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The Federal Government ‘Ardently Supports’ Medical Marijuana Research?! Who Knew?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 5, 2011

    Last month we shared with you a letter from Tennessee Congressman Steven Cohen — co-sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 — to Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, which called upon the Obama administration to support changing cannabis’ status as a schedule I prohibited drug and to respect the laws of states that have legalized it for its medical utility.

    “We should not deny the thousands of Americans who rely on the benefits that marijuana provides,” Cohen wrote. “There is no evidence that marijuana has the same addictive qualities or damaging consequences as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine and should not be treated as such.”

    On Monday, October 3, Drug Czar Kerlikowske responded to Rep. Cohen. In his reply, summarized here, Kerlikowske alleged that the Congressman’s concerns regarding the federal scheduling of cannabis are unwarranted because, “We ardently support research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine.”

    Kerlikowske added, “In fact, the federal government is the largest source of funding for research into the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana, and every valid request for the use of marijuana for research has been approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration.”

    Really? So how does the Drug Czar explain this headline — from Saturday’s edition of The Washington Post?

    Marijuana study of traumatized veterans stuck in regulatory limbo

    Getting pot on the street is easy. Just ask the 17 million Americans who smoked the federally illegal drug in 2010.

    Obtaining weed from the government? That’s a lot harder.

    In April, the Food and Drug Administration approved a first-of-its kind study to test whether marijuana can ease the nightmares, insomnia, anxiety and flashbacks common in combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    But now another branch of the federal government has stymied the study. The Health and Human Services Department is refusing to sell government-grown marijuana to the nonprofit group proposing the research, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

    That’s right, the Drug Czar is claiming that the federal government ‘ardently supports’ medical marijuana research just days after the US government formally denied a request for an FDA-approved clinical trial to assess cannabis’ therapeutic safety and efficacy.

    Wait, it gets worse. The ugly truth is that the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the agency that oversees 85 percent of the world’s research on controlled substances, is on record stating that its institutional policy is to reject any and all medical marijuana research. “As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use,” a NIDA spokesperson told The New York Times in 2010. “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

    For once a government agency was telling the truth regarding cannabis. NIDA categorically does not support such research — despite the Obama administration in 2010 publicly issuing its “Scientific Integrity” memorandum stating, “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration.”

    That is why an online search of ongoing FDA-approved clinical trials using the keyword “cannabinoids” yields only six studies (two of which have already been completed) worldwide involving subjects’ use of actual cannabis despite hundreds of favorable preclinical and observational studies clearly demonstrating its benefit.

    Just how blatant is Kerlikowske’s latest lie? Consider this. According to the White House’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, released in July, only fourteen researchers in the United States are legally permitted to conduct research assessing the effect of inhaled cannabis in human subjects. That’s right, only fourteen! And even among this absurdly limited group of investigators, most are involved in research to assess the drug’s “abuse potential, physical/psychological effects, [and] adverse effects.” So says the White House.

    Ardent support for medical marijuana research? Please Gil, don’t make us laugh.

    80 Responses to “The Federal Government ‘Ardently Supports’ Medical Marijuana Research?! Who Knew?”

    1. Don says:

      Seriously, Gil doesn’t make me laugh. His outrageous lies infuriate me! Every time he opens his mouth, representing the worst part of our Govt (the Feds), my opinion of our Govt and the stupidity they support drops even lower…

    2. The Drug Czar wears no clothes!

    3. […] See a rest here: The Federal Government 'Ardently Supports' Medical Marijuana … […]

    4. Theo says:

      Election day is 13 months away. Every marijuana user should vote for the same person, one that is not running on the Democratic or Republican ticket.
      Hey NORML, who do you recommend for President in 2012?

    5. Bhonze says:

      Let me be clear; the White House is interested in funding all NEGATIVE MARIJUANA research! Give him credit, this was only a half LIE!

    6. Tim Hurley says:

      The marijuana is safest cannabis and also it a human cunsume, The federal government should allow us use cannabis for medicine for our survior sick people not dying that man made medicine is not helping sick people.
      Medical marijuana is the only medicine all we want.
      You know what government? It not going hurt people, you should know that.
      Get over with it and be done with it.
      So legalize it help us and listen to us.

    7. YesWeCannabis says:

      The American government WANTS us all to die as slowly as possible from cancer…only after we have spent every dime we’ve saved for our grandchildren to pay for needless/poisonous treatments and deadly drugs made by companies paying BIG$$$ to keep cannabis illegal. Every drug czar will be a liar or face losing their job and possible prosecution.

