Saturday, July 09, 2011

Nope, No Change Here

The Obama administration has continued the tradition of treating marijuana as a gateway drug, one just as dangerous as heroin, and therefore not worthy of consideration as a viable medical treatment. Apparently more than sixty years of propaganda weighs more heavily than sixty years of hard scientific research.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Marijuana has been approved by California, many other states and the nation's capital to treat a range of illnesses, but in a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that it has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous drug like heroin.

The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. ...

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart sent a letter dated June 21 to the organizations that filed a petition for the change. The letter and the documentation that she used to back up her decision were published Friday in the Federal Register. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana “has a high potential for abuse,” “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

This is the third time medical marijuana supporters have had their petition to reclassify marijuana denied, but at least it only took the DEA a couple of months to deny, rather than years. The supporters can now appeal that decision in the courts. While the past two appeals failed, supporters hope that with the growing body of research which substantiates the medical benefits of cannabis the third time will be the charm.

I think the administration fears are bogus. I think they are concerned that with the legalization of commercial growth (with proper safeguards and appropriate regulations) might undercut the oh-so-important War Against Drugs and all that entails. In that respect, they are probably right. If this country allowed legal growth and distribution (and taxation), we wouldn't need that stupid program because the Mexican drug gangs would lose an important source of revenue.


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