The Drug Czar’s Response to Our Letters

Last week, several thousand MPP members called and e-mailed the White House to express outrage at drug czar Gil Kerlikowske’s statement that “marijuana is dangerous and has no medical benefit.” A big thanks to everyone who took action!

This week, the White House started sending out a form letter in response to our concerns. As you can see from the letter, the old half-truths and outright lies from the Bush administration still infect the drug czar’s position on marijuana. 

The letter essentially hides behind a 2006 statement from the FDA, which claims, “No sound scientific studies have supported medical use of smoked marijuana.” There are two problems with this: First, it’s not true. On MPP’s Web site, we’ve posted numerous studies that support marijuana’s medical efficacy. Second, the statement is widely recognized as untrue. When the FDA released it in 2006, health experts and newspaper editorial boards around the country immediately denounced the position as political and unscientific.

The letter also goes to great lengths to frame the issue around “smoked marijuana.” This is a classic tactic used by prohibitionists to link medical marijuana with smoking. However, many medical marijuana patients these days are vaporizing or simply eating marijuana, two delivery methods that virtually eliminate the health risks associated with smoking.

97 thoughts on “The Drug Czar’s Response to Our Letters”

  1. Gil is an evil sharp toothed razor tongued Dinosaur. His extinction is imminent- That’s what I meant. It’s late…

  2. I thought of something tonight that I haven’t heard mentioned anywhere. Another reason it is so change the laws could be that the mexican drug cartels would loose a LOT of money. How much have they “invested” to keep the prohibition alive, I wonder? Just a thought.

  3. If they won’t listen, vote them out, including that liar Obama.
    Activism needs to be nationwide, loacal is good but we aren’t going to accomplish anything unless we turn out in such numbers that they can’t deny that we exist.
    Vote people, write your dictators and let them know unless they start voting how we want them to they won’t be elected again.
    It’s time the fossils and their policies went to the boneyard for good. It’s time for a more progressive approach.
    Tell your elected dictators….

  4. Hear us leaders of this great country! Do as the peole will you to do! End your corruption and greed! End the lies on all issues! Fear us or watch your political careers PARISH!

    If you dont think we can do this ?Leaders of this great nation, look how easy Obama was voted in! We can vote all of you out just as easy!

  5. OK, NOW WHAT?

    Put a god-damned form letter together and demand everyone sign and send it too the White House. This is a movement, you are leading the cause, and when they lie we cannot just say “OK they lied, again.”

    Setup a page with a form that people can enter info in and auto-send it to the appropriate people. Then call ASA and NORML and get them to add the form letter to their sites.

    Combine the power and lets use it. We have an incredible amount of momentum, and we are not exerting enough pressure to even bring out the facts.

  6. hey folks the real problem here is that the canna legalization movement is happy with small steps towards legalization… instead of attacking it head on and demanding action.
    of course politicians are going to back pedal when they are in office. it’s like telling your boss that your not going to abide by the rules of the company set forth before you were hired…

    bottom line here is that we as users(med and rec) need to be part of a large national effort to legalize, and not be satisfied with small steps towards our goals.
    as long as we let the gov dictate our path we won’t be successful..
    time to quite being nice about this issue!


  7. The real problem is some people use tobacco cigarettes in an attempt to hide marijuana smoking.

    End evil marijuana prohibition and I bet there will be a lot of people (trying to, at least) quit smoking tobacco.

    Here’s my message to the prohibitionists, “You don’t want to smoke marijuana, fine. Don’t. You don’t want to vaporize it, eat it, smell it, touch it, or look at it. Fine. Don’t. I’m not like you, I am not going to force my will on you.”

    They are also hypocrites for their anti-USA stance of guilty until proven innocent, acting like the lies and corruption that made it illegal in the first place are right; they need to take a deep look at the reasons it was made illegal, the legacy prohibition has wrought, and the key variables involved in this Vietnam-like war.

  8. #59 Chris:

    Ya you get! Stop asking for freedom ,you have to demand it.Others wise your just asking and they will say no!

    We should not be nice or happy about their lies or corruption on any level on any issue.

    If we dont find a way to push harder,they will just keep denying,keep lying,keep smiling at our ‘wimpers’.
    They will just keep giving us circular arguements,propaganda,and chains.They will just keep wasting lives money and resources. They will just keep making it possible for our enemies abroad to get stronger,more organized.