      Won’t someone please take a look at the rising cancer rates in this country against a timeline of when cannabis was outlawed. SMOKING IT = bad for your lungs…EATING IT = cure…and therein lies the scandal..who can afford to eat pot at 400$ an ounce.

    8. […] LIAR.  As our Paul Armentano so ably points out: “the Drug Czar is claiming that the federal government ‘ardently supports’ medical marijuana research just days after the US government formally denied a request for an FDA-approved clinical trial to assess cannabis’ therapeutic safety and efficacy” for treating post traumatic stress disorder among our returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. […]

    9. keith says:

      Maybe he just honestly didn’t know. Maybe they just don’t tell the DRUG CZAR these things.

    10. Michael Hennigan says:

      I am endocannabinoid deficient. I need cannabinoids for my chronic pain and skin cancer. But I refuse to get hooked on big pharmas cure. I must move to a more compassionate state! Missouri is for hillbillies.

    11. chad says:

      You’ve misunderstood the drug czar’s words. The key word was “components” and what he probably meant is they support pharmaceutical industry research into specific chemicals. In his view there’s no contradiction between his statement and “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

      It’s a great tactic. Pretend to be progressive while actually just aiding the industry.

    12. Little Gypsy says:

      Tell a big enough lie and the people believe it. The governmet stymies any and all efforts to find uses for medical marijuana. NIDA said it all…they only look for negatives.

    13. Dave says:

      clearly, the whole cannabis plant itself, is useful.

      certain components are for medicine.
      certain components are for food.
      certain components are for recreation.
      certain components are for sacrament.

      which quality is most prominent depends on the particular strain (sativa/indica/ruderalis) and its specific CBD:THC ratio.

      i can imagine going into a whole foods market or local farmer’s market to find the cannabis section, offering whole plant leaf, root, stem, flower bud, etc. in categories of low thc/high cbd, equal thc/cbd, and high thc/low cbd ratio.

    14. Brandon says:

      I hope the Government isn’t holding out and taking the opportunity to “take the credit” for cannabinoid-based medical inovations. That would be a huge slap in the face to the oppressed, minority groups working so hard.

    15. Buggsy13420666 says:

      The only things the FEDS are worried about is the quagmire of injustices against the citizens of our country over MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. Now the FEDS are acting like GODS of SCIENCE and the corrupt system of the drug war going on within our borders, THE UNICORNIZATION OF AMERIKA. If the FEDS act so ignorant on the medical use of marijuana, where in the hell do they get the research for drug testing of marijuana and is approved by FDA? Is the testing as rigorous as BIG PHARMA DRUGS which kill and maim people, or is it just a double standard for FEDERALISM. Now it’s spare the rod and spoil the adult. We now live under a system of HOMELAND SECURITY-PATRIOT ACT and MARIJUANA PROHIBITION and BIG BROTHER with the ORWELLIAN MENTALITY. Yhe FEDS have the rod and all we we have is a twig to defend ourselves like rats in a cage.

    16. TheOracle says:

      Kerlikowske, you have got to be fuckin’ kidding me!

      This is a blatant example of Doublethink,Newspeak and both of them together Doublespeak!

      You should just fuckin’ resign and cite the reason why as being forced to lie and make a total ass of yourself to the world. Really! You didn’t think the intelligentsia was not going to call you on it, did you? Really?!

      You fuckin’ suck. Get out!

    17. Jed The Head says:

      I have also read that the IRS is going after any and all providers of medical cannabis for back taxes. If your business includes a controlled substance i.e. cannabis you are not allowed any standard business deduction from your gross income. They are out to put all of them out of business. Sounds a lot like Hoover and Capone. Shame on Obama and his thugs for preying on the sick in this country. Pure evil!!!

    18. David762 says:

      OMG!
      A quick Question:
      How can you tell when Drug Tzar Gil Kerlikowske is lying?

      The correct Answer(s):
      (1) When his lips move; AND
      (2) When a policy paper is released over his name.

      “Hell of a job, brownie … err, I mean Gil. You get paid (very well) to lie to the American People, ostensibly to keep ‘us’ safe from ourselves but really to protect the profits of Monopoly Capitalist Kleptocrats.”

      Unfortunately for the Powers That Be, the Federal government has pretty much lost the respect of most citizens when it comes to ‘transparency in government’ and ‘government truthfulness’. That assessment is the culmination of nearly 80 years of Prohibition of Cannabis and the widespread persecution of minorities that this policy has engendered. The lies, the obfuscations, the greed, and the violence associated with the government’s enforcement of their perpetual ‘War of (Some) Drugs’ against Cannabis is only the most blatant and egregious example of the government’s misogyny against its own citizens.

