Loading

Federal Government Reaffirms ‘Flat Earth’ Position Regarding Medical Cannabis

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 8, 2011

    Earlier today, United States DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart reaffirmed in the Federal Register the administration’s ‘flat Earth’ position regarding the medical properties of cannabis.

    Responding to a nine-year-old petition to reclassify marijuana under federal law filed by a coalition of advocacy groups, including NORML and California NORML, Leonhart stated, “[T]here is no substantial evidence that marijuana should be removed from schedule I.”

    A summary of Ms. Leonhart’s ‘reasoning’ is below. (Read the DEA’s full response here.)

    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

    Drug Enforcement Administration

    21 CFR Chapter II [Docket No. DEA–352N]

    Denial of Petition To Initiate Proceedings
    To Reschedule Marijuana

    AGENCY: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Justice. ACTION:

    Denial of petition to initiate proceedings to reschedule marijuana.

    (1) Marijuana has a high potential for abuse. The DHHS evaluation and the additional data gathered by DEA show that marijuana has a high potential for abuse.

    (2) Marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. According to established case law, marijuana has no ‘‘currently accepted medical use’’ because: The drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible; there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available.

    (3) Marijuana lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision. At present, there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved marijuana products, nor is marijuana under a New Drug Application (NDA) evaluation at the FDA for any indication. Marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.

    Coalition advocates will be appealing Leonhart’s decision in federal court.

    NORML had previously filed a similar rescheduling petition with the DEA in 1972, but was not granted a federal hearing on the issue until 1986. In 1988, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young ruled that marijuana did not meet the legal criteria of a Schedule I prohibited drug and should be reclassified. Then-DEA Administrator John Lawn rejected Young’s determination, a decision the D.C. Court of Appeals eventually affirmed in 1994.

    A subsequent petition was filed by former NORML Director Jon Gettman in 1995, but was rejected by the DEA in 2001.

    NORML will have additional information on this story in next week’s NORML media advisory.

    239 responses to “Federal Government Reaffirms ‘Flat Earth’ Position Regarding Medical Cannabis”

    1. John says:

      Two steps forward, one step back.

    2. AceInTheHole says:

      This “flat earth” thing has some stuff going for it… I wonder if anybody told Leonhart that we all know he’s lying to himself. Lie to me all you want, but what kind of person lies to themselves?

    3. NorthernLights#5 says:

      Ms. Leonhart, you forgot reason #4

      (4)The anti-cannabis lobby makes too much money keeping cannabis illegal, therefore we cannot examine reasons 1,2, and 3 truthfully.

    4. ALLEN says:

      WELL FOR THOSE WHO ARE NON VIOLENT OFFENDER’S…WHO HAS A FELONY FOR GROWING THIER OWN CAUSE WE CAN’T GET A JOB.!!!…AND THAT’S THE ONLY THING ON OUR RECORD..!! NOT EVEN A DMV TICKET…IT’S OK LEOINHART CAUSE WE CAN NOW ONLY MAKE A LIVING GROWING POT SO IN 1 WAY IT’S KINDA GOOD…AS THE DEEP WATER CULTURE IS GREAT AND IT’S SUMMER BONUS CROP ….AS THE SONG GOES….AND THE BEAT GOES ON…AND THE BEAT GOES ON….AND DEA MADE THE CARTELS VERY HAPPY IM SURE THEY WERE AFRAID OF LOSING MONEY SO LET’S FIGHT THE WAR WE HAVE LOST FOR ONLY 4O YR’S 1 DAY IT MIGHT WORK DUMB ASS’ES…!!!CASH CROP GREEN CARDS ONLY..LMAO..

    5. Fed up says:

      These assholes in the Federal government are there to thwart the will of the American people,the 180 club has done what they are payed to do,keep their jobs, the hell with the constitution and the American people.They could’nt care less what the majority thinks.I’m sure I could’nt care less what they think either.

    6. Clint says:

      The DEA officials who stand against the growing body of scientific evidence that marijuana has therapeutic and preventive applications remind me of Lester Maddox who stood in the doorway of a public school with an axe handle, threatening any black kids who tried to integrate. Ignorant, self-serving creeps who will be identified as villians when the full truth about marijuana’s vast benefits are made public! Read “Marijuana Gateway to Health” coming in August.

    7. bullydog says:

      “Responding to a nine-year-old petition to reclassify marijuana under federal law filed by a coalition of advocacy groups,” ……So it took nine years to respond to this petition. I wonder why so long? Thats pretty lame. Seems to me like this would be plenty of time for scientists to answer all the questions Leonheart says haven’t been answered. Our country will not survive much longer anyway since it was founded upon the basis that the government was designed to serve the public. I see the public serving the governemet and we are not free and will be more and more suppressed if we keep serving the government that doesn’t listen or care about what the proletariat thinks. The only way to fix this mess is for everyone to quit paying taxes at the same time. Politicians and civil servants don’t do anything while they are getting paid. i.e. Nine years to respond to a petition? I wonder what they would do if they were not getting paid.

    8. bullydog says:

      Oh and never forget that most of the politicians running our country are lawyers. And of course everyone should know by now that lawyers are no more than ….. Professional Liars. So thats what we are up against.

    9. TaylorJ says:

      Jesus christ, what’s it gonna take?? Millions of people marching up to the dea with guns and force them to end any more failure of this drugwar. How fucking dumb do you have to be to continue the same insane policies. Insanity is doing one thing over and over and expectnig different results…. Legalize the herb and shrrooms and lsd. You want a subbstance that has a high rate of abuse~ ALCOHOL, Ciggarets, War, greed. put all those in the schedual ONE category fucking douche bags.

    10. WhiteRabbit says:

      Just keep in mind Obama was behind this idiot. We need to start voting out any politician who does not support the full legalization of marijuana, regardless of party affiliation.