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The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding And Rejecting Science (Drug Policy Alliance Report)


Direct link to PDF of report: https://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DPA-MAPS_DEA_Science_Final.pdf

This report, co-published by DPA and MAPS, illustrates a decades-long pattern of behavior that demonstrates the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) inability to exercise its responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner or to act in accord with the scientific evidence. The report’s case studies reveal a number of DEA practices that maintain the existing, scientifically unsupported drug scheduling system and obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules. In addition to marijuana, the report also examines the DEA's speed in moving to ban MDMA, synthetic cannabinoids, and synthetic stimulants. In contrast to the DEA's failure to act in a timely fashion when confronted with evidence for scheduling certain drugs less severely, the agency has shown repeatedly that it can move quickly when it wants to prohibit a substance. The report recommends that responsibility for determining drug classifications and other health determinations should be completely removed from the DEA and transferred to another agency, perhaps even a non-governmental entity such as the National Academy of Sciences. The report also recommends the DEA should be ordered to end the federal government’s unjustifiable monopoly on the supply of research-grade marijuana available for federally approved research. No other drug is available from only a single governmental source for research purposes.


The DEA is a police and propaganda agency. by Ethan Nadelman and Rick Doblin

Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, the DEA’s powers include not just the ability to enforce federal drug laws, but the authority to schedule drugs and license facilities for the production and use of scheduled drugs in federally-approved research. The DEA is statutorily required to make its determinations based on scientific data. There is no indication in the legislative record that the CSA intended for drug classification to be a one-way ratchet, with only tighter controls ever envisioned. Nor was there any indication that the DEA’s decision-making process was intended to be an entirely political process.

Despite substantial evidence confirming marijuana’s medical benefits, the DEA has opposed any efforts to reform federal policy to reflect this. At the same time, the DEA has essentially blocked the FDA drug development route for marijuana by making it extremely difficult for researchers to obtain marijuana for clinical trials.

The DEA took 16 years to issue a final decision rejecting the first marijuana rescheduling petition, five years for the second, and nine years for the third. In two of the three cases, it took multiple lawsuits to force the agency to act.


DEA Administrative Law Judges are government officials charged with evaluating the evidence on rescheduling and other matters before the DEA and making recommendations based on that evidence to the DEA Administrator. In the cases of the scheduling of marijuana and MDMA, the judges determined that that they should be placed in Schedule II instead of Schedule I, where they would be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as prescription medicines, but still retain criminal sanctions for non-medical uses. However, agency administrators overruled their Administrative Law Judges' recommendations, substituting their own judgments and ignoring scientific evidence. The current DEA head, Michelle Leonhart, also rejected a DEA Administrative Law Judge ruling that the DEA end its unique and unjustifiable monopoly on the supply of research-grade marijuana available for federally-approved research.

..and more

Pennsylvania: 2nd hearing on medical marijuana bill


This is: Senate Bill 1182 (to legalize medical marijuana) also known as “Governor Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act”. - Shafer was the head of Nixon's investigative committee that recommended decriminalization for all marijuana. Shafer said, 40 some odd years ago: “Looking only at the effects on the individual, there is little proven danger of physical or psychological harm from the experimental or intermittent use of the natural preparations of cannabis.”

Co-sponsors are bipartisan - and there's a lot them!

Here's a contact list for people in PA to indicate your support for passage of this bill: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/mbrList.cfm?body=S&sort=alpha

Irvin Rosenfeld (in testimony before the Senate) held up a tin filled with hundreds of marijuana cigarettes in Senate Hearing Room 1 and told the committee that the medicine saved his life. The Florida stock broker has been using medical marijuana since the '70s to treat a bone tumor disorder.

"There was a program that started in 1977, Robert Randall was the first patient, I was number two. I was able to prove that this medicine worked better than the conventional medicines for me and somehow I won hearings before the FDA and I became the second patient. It is difficult because the Federal Government does not want people to understand that they are giving it out, so they really kind of kept it quiet," said Irvin Rosenfeld, Federal Medical Cannabis Patient.

The Federal Government considers marijuana a schedule one drug. "The Federal Government says it is schedule one and has no medical benefit, which is a hypocrisy. They have been giving it to me for this long and I am doing fantastic. I have not had a tumor grow or a new one develop since I was 21 and I am 61-years-old, " said Rosenfeld.