    Hear us leaders of this great nation! Do as the people will you to do! End your corruption and greed! End the lies on all issues! Fear us or watch your political careers PARISH!

    If you dont think we can do this ?Leaders of this great nation, look how easy Obama was voted in! We can vote all of you out just as easy!

  9. The Marijuana lobby needs a tactic and it is not attacking everyone that says something against MJ, We need to find a single head like the Drug Czar and focus all our attention on discrediting him and his crimes against Americans in America, the administration and the nation will take notice and will push him to silence his rhetoric.

    The War On Americans must END!

  10. Z-Liberator #63,

    I was just thinking about the words, “the administration and the nation,” to push the czar to silence. The Administration pays the Drug Czar, I don’t believe you can get the administrtion to silence the Czar unless you can legislate the changes short of war. The Nation is the citizens to me, and enough changes have taken place to date to help me save my own life with Hemp Oil from the MJ plant itself. Everyone knows the smoking benefits for mental and physical comforts. Only ten (10%) of the healing properties is used in the body from smoking MJ. The other 90% cures certain types of cancer and is derived from Hemp Oil, extracted from the plant.

    My line of ending thought here is I believe these healing stories from MJ should be highlighted 99% of the time in the news media. What part of saving lives don’t politicians understand? We will NEVER be silenced as MJ patients, our lives are short. If I can do more to legislate, support and be an active voice, please let me know any new ideas you may have.

    There are two types of MJ Activist, the paying kind and the working kind. I’m working my tail off and in Tennessee we have to wait till 2010 to reform marijuana laws, if then. MJ medical patients have no choice but to spread the true fact on medical MJ to the not so wise general public, the Nation.

    When you’ve done your best and fail, try, try, try before you dye to make MJ medicines available legally. I sleep better at nights knowing I made my mark with daily contacts and associates. EVERYONE knows me as the old man that assist the sick and terminally ill. I get a lot of pleasure knowing I will save many generations of lives periodically educating friends and associates I meet everyday. We are those who have earned the right to be called, “Marijuana Activist,” and earn our wings everyday, saving lives using nothing more than our mouths most of the time.

    Take Care,

    Mr. Ricky Dean Seymour
    MMJ Activist, Author, MPP Member


    For those of you who are registered voters in CA. Read this article it outlines critical differences in the two legalization initiatives due to be on the Nov 2010 ballot. It does not however cover anything about A.B. 390. My opinion is if we leave it up to state legislators to get this legalization issue done, it won’t. It will take another 10-15 years to get something like A.B. 390 passed, but if the people vote on this, it can be law by the end of 2010-beginning of 2011 possibly.

  12. Since most of the links are to some government web site they are undoubtably biased towards prohibition. Another proof of the government’s phony science when it comes to medical cannabis can be found below:
    The below link is to a pdf from the Congressional Research Service and is a report on medical cannabis, authored by a Crime Specialist!

    If law enfarcement run medicine, do you suppose we ought to call a doctor when the car gets stolen???

  13. 08-02-09 CDXX Commumion

    This is the wisdom that came to me from today’s Communion with my Creator.

    “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.” Equally so, everyone is entitled to my opinion…to do with it…what they wish.

    If you don’t support my opinion, walk away from me. If you do support my opinion, stand with me. If we agree, I will stand with you. It matters not who joins who. All that matters is that we stand together. I say this…because…I know…that the only way our posture will remain erect…is to stand together…and…I mean stand…”Off and on it…off your ass and on your feet.”

    We need you…we need your heart and soul…to get behind the “Green Door”…that is…to regain our freedom to have and hold our God given Manna.

  14. R.O.E. 07.31.09 1:59 pm

    Gee! I can’t agree with you more. I’ve certainly echoed what you have said. But more so, I plead with everyone to join our opinion on how to make it happen. E-mails, letters, phone calls, etc, etc, etc, are fine, but nothing is as effective as a face to face setting. Physical presence is only a blink away from actual revolution, and the opposition is well aware of that, and most imporatntly, they fear it. So!…as “Runnin’ on Empty” says…”WHEN WILL WE APATHETIC AMMERICANS GET UP OFF OUR ASSES AND TAKE ACTION?” Let’s put some gas in R.O.E’s tank. Let’s make sure that the opposition is not only hearing us correctly, but that they are seeing us correctly as well.