      What this country needs are Citizen Truth Councils all across this land with subpoena powers, along with such tools as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, if only to begin the task of reforming our government. And at what point in time did bribery of public officials become the norm, guised as campaign contributions, rather than both illegal and immoral?

    19. Clearwater Phil says:

      Please sign my petition to eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the “Drug Czar”. The ONDCP is the head of the snake and needs to be eliminated.

      You can view and sign the petition here:

      http://wh.gov/4kR

      Here’s some more information about this petition:

      Eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

      The legislation that congress used to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), also known as the Drug Czar’s office, requires that the ONDCP reject any attempts to reform laws for any substances on the List of Controlled Substances.

      Because of this restriction, the ONDCP has shown time and again that it is willing to lie and distort facts in order to fulfill that mandate. This behavior by the ONDCP is un-American and immoral, and should not be allowed in a free and democratic society.

      This petition requests that the ONDCP be eliminated.

    20. Jeedi says:

      This is just the kind of thing that needs to be exposed to the public. 2012 legalization groups could gain a lot of credibility for ending prohibition by showing how Drug Czar Gil had to lie to keep medical marijuana illegal, using this example. This blatant, in your face abuse could be woven into a home-run TV commercial for marijuana legalization. I would gladly donate for a TV spot exposing this outright abuse.

    21. greenthumb says:

      OWNED

    22. txpeloton says:

      Great quotes from the above article:
      “For once a government agency was telling the truth regarding cannabis.”
      “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration.”

      Grow industrial or medical cannabis instead of marijuana. What is the difference? Sign this petition to make a difference.

      https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/re-legalize-cannabis-amending-section-802-item-16-definition-marijuana-controlled-substances-act/W0p6ZfFP?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    23. mark says:

      Why does are Govt lie to us?

    24. mark says:

      our -sorry

    25. Joel : the othe Joel says:

      The anti-marijuana statement in the The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 is a very bad joke that is causing the federal government to become totally insane with their psychopathic lies. It is the Devil’s scripture.

      Save the United States and end prohibition!

      Vote!

    26. Suffice it to say, Marc Emery with his powerful entrepreneurial and philanthropic energies showed how prodigious cannabis consumption can correspond with enormous work accomplishment. He ran afoul of the DEA when his passions led him to work expose cannabis prohibitionist lies. When the ultimate prohibitionists, the DEA, finally arrested Marc Emery for selling seeds, Bush appointee Michele Leonhart gloatingly referenced his efforts at marijuana legalization. How tragic that Obama re-appointee (gag) Michele Leonhart may be responsible for Emery’s descent into the torture of sensory deprivation. He is one of the World’s’s best people; she is one of the worst.

      The land of the free, home of the brave now instead runs a massive prison gulag, boosting the careers and bloated pensions of drug war bureaucrats
      while imprisoning more of its own people (by far) than any other country and we are told “ it’s only other Countries that do this to its own people “.

      As if being the world’s most prolific incarceration nation were not bad enough, the American prison system routinely makes use of solitary confinement, a condition in which tens of thousands of people are languishing at this very moment across the USA. Neither the American people nor the current neo-con Supreme Court care much about the condition of prisoners. Both would care more if they could see the monetary costs and building dangers of such a system but they fail to see . One day, most of these people will walk out of prison and rejoin society.

      Will they have been taught a
      lesson ? Yes, they’ve learned of the injustices handed down to them in the World’s most hypocritical Country on Earth .

      Allen, San Francisco, Ca.

    27. AnonVet says:

      What keeps up the charade. Is it money , puritanical zeal, institutional zeitgiest, american exceptionalism?

    28. […] LIAR.  As our Paul Armentano so ably points out: “the Drug Czar is claiming that the federal government ‘ardently supports’ medical marijuana research just days after the US government formally denied a request for an FDA-approved clinical trial to assess cannabis’ therapeutic safety and efficacy” for treating post traumatic stress disorder among our returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. […]

    29. Michael B says:

      This needs to be front page news: The New Times – USA Today. Is there anybody out there that can do this kind of thing?
      May4.org

      Vote Ron Paul!!!

    30. maryjanesuncle says:

      Cannabis smokers..our government treats us like a throw away condom…so weary of the lies.

    31. Smokey Joe says:

      I ardently support shutting down the DEA, and that’s no lie!