I highlighted that last part because, before he started using medical marijuana, Rosenfeld's tumors continued to grow - he developed new ones. He offered himself to the U.S. federal govt. to study as a "ground zero" patient for medical marijuana, but the feds didn't want to know anything good about marijuana... even if it could help so many different Americans with so many different medical situations.

First Recreational MJ testing lab opens in Yakima


A new laboratory has opened in a building that once analyzed hops for beer-makers, but the green matter going under the microscope now is hop's more notorious cousin, marijuana. The lab will measure the level of THC, which produces the high. It also will check for mold, bacteria, parasites and pesticides.

"It's not only providing the relative dose, but safety for the consumer," said Randall Oliver, Analytical 360's chief scientist.

The state requires that marijuana producers provide a 7-gram sample from every 5-pound lot of marijuana buds. For liquids, a producer must give a 2-gram sample from each batch, while edible marijuana producers have to supply a single item from each batch for testing.

The full battery of tests takes about a week to complete. If a sample fails a test, it is retested again and rejected if it fails a second time. The company will post the results on its website for the public to see, just as it now does with medical marijuana.

A dissection of anti-marijuana propaganda

Since various people on DU have posted anti-marijuana propaganda lately, I thought it might be instructive to look at one incident.

Here's the post:

He's not opposed to decriminalization. He just questions the arguments in this case.

The way Taube "questions the arguments" is to use racist dog whistles that reflect concern if marijuana is legal in cities with high rates of crime (as tho those cities already do not have access to illegal marijuana, or that those cities don't reflect the crisis of the death of manufacturing in the U.S. - the cities he notes include Detroit and Milwaukee.)

TAUBE: The myth of the mellow pothead

Correlation between marijuana use and cutting crime is cloudy

By Michael Taube Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Do you think there’s a correlation between marijuana legalization and lower crime levels?

I certainly don’t. However, some individuals and groups are attempting to creatively connect the dots using some local data collected in Denver.


Here's what happened: when marijuana legalization was on the ballot in Colorado, law enforcement agencies lobbied against marijuana and predicted crime would soar as a consequence. The big lie is to pretend marijuana advocates claimed crime would be reduced, or that current stats indicate a correlation.

What happened was this (as Jonathan Turley reports, tho I posted this here from other sources earlier in the year, as well.)

Colorado is reporting $7.3 million in taxes for sales, not including medical marijuana sales taxes and licenses. When medical marijuana is included, the amount rises to $12.6 million. The trend is a steady increase: $1.4 million in January, $1.43 million in February and now $1.898 million in March. At the same time, Denver is reporting a slight decrease in crime. That may have no relation to the law but advocates point out that opponents predicted a sharp increase in crime. Notably, since recreational marijuana is taxed more heavily than medical marijuana, the tax revenues for recreational marijuana are expected to bring in the greatest amount of revenue for the state.


Back to the ever-so-reasonable Taube - As I’ve written in the past, I support marijuana decriminalization because I don’t feel people should have permanent criminal records for possessing a few joints. The push for marijuana legalization has always worried me for a number of reasons, however.

Unscientific assumptions such as a correlation between pot use and reduced crime levels is certainly one of them.

The prohibitionists KNOW science is not on their side, as far as marijuana having no medicinal value or being more addictive than cocaine or heroin.

So, now they have fashioned a MYTH about claims made by those who support legalization to try to undermine actual scientific claims, and the overwhelming reality that marijuana prohibition is one of the most idiotic laws ever created in this nation. Not one of the worst - there are far worse - but this one is one of the most idiotic because it came about because of liars and is continued because of liars.

Michael Taube is a contributor to The Washington Times. <--- yeah, this was considered a valid source here for those who want to spread propaganda. fwiw. The owner of the Washington Times was a major contributor to the Republican Party all through the Bush Sr. and Jr. years - and, as Robert Parry has documented (he's a Pulitzer-nominated former Newsweek reporter who left mainstream media after he saw the collusion between mainstream media and political right wingers) Rev. Moon was a major financial backer of fascist regimes in Central America during the Reagan/Bush years when the U.S. supported "freedom fighters" who were raping and killing nuns because they were socialists.