    Manford Mantis aka Rebel with a Cause aka annonymous.

  15. VROOMM !! VROOMM!! Manford Mantis! Thats what this movement needs is a high octane fill up ( no not talkin bout the firey explosive kind), I’m talkin bout the get up off our asses kind. I rack my brain all the time tryin to come up with something to get this change.

    How bout this angle? They say cannabis has no medical value? Yet they have patents,made marinol, grow fed controlled cannabis for a few patients(Not that I would trust fed grown cannabis, they at some point could taint it and make false claims).

    Now the way I see this, they cant have it both ways. Either they stop producing product in the forms they have,stop suppling fed grown cannabis , give up any patents, OR they legalize it!

    They cant say its ok for them to produce and control it if we cant!
    If its illegal for us, IT ILLEGAL FOR THEM!
    They have to follow the laws they enforce!

    These people have to understand, we see it everyday, they make laws for us that they dont follow themselves!

    At some point(and it may be soon in the light of todays crisis) These people are going to get burned by the same laws we follow. The corruption and lies will and are catching up to them.

    Holding their feet to the fire may force them to scream ‘Uncle’ and give in to the will of the people.

    My veiw…They cant have it both ways.

  16. And what’s strange is that Kerlikowske can’t even get on the same page as his boss, our president. Even Obama himself supports medical marijuana if it’s prescribed in a legitimate and honest manner such as other prescription medications. Sounds to me like corruption is going on somewhere. I’m so sick of these lies, it’s time for the entire country to stand up for the patients, as it seems our elected officials really don’t care.

  17. R.O.E 08.02.09 3:58 pm

    The word is hypocrite…they do have it both ways… the old government double standard. Why?…because they can.

    Government weed ain’t half bad. They claim to grow medical grade which is extremely low in THC…but…who is kidding who. They’re probobly token 35% right now.

    I agree with you…what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander…and… we should make that a “POINT” when we are sitting on their doorstep. Plan it Janet.

  18. Darth Noble: Thats great news to hear, Maybe us Iowas can start getting into this discussion. I’m going to try and go to the Iowa city event,just to get a feel of whats going on here. Did you see the last line on the site? The public is invited to attend and ‘Observe’ the hearings. What no ‘free the weed chants ‘ from the crowd? Just kidding. That should be interesting being Iowa City is known as Cannabis smokin , party culture ,college town.

  19. Have an off topic I need to vent:

    Was just watching on news our leaders are thinking of a middle class tax hike to cover debt. AHHHHHH!!! WTF! Here some common sense for our leaders! Repeal the bills you passe the last 6 months,there by getting rid of the debt, DONT pass the ones you want right now:Cap and tax scheme(and thats what it is,just a schemeor should I sat SCAM.), Leave health care alone..except stop the gouging,fraud and outright corruption in med costs, rduce your own pay and give up this pay for life crap, Reduce our taxes …YES ..reduce our taxes so we CAN spend and take care of our families, reduce corporite tax so they can SPEND.

    Heres and over veiw..LEADERS.. of our country…. STOP YOUR SPENDING SO WE CAN!!! YES WE CAN …IF YOU ..YES YOU …..DONT SPEND IT FOR US!!!

    Ok, everyone here a MPP. Sorry,Had to. Maybe this message will spread.

  20. Oh and on a side note…leaders of this country… make a law that all bills are 200 pages or less with emphasis on the LESS part…so you can do your jobs…and..READ THEM! And we can understand them.

  21. Mr. Ben Morris,

    Just when you thought all the comments had ceased, here’s comes Rick Seymour from Tennessee! Thanks for the your hard work, from me personally and all readers we appreciate your work here at MPP’s blog site. I know it’s not easy to post these blog subjects a couple of time per week but I have a suggestion that will send your ratings to the top with advocates of marijuana issues. “Go Daily with the blog,” taking a suggestion from Mr. Bruce Mirken to be more active at a time when it matters the most. Yeah, it’s hot news now but it will decline a little in the near future. Please consider daily blog post just for a short time and see if your website doesn’t increase in activity, which equates into more active legislations for all of us.

  22. Nick, commenter #72. Thanks for the link to the video Marijuana: It’s Time For A Conversation. Enjoyed watching it.

    Amazing that Obummer would allow Prohibition to continue since Anslinger started the entire game over racism. Wake up Obummer!!

