NORML Delivers Over 10,000 Citizen Comments To The FDA Calling For The Reconsideration of Cannabis Prohibition

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director April 23, 2018

    NORML today hand-delivered over 10,000 written comments from US citizens calling on federal and international agencies to amend the international prohibition of cannabis. The public comments, which were requested earlier this month by the US Food and Drug Administration, will be considered as part of the World Health Organization’s ongoing review of the plant’s international classification.

    Under international treaties, the marijuana plant is classified in the most restrictive schedules available for controlled substances. NORML maintains that this scheduling does not accurately reflect the plant’s widespread therapeutic acceptance and relatively low abuse potential.


    The United National’s international prohibition of cannabis is a relic from a bygone era. This decision, which was largely a political one made over 50 years ago, does not accurately reflect either the available science or the rapidly changing political and cultural status of cannabis worldwide.

    Members of NORML’s Board of Directors also submitted their own written testimony to the FDA, opining: “In general, the safety, dependence, and usage profile of cannabis compares favorably to alcohol, tobacco, and other unscheduled substances. For this reason, NORML believes that cannabis [ultimately] should be withdrawn from the treaty framework entirely.”

    As of 1pm EST on April 23rd, there are only 6,566 comments submitted through the federal site. With the comments by NORML members, we will have submitted 61% of all public comments should that number hold.

    Background per Regulations.gov:

    The United States is a party to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances (Psychotropic Convention). Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention provides that if a party to the convention or WHO has information about a substance, which in its opinion may require international control or change in such control, it shall so notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations (the U.N. Secretary-General) and provide the U.N. Secretary-General with information in support of its opinion.

    Paragraph (d)(2)(A) of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 811) (Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970) provides that when WHO notifies the United States under Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention that it has information that may justify adding a drug or other substances to one of the schedules of the Psychotropic Convention, transferring a drug or substance from one schedule to another, or deleting it from the schedules, the Secretary of State must transmit the notice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary of HHS). The Secretary of HHS must then publish the notice in the Federal Register and provide opportunity for interested persons to submit comments that will be considered by HHS in its preparation of the scientific and medical evaluations of the drug or substance.

    45 responses to “NORML Delivers Over 10,000 Citizen Comments To The FDA Calling For The Reconsideration of Cannabis Prohibition”

    1. Jewell says:

      Cannabis was created by God for our use. Let us use it.

    2. Kerry Kozitzki says:

      I am glad to see the Progress that Cannabis has made. Glad to see Legalazation Reacretionaly in Mi is Close. The only Bad is the History and Pain that State and Federal laws have Done to good Hardworking Family’s. It will always be Tainted Tax Money for Me. Progress through Pain.

    3. Michelle Wallace says:

      I want it to be legalized.

    4. Jeffrey Schlagle says:

      Please stop putting people in cages because they use a harmless plant for their medicine.

    5. Juan says:

      Too many in Congress have are invested in pharmaceutical opioids.

    6. Miles says:

      It seems that the anti-cannabis group, known as the GOP (Republicans), are starting to jump onto the legalization train. This is because they fear losing on this issue to the Democrats who, as a party, have embraced the idea of ending Federal Prohibition.

      My friends, don’t start trusting the GOP on this issue. They have never been our friend and for decades have been perfectly happy to lock us up in their prisons!

      Vote Democrat whenever possible for the foreseeable future and throw the GOP bums the hell out!

      Don’t be lazy – if you have the right to vote then use it. We cannot afford to be complacent since that is at least partly what caused our nation to end up with the Orange Trumpy Dumpty being our president.

    7. Chad says:

      We are fed pills to take care of reactions from pills to take care of reactions from pills. All of the pills being approved by the FDA. Time and Time again we see people die from some of these pills that are approved by the FDA. We see children who look like zombies due to all the pills they are fed, due to their medical condition only to continue to have all the side effects of their medical condition, now along with the side effects of pills approved by the FDA. If any human being can watch only one video of this HERB being used to treat these kids condition and stop the effects of their condition within seconds maybe minutes and not see the use of this HERB, then all I can figure is they are bought out by the pharmaceutical companies.
      We take up land far and wide,that could be use to house the less fortunate, and rebuild our forest the earth so badly needs,to plant tree after tree to use for building materials and papers which takes heavy amount of chemicals to produce. While we could use twice as less land space if not way more to produce HEMP which uses less chemicals to produce paper products, building materials, also clothing, ropes, etc., Etc. Which leads me to believe more money is going into government pockets to keep it illegal.
      We allow alcohol and tobacco to be sold in store all the while we have years of data proving the harms it causes to the body. Yet, we for some reason think this all natural HERB that they can’t show us has killed anyone is as bad as heroin! Give me a break we all know who’s in the government pockets there!
      It is time to quit filling your greedy pockets and allowing these industries to continue to keep us from progress in all directions and make marijuana legal across the board! Your greed will become the end of your political careers, WE THE PEOPLE have had all your lies we can stand! Make the change happen or we will find the ones that will!

    8. Julian says:

      Speaking of 10,000:


      NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano writes on Alternet that Texas arrested just under 65,000 Texans for marijiana possessions in 2016; thats only 10,000 less than previous years after Harris County (Houston) and Bexar County (San Antonio) started its cite and release program… and yet Texas STILL arrests more of its citizens for marijuana possession than any other state in the Union.

      Anyone who thinks these numbers aren’t tied to international drug law, the black market and industries that profit off prohibition is fooling themselves.

      The most important act of legalizing prohibited states without voter initiatives begins with excercising our 1st amendment rights at the state and local level: But Texas is inextricably economically tied to national and international drug policy. Canada trading marijuana with Colombia helps legalize marijuana in Texas. What we purchase… whether state legal or illegal marijuana across the nation… affects marijuana legalization in Texas. Our marijuana economies are a joint resolution.

      Changes in local urban drug policy will continue to lower arrests and put pressure on the state legislature. But with gerrymandered districts from Texas in the Supreme Court today, theyre unlikely to help compensate for supressed Democratic votes in time to elect a Democratic Governor this year… in time to redraw districts before 2020 elections.

      The positive way of looking at these numbers? Thats 10,000 more Texans who are likely to vote for a Democratic marijuana reforming candidate. And while Dallas could improve its cite and release to avoid arrest records, the most prohibitionist Congressman alive is Pete Sessions in Dallas County… and we only need 1,200 more Democrats to show up and vote him out… or 1,200 Republicans to not vote for him. And those are some good numbers…

    9. Cathy says:

      Finally! Thank you NORML!

    10. Vickie says:

      I’ve been hoping for this for almost my whole life. Sure hope it materializes soon. I’m getting old!

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