So, know the tactics the prohibitionists are using as they lose the hearts and minds of the American people (not that they ever had them in the first place, unless someone was already a right wing Nixon and Reagan loving creep.)

oh, and here's the link to Taube's misinformation: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/3/taube-the-myth-of-the-mellow-pothead/

hey, Taube, I'm calling you out for posting these lies. Didn't you do your research?

Call Your Senator to Support Defunding the DEA's raids on legal MMJ

Two weeks ago, the Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) appropriations bill was approved in the House. Last week the Senate Subcommittee on Appropriations approved the amendment (and the bill to which it is attached.)

Now the vote goes to the Senate.

Please call your Senator to express support for defunding the DEA regarding medical marijuana in the many states where this is now law, and in the many states that will vote for medical marijuana laws in the near future.

Get active!

Let your Senators know there is widespread support for changes in our current laws regarding medical marijuana and hemp (the concerns of this bill/amendments).


Here's a list to find your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Senate Appropriations Committee Voted For Hemp Amendment

Committee Approves FY 2015 CJS and THUD Appropriations Bills

Washington, DC – (Thursday), U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, announced that the Full Committee has approved the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill unanimously with a vote of 30-0 and the fiscal year 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill with a bipartisan vote of 29-1. Both measures will be reported to the full Senate for consideration.

The Hemp Amendment Passed 22-8

The McConnell/Merkley amendment provides that no funds can be used by federal agencies in violation of Senator McConnell's provision in the 2014 Farm Bill, which gave state agricultural commissioners, such as Kentucky's James Comer, the go ahead to cultivate hemp for pilot programs.

Kentucky plans to test hemp in the Louisville area as a phytoremediator - i.e. to clean up industrial sites in the city.

Committee Members Are:

Barbara Mikulski - Chair
Patrick J. Leahy
Tom Harkin
Patty Murray
Diane Feinstein
Richard Durbin
Tim Johnson
Mary Landrieu
Jack Reed
Mark Pryor
Jon Tester
Tom Udall
Jeanne Shaheen
Jeff Merkley
Mark Begich
Chris Coons

Richard Shelby
Thad Cochran
Mitch McConnell
Lamar Alexander
Susan Collins
Lisa Murkowski
Lindsey Graham
Mark Kirk
Dan Coats
Roy Blunt
Jerry Moran
John Hoeven
Mike Johanns
John Boozman

I read about this on huffpo and the person said the hemp amendment vote was 22-8.

If I were a cynical sort, I would almost think McConnell had grandstanded with the DEA to garner support for changes in the DEA by using his ally's disdain for federalism and "overreach" to make sure he could get this legislation approved...not to mention he gets to be on teevee for this while facing a Democratic challenger.

Who knows. Doesn't matter, ultimately. What matters is that this is the first time since cannabis prohibition that the two legislative bodies in the U.S. may lessen rather than increase restrictions on any cannabis plant material.


On Thursday, the hemp industry showed its new muscle on Capitol Hill, convincing the Senate Appropriations Committee to approve a plan that would block federal agencies from spending any money to enforce anti-hemp laws in states that have received permission to grow the plant. The vote, on an amendment to a larger spending bill, was 22-8.

“DEA is a bit of a lost rogue agency. They just don’t get it,” said Eric Steenstra, the executive director of the Hemp Industries Association, a trade group that represents hundreds of hemp businesses. “They’ve been continuing to sort of have a hard time accepting the new reality.”

Craig Lee, a board member of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association in Lexington, said hemp provided a big opportunity for his state, especially with the troubles facing the tobacco industry. But he said it made little sense to have federal drug enforcement agents thwart efforts to revive the crop, which thrived in the state decades ago.

“We need to stop the DEA,” Lee said. “That organization needs to be taken down at the knees and disbanded. Get totally rid of it and throw it in the grave with Richard Nixon.”

Rodrigo Canales: The deadly genius of drug cartels

His TED talk.

America's Longest War: A Film

Here's a link to the full movie. Can't post in video/media b/c it's not on YouTube. The film was produced by Reason Magazine.