  23. We need to send Obama a very clear message – all of us that responded to his questions on his website – (the number 1 question was will you legalize?) need to write him and tell him he will commit political suicide if he doesn’t legalize. WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT if you do not legalize!!!! We will not vote FOR ANY POLITICIAN who does not support full out legalization!!!!!

  24. i know this is a little off topic but come April 20 most people don’t want to wear a pot symbol out in public but that’s what we need im trying to get the pot community to wear green because most people have a boss,friend ,family that wouldn’t understand so this made the most sense. that way the anti smokers can’t screw with the guy wearing a pot leaf but know this is a issue that has spread like a wild fire and can’t be contained. im trying to blog every site that will listen and i hope it gets out there so tell a friend and mmp please pick up the idea there is plenty of time to tell the community it is a cheap way to get the message out, that its time for change.

  25. If I’m not mistaken, shouldn’t we be more outraged at the fact that Kathleen Sebilius can, with the swipe of her pen, make the medical marijuana decision and doesn’t. Kerlikowski has no choice but to listen to her decision on this matter as per the CSA . Her office holds the patent on Cannabinoids as Neuroprotectants… this is an undeniable link showing the medicinal capabilities of Cannabis. The refusal to acknowledge and reschedule so further indepth research can be done is ludicrous. The government expects to be shown proof of medical efficacy yet they retain exclusive control over supply (both quality and quantity) so that only their research is available. If your hypothesis is that the substance is harmful then your going to probably miss any good attributes as your tests are leaning in one direction. This may explain why, after 72 years of prohibiting the use, that the government still hasn’t done enough testing. They began under the false impression that this was a dangerous substance and when they wanted to control it they sought to prove it was bad. 72 years later and they still don’t have the proof for the “dangerous” claim to stick.

    Does anyone know where the current rescheduling petition is in process? I had heard that the Department of HHS would be coming to a decision later this year…. is this issue being follwed anywhere???

    “I think the basic concept that using Medical Marijuana in the same way, with the same controls, as other drugs prescribed by doctors… I think that’s entirely appropriate.” — President Barrack Obama

  26. If it is the job of government to enact the will of the people why isn’t cannabis legal yet?

  27. This one issue could sink Obama’s re-election…
    Fascism now controls the US….
    and no elected official will stand up for us their too busy covering their own ass for re-election…

  28. According to this ACLU News article: On Eve of Obama Presidency, DEA Blocks Privately-Funded, FDA-Approved Medical Marijuana Research

    The Bush administration struck a parting shot to legitimate science today as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) refused to end the unique government monopoly over the supply of marijuana available for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved research.

  29. Private prisons need prisoners, and pharmaceutical companies need pill poppers. Until the lobbyists for those interests are curtailed, nothing will be done. All this talk about the truth of marijuana efficacy is pointless, because truth is not the issue… the big money talks, and it holds the politicians in it’s pocket.

  30. President Obama tried to finesse the drug reform community by appointing as his Drug Czar Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske the former chief of the Seattle Police during the time when reform of local marijuana laws was taking place there. Not six months into his tenure as Drug Czar and Mr. Kerlikowske issued these statements, “ Marijuana is dangerous and has no medical benefit”, and “legalization is not in the Presidents vocabulary”. For the second time the President has dissed the reform community.
    The first time was at the online town hall meeting when he made a joke about the reworded most asked question. He said he didn’t think legalization was a good idea, ha , ha!!. Here with Kerlikowske the President has done it again. A move designed to ’ keep us happy ’, has again exposed the presidents true colors.
    We should not allow it to happen again. The President expects us to hang in there until he is reelected and then supposedly he will support reform in his second term. Don’t believe it for a second! After his reelection he will be worried about his legacy and we will have been dissed again.
    At 871,000 arrests per year 2,613,000 citizens will be arrested during the rest of his first term, By the end of his second, 6,097,000 will have had their lives ruined and still no relief in sight!
    We should not sit idly by and let this happen. Everyone of us should write the President and inform him that if there is no significant progress on federal marijuana law reform during his first term we will not be able to provide support for his second term in the form of either votes or money. This needs to be done in a coordinated manner so the full weight of the reform community can be brought to bear on the President.
    The old saw is ‘ Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! We should not wait till we are fooled a third time.

  31. Every time you send a letter to the president or congress we should include this line.

    If there is no significant progress on marijuana law reform on the federal level I am nor sure I will be able to support you with either money or votes in 2012.

