Federal Government Reaffirms 'Flat Earth' Position Regarding Medical Cannabis

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.)

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 thoughts

  1. No currently synthesised version? What a crock, I use it!!!!!!!! look up marinol. My doctor prescribes it for my appetite, ruined by liver cirrohsis, and she can’t belive the differences. my appetitte is back, hair stopped falling out, skin got soft and supposedly imposible, but my wife got pregnant! but it costs 720.00 a month.

  2. And why are there no clinical facts to show that cannabis has medicinal, safe-use qualities???
    Because under Schedule One the National Institute of Health that reports to the DEA can only research what’s negative about cannabis. There have been no active studies into the benefits and safety of cannabis on a federal level since at least 1971.
    Yet somehow the NIH and the federal government found resources to secure a patent on THC. The patent list many therapeutic properties.
    Further, cannabis is a plant, an herb, a natural substance. The FDA has no regulatory powers over cannabis, only drugs synthesized from it’s chemical composition. The only exception is tobacco, which is so highly adulterated that Congress passed a law to approve FDA oversight of tobacco. Cannabis is like ginseng or camomile… herbs that cannot be judged nor regulated by the FDA.
    This ruling by the DEA is to be expected, although it only shows how ignorant the federal government is, and how little change Obama brought/bought to become President.
    This is worst than the “Flat-Earth” theory… it pretty much proves the earth revolves around the federal government, not the sun, and further, ignorance has no bottom. I simply can’t believe I’m reading this shit… unbelievable!!!

  3. I agree with what Bobkat said. I thought our Government was more progressive that that. Talk about a narrow minded view. They obviously haven’t studied the medicinal herb cannabis sativa, or they wouldn’t come out with such rubbish and expect people to believe it. All we want is legalization for adult’s personal use, medicinal or otherwise- just like any other medicinal herb. Tobacco and alcohol are a million times worse and are not medicinal (just the opposite!) and they are legal. This is becoming a movement and it’s something the people want.

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