    32. Douglas says:

      It will be a cold day in hell be for our Gov tell the truth. Rise up. If u are a man stop crying take it to the street. U women where are the hell are yall. Why are yall not out in the street yelling at the top of your lungs. I am very pro cannabis. And i dont want to see my grand children be able to go to some one house after school and buy there cannabis just like we did.When u are 55 like i am and been using this drug since i was 14 years old U do find out the good and the bad this drug can cause. Only thru legalization will we be able to reduce the abuse of this drug. Only when we take to the street in huge huge protest will there be a quick change. U have to pre pay your bills so u can go and take part in a huge march in every stat. This march has to last over a month. Is it hard yes it will be. I do believe its time for (NORML) to put it all to gather.

    33. JAY says:

      How can you tell when Gil is lying, his mouth is moving.

    34. Don says:

      @29 – Your words ring TRUE!!! Giving a non-violent marijuana offender a prison sentence, or even a huge fine, teaches them a lesson alright! As you said, it teaches them just how screwed up our justice system is! It is truly sad that most Americans seem to be blissfully ignorant about just how screwed up it is until it touches them directly…

    35. […] LIAR.  As our Paul Armentano so ably points out: “the Drug Czar is claiming that the federal government ‘ardently supports’ medical marijuana research just days after the US government formally denied a request for an FDA-approved clinical trial to assess cannabis’ therapeutic safety and efficacy” for treating post traumatic stress disorder among our returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. […]

    36. warren says:

      federal govt= lying fud-de-duddys.DEA=thugs with guns. We are worried about morality police in islamic countrys? We have enough of those assholes in the DEA and pig forces in the good ol USA.

    37. […] on this from Paul Armentano Another episode of “Kids Say the Darndest Things, College Edition.” A first-year at […]

    38. JJ says:

      What a FUCKING liar piece of shit excuse for a human being.

    39. […] LIAR.  As our Paul Armentano so ably points out: “the Drug Czar is claiming that the federal government ‘ardently supports’ medical marijuana research just days after the US government formally denied a request for an FDA-approved clinical trial to assess cannabis’ therapeutic safety and efficacy” for treating post traumatic stress disorder among our returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. […]

    40. Just An Observer says:

      Nobama in 2012!

    41. click on the ‘American Sheep’ for the link to the U.S. Patent search and then type in Patent Number 6630507.

      or just click here:

      http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

      Patented proof of cannabis’ medical utility filed and awarded by non other than our very own government!

    42. Dr. Greensleeves says:

      Gov’t lie #9,013,560,420,666:

      Tell the people we’re doing what they want and word it so they believe it.

      Sorry, Mr. Czar. I believe NOTHING you say.

    43. TheOracle says:

      I just signed the petition #15 talks about. Their mission has to be ended regarding cannabis. Big Government probably will never eliminate the office completely unless there is a People’s Revolution.

    44. News story says:

      The Internal Revenue Service has ordered Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the largest medical cannabis dispensary on the West Coast, to pay $2 million in taxes after ruling that the collective cannot deduct standard business expenses, such as payroll and rent .
      The decision has alarmed the operators and added frustration over the tightening of federal policies governing medicinal cannabis.

      “They’re attempting to tax us out of business,” Harborside owner Steve DeAngelo said Tuesday by telephone.

      Ironically on the same day he received the IRS letter, DeAngelo was photographed handing the city treasury a check for $360,000. The payment was the third installment of $1 million in city-owed taxes generated by the dispensary in 2010. Oakland’s four dispensaries pay a 5 percent tax to Oakland on top of regular sales taxes that contributed about $2 million to California’s budget.

      The dispensary paid the IRS a total of $500,000 in those years, and the IRS did not dispute Harborside’s record keeping. The agency did deny $2 million in deductions the dispensary took during both years for, among other? things, security, lab testing, licensing fees and employee health insurance. Harborside must also pay a penalty of
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      nearly $400,000, DeAngelo said.

      The agency based the decision on the fact that Harborside provides medical cannabis, a substance that while permitted in California is still illegal under federal laws.
      Harborside might not be around to pay next year’s taxes if the federal government continues to tighten the noose around the medicinal cannabis industry, he said

    45. […] LIAR.  As our Paul Armentano so ably points out: “the Drug Czar is claiming that the federal government ‘ardently supports’ medical marijuana research just days after the US government formally denied a request for an FDA-approved clinical trial to assess cannabis’ therapeutic safety and efficacy” for treating post traumatic stress disorder among our returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. […]

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