    That ought to get their attention!

  32. It seems obvious that continued correspondence with politicians will lead nowhere. I make this judgment on the fact, that the people the correspondence is addressed to are not the ones responding. Its most likely some intern, following a standard operating procedure (sop). I was in the military, I know all about them. SOP’s go like this; event happens, refer to sop, follow steps until problem goes away or higher authority takes control. In this case the event was our correspondence. The sop(apparently), is to regurgitate out dated fictitious propaganda…. Here’s the catch. Theoretically, in our democracy, we the people are the highest authority, and at the same time the problematic event.

    Based on this, we need to continue what we’re doing. Recreate the event, see posting #2….this will occupy the hive mind with coming up with new ways to say the same thing, which we continue to debunk as publicly as we can.

    Secondly, we cannot stop at the voteing booth. The govt does not listen to our votes any way…if they did, MJ would be legal for medicine in AZ(which its not), and Al Gore would have been President(which he did not).

    We need to organize and protest, much like we had to do for; womens right to vote, blacks right to vote, veterans rights, to stop the war in vietnam, to prohibit alcohol, to unprohibit alcohol, etc. etc. etc. The govt does not respond to words on paper, none of them have, none of them likely will.
    When we do organize, we must police ourselves. We must be nonviolent, for we have the right to peaceably assemble. We must be in mass, preferably in one place. Our demands should be reasonable, and achievable. And most of all, we must not stand down, especially if met with military might. It is what worked in the past, and I think it will work again.

    We’re alredy united in our beliefs. Our groupe is not biased on age, sex, race, disability, or religion. Our demands will effect everyone. In this we are stronger than nearly all of those who have protested for anything before us. Our opposition is rarely the general public. When it is, it is often easily re-aligned with education on the subject matter.

    On a final note- Some one needs to remind our congress that their very existence is outlined on paper made from hemp. And our independence from GB is declared on paper made from hemp….so if it weren’t for weed, they wouldn’t have a job to start with(going back over 200 years)

  33. The drug task force are criminals. they come in with no warrant. They take what they want. They are accountable to no one. Then you are charged as a fellon. Guilty until proven innocent. I know. This happened to me. I will never lay down. I will stand, alone against the monster that we call our goverenment. I may win but the odds are against me. I can legally have one and one half pounds or fifteen plants where I am from. Now in Minn. I am a charged felon for less than a quarter ounce of growing buds. Had I harvested I would be charged with simple posspession. If I get out of this without a felony I will be lucky. I have lost two rifles thet was taken from me so far along with every high times, picture, 420 jar stickers, and every thing that even remotly related to cannibis. Lets just say so far one quarter ounce has cost me six hundred dollers so far. But this is a free country. Free for the Goverenment to do and take as it pleases. All the writing of letters does jack shit. I have been activly writing and look what it got me. I will vote only for who has the balls to stand and say NO MORE ARRESTS for CANNIBIS. If I can still vote after the gastapo has it’s way.

  34. What else can we do?
    Write and call representatives, support advocacy groups, spread awareness to your friends, families and neighbors and above all else get your representatives position on the matter. If they aren’t on board find out who is and cast your vote for them!

  35. Has anyone gathered up all of the studies and scientific information regarding medical cannabis and sent it to the DEA? I know that seems like an obvious question, but apparently they don’t seem to be getting that particular letter… Maybe if they recieved it from a great many people on paper(because e-mails are easily deleted) the info would get through.

  36. ….I did my best to alert even Washington D.C. of all of the $6 million hemp crops in good ‘ole Utah this year.

    …I couldn’t seem to get permission to blog about it on the local Salt Lake City television station, so I just sent an e-mail.

    ..A Happy Compromise would be to take the same $25K they used to burn it all up for a couple of days over in Garfiled County (I believe there were two crops within a week of each other and a mile apart)…and experiment with a tiny paper company right there where it is and will always be growing.

    I still wonder though, where were the helicopters, and the D.E.A. when as usual two individuals totally escaped into thin air…hmmmm.

    Remember, Utah carries the Death Penalty for such a crime, but this schwag dirt-weed is their pool of corruption. The seeds are stemming from our own evidence lockers and that much money goes along ways amongst a few good ‘ole boys and girls! Right?

    But I am proud to say that people are genuinely speaking up here in good ‘ole Utah – Blog.

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