to fund up to $10 million for research into the medical benefits of marijuana, the state has demonstrated its ability to jump through the federal government’s “hoops.” What remains now is the issue of eliminating the obstacles brought upon by the federal government in giving researchers the opportunity to investigate the benefits medical marijuana.
In a profile published this week by The New Yorker magazine, President Barack Obama acknowledged the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol for the consumer. Yet federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, a category the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers “the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules.” It’s time for that to change.
The Controlled Substances Act gives the executive branch, led by President Obama, the legal authority to remove marijuana from the DEA’s schedule of drugs. That authority should be exercised immediately.
Please sign our Change.org petition calling on President Obama to remove marijuana from the DEA’s schedule of drugs. Then share it widely with your friends and relatives, and encourage them to sign and share it, too.
The president clearly recognizes that marijuana is safer than alcohol — which is not a scheduled drug — so he should do everything he can to ensure our federal laws reflect that fact. Actions speak louder than words, and it’s time for the president to take action.
Sign our petition now and tell President Obama to remove marijuana from the DEA’s schedule of drugs. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and it is time for our government to start treating it that way.
For a dozen years, top Mexican officials have been trying to get the U.S. to arrest Lopez to turn him over to them, where it is likely, the Times suggests, that he will be tortured and killed. Yet the U.S. Marshals Service raided him -- but he spotted the surveillance and fled. He has been hiding out ever since.
This extensive report confirms our worst suspicions that considerations of justice are abandoned when powerful politicians and powerful criminals feel threatened, and when the trade and political interests of the U.S. may be affected. In this account, the decisions of the U.S. Attorney General and the Secretary of State about protecting a man who was offered protection by the U.S. for his life-endangering cooperation are swayed by political considerations. When does a government betray someone it has offered to protect?
Drug enforcement is such a peculiar species of law enforcement. No matter how zealously anti-drug agents, prosecutors or officials might be, they all recognize at some level, because the drug trade is so large and perpetual, that any individual load of drugs or any individual defendant is ultimately insignificant. Considerations of national security, national economics, and national politics -- if pressing -- will always trump any investigation.
Is this a form of corruption? Or is it a necessary exercise of discretion? Is letting a cartel leader go for reasons of state legally or morally different than letting a juvenile street dealer go for reasons of compassion and retaining the human capital of a community?
Click here to subscribe to NORMLtv and receive alerts whenever new content is added.
The latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.
This week: A big drop in DEA marijuana plant seizures year over year and a new study illustrates how cannabis can help keep patients from the dangers of pharmaceutical opiates.