Drug prohibition has failed. Drug usage rates have not declined, and illegal drugs are more available—and cheaper—than ever before. At the same time, the costs of the drug war are staggering. More than $1 trillion taxpayer dollars have been spent. More than 50,000 SWAT raids occur each year. Hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders are wasting their lives away in prison at our expense. And more than 60,000 people have been murdered in Mexico over the past six years.

AMERICA'S LONGEST WAR provides a brief history of drug prohibition, beginning with Nixon's declaration of war in 1971 and ending with Obama's broken promise to allow states to determine their own medical marijuana policies. AMERICA'S LONGEST WAR chronicles how, over the past 40 years, the drug war has escalated from a small domestic program mostly focused on treatment to the multi-billion dollar international war it is today.

There are many victims of the drug war, and AMERICA'S LONGEST WAR tells some of their stories.

In 2001, Cory Maye, a black man in Mississippi, shot and killed an intruder while protecting his 18-month old daughter. The intruder turned out to be a white police officer conducting a raid, and Maye was sent to prison for murder. Maye was ultimately released in the Summer of 2011.

Contact your Rep. in the House and in the Senate

H.R. 499 seeks to remove cannabis from the jurisdiction of the DEA. Please contact your representative to indicate your support for this bill. Here's a list to find your representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

more info in this LBN post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014818432

You can find your Senator's contact information here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

The Senate needs to approve an amendment that would defund the DEA so that they cannot interfere with medical marijuana in the majority of states in the U.S. where this is legal. The Senate also needs to vote in support of hemp legislation. Both of these are amendments to H.R. 4660.



The Hemp Wars: Is DEA Dazed & Confused Over Industrial Hemp?

As noted here earlier, the DEA considers hemp a narcotic, even tho it's not psychotropic. Because of this insane policy, the DEA seized 250 lbs. of hemp seed destined for KY.

Last week, the House of Representatives told the DEA to leave hemp alone.

Massie, the author of one bill, said Kentucky was forced into a "waste of time and money and the court system's limited resources" during a legal battle with the DEA over its hemp seeds this month. “The DEA is not above Congress, it’s not above the law,” Massie added. “This amendment simply asks the DEA to follow existing laws.”

Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) begs to differ because, according to him, the DEA needs to inspect every cannabis plant to make sure it's one with low levels of THC. Yes. This is reefer madness. Still. In the House.


Just a few weeks ago, Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture filed a lawsuit in federal court to force the DEA to release the confiscated seeds, which were imported from Italy. Following a two-week battle in federal court, the DEA released the seeds. But only after Kentucky officials applied for a controlled substance permit. The "controlled substance" was delivered via UPS truck to State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer’s office and some were planted at University of Kentucky’s research farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Scientists there hope to pinpoint which types of hemp will grow best in the region.

In a May 22nd letter releasing the seeds, the DEA warned Kentucky officials that private farmers could face prosecution for planting hemp, and pilot projects could be destroyed as part of the federal marijuana eradication program. The DEA said it seized the seeds because the intent of the farm bill is unclear and doesn’t include rules for importing hemp seeds. In response, state officials sent a letter to a federal judge in Louisville, seeking a declaratory ruling. A court date has yet to be announced.

The DEA’s confusion is unwarranted, according to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Louisville), who helped draft the Farm Bill legislation. McConnell recently released a statement, saying he was frustrated that "the DEA is using its finite resources to stymie plainly lawful hemp pilot projects at the very time Kentucky is facing growing threats from heroin addiction and other drug abuse."

The DEA has stated repeatedly that law enforcement officials might not be able to distinguish legal hemp from illegal marijuana. In the May 22nd letter, the agency "strongly suggests" Kentucky officials provide details such as global positioning coordinates for hemp plots and anticipated growing dates.

It's time for Leonhart to go. It's time for the DEA to be defunded. It's time to remove cannabis in any form outside of the purview of the DEA.

A lawyer for the KY hemp farmers says the Hemp bill makes it clear hemp is an agricultural product, not a drug.

But the reality is that Congress has created laws that make hemp a drug. Congress needs to change those laws, outright, by removing cannabis from the controlled substances act.

A Democrat re-introduced such legislation this week. The hemp growers are prepared to go to court to fight the DEA. They shouldn't have to go to court. Congress should simply DO ITS JOB and take action to stop this interference from a federal agency that should not have control over an herb.

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