DEA Issues ‘Final Order’ Rejecting Private Production Of Cannabis For FDA-Approved Research

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 29, 2011

    [Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s media alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here. To watch NORML’s weekly video summary of the week’s top stories, click here.]

    The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued its final order rejecting a ruling from the agency’s own Administrative Law Judge finding that it would be ‘in the public interest’ to grant the University of Massachusetts a license to grow marijuana for federally regulated research.

    The rejection preserves the monopoly held by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on the supply of marijuana for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research. In 2010, a spokesperson for the agency told the New York Times, “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

    In 2007, after extensive hearings, DEA Judge Mary Ellen Bittner opined in favor of allowing a researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst legal permission to cultivate marijuana for use in FDA-approved clinical trials.

    She determined: “I conclude that granting Respondent’s application would not be inconsistent with the Single Convention, that there would be minimal risk of diversion of marijuana resulting from Respondent’s registration, that there is currently an inadequate supply of marijuana available for research purposes, that competition in the provision of marijuana for such purposes is inadequate, and that Respondent has complied with applicable laws and has never been convicted of any violation of any law pertaining to controlled substances. I therefore find that Respondent’s registration to cultivate marijuana would be in the public interest.

    DEA director Michele Leonhart initially set aside Judge Bittner’s ruling in 2009.

    The agency’s ruling may be appealed in the First Circuit US Court of Appeals.

    In July, the DEA denied a nine-year-old petition seeking to initiate hearings regarding the federal classification of cannabis as a schedule I controlled substance, stating in part, “[T]here are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy.”

    134 responses to “DEA Issues ‘Final Order’ Rejecting Private Production Of Cannabis For FDA-Approved Research”

    1. Bad_Man says:

      Paid for by PFIZER.

    2. James says:

      how can they overrule their own judge? that makes about as much sense as the rest of the countries Everything official, but what do i know, im just a broke guy living off the government because they have put a choke hold on jobs via outsourcing and flooding the country with illegal immigrants, that will soon get back door amnesty. also due to the faulty nature of the entire government, this doesnt surprise me in the least. next thing ya know martial law and then we wont have the common decency of being lied to about the fact that we have no where near the freedoms that they tell us we have. Soooo many local laws everywhere are beyond redonk- they have no plausable reason for existing in the ever changing world of Now. i have never been delusional, but from everything ive ever seen about the government, they define the word…


    3. InkMama says:

      Why does the DEA even have an ALJ if they ignore any ruling that might threaten their job security? They have a long history of ignoring their own judge’s rulings. I do not understand how this agency gets away with twisting laws and their own policies to serve the purposes of a few, in direct opposition to the wishes of the majority!

    4. Alex Kerr says:

      How can we test it if its not avalible. Oh yea this is a free country. Sure it is. If we tax it we can have art and music programs in our schools. Theres always that federal deficit we could work on. and think of all the room for the real criminals in our prison system. What the Hell

    5. Matthew says:

      I thought the same thing as InkMama, why even have a judge at all if they’re not going to obey his/her ruling.

    6. Daniel Garfinkel says:

      It is very difficult to look at the information and not see how corrupt the Federal Government’s dealings with Marijuana truly are. It is a disgrace to intelligent people everywhere that they would take such a rigid stance on the issue. Deny all funding for research, then deny hearings on rescheduling the substance.. Sounds like those two decisions shouldn’t be made by the same department.

      Marijuana remaining Schedule 1 is good for two groups of people. The Mexican drug cartels and the DEA. It is disgusting that Obama appointed this woman to be in charge of the DEA. This was truly a terrible, terrible decision as well as a stab in the back to so many who supported him.

    7. Eric says:

      god i hate our government.

    8. ebrans says:

      Well James it is not the first time the government has over ruled findings lets go back to where it ALL started with Nixon did a study on pot and when they came back and told President Nixon that it was NOT harmful and should be legalized he had a cow and threw it all out. This was the start of refeer madness.

    9. Mrs. Ratsrectum says:

      Big surprise!

      The judge’s position is one of those no-show jobs like on the Sopranos where you get paid but never have to show up for the job. The DEA director calls all the shots, makes sure the administrative judge gets paid and the crime syndicates still make a killing (pun intended) because they have a monopoly on the market.

      Yo, Obama! Way to go to help out the poor folks and people of color, just like President James Buchanan, continue basically with the policies put in place by the president before you and leave it for the next president.

    10. A Concerned American Citizen says:

      Shocker. Ron Paul for president.