DEA Quashes Medical Marijuana Reseach Project

Jan 12, 2009 , ,

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has rejected the decision of Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner and blocked a medical marijuana research project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst — a project considered vital if marijuana is ever to be an FDA-approved medicine. The DEA’s ruling, dated Jan. 7, was only released today.

    MPP and other supporters of research reacted with outrage. “It’s no surprise that an administration that has rejected science again and again has, as one of its final acts, blocked a critical research project,” said Aaron Houston, MPP’s director of government relations. “With the new administration publicly committed to respecting scientific research and valuing data over dogma, this final act of desperation isn’t surprising, but the true victims are the millions of patients who might benefit.”

    Professor Lyle Craker had applied for permission to cultivate marijuana for use in medical research. At present, marijuana for research can only be obtained through the National Institute on Drug Abuse — a government monopoly that does not exist for any other Schedule I drug. Because NIDA’s marijuana is of notoriously poor quality and has only been inconsistently available to researchers, scientists and advocates consider Dr. Craker’s project essential to the advancement of medical marijuana research.

    The long and difficult process of seeking approval culminated on Feb. 12, 2007, in a ruling by Judge Bittner that Craker should be allowed to proceed. But such administrative law judge rulings are not binding on the DEA. In the nearly two years since the ruling, several small, pilot studies have shown marijuana to safely and effectively relieve nerve pain that afflicts millions suffering from HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other conditions, making more advanced research — including strains custom-tailored for various conditions, which was one of the goals of Craker and his colleagues — vital.

    “Once again, science has taken a back seat to ideology in the Bush administration, with research that could benefit millions needlessly stalled,” Houston said. “They can delay progress, but they cannot stop it.”

26 responses to “DEA Quashes Medical Marijuana Reseach Project”

  1. Hopefully Obama will hold true to his potential and change how government sees science. We’ve long stepped away from scientific progression outside of huge topics like cancer and AIDS. Marijuana has become that big of an issue thanks to prohibition. Everything about marijuana is completely and erroneously exaggerated in favor of bigotry. All any studies will ever tell you is that it makes people feel better, and certain people shouldn’t be smoking the stuff, whether it’s because of age, pregnancy, nursing, or an adverse reaction to marijuana’s side effects, as is often seen in schizophrenics. The medical marijuana patients who are enjoying the benefits want their medicine. The DEA has no respect for an American’s right to health freedom and privacy, and they promote bigotry in their war against the sick.

  2. And Jesus quoted Isaiah, “they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” Matthew 13:15

    What good does it do to learn? Why study things? 😉 They might actually learn they are WRONG!

    Some people insist on being stubborn to the end; it’s like they demand that God himself tell them to their faces how wrong they are. And God will!

  3. Don’t hold your breath on Obama. His new General Surgeon Dr. Gupta(sp?) stated himself that there is a marginal benefit to medical marijuana and marijuana itself is a harmful drug.

  4. Obama ain’t going to change anything. I think he knows that cannabis is just a plant, but the economic effects of legalizing cannabis could cause major profit loss to two very powerful industries namely the pharmaceutical and the alcohol. I personally don’t think the effect on the Alcohol biz would be all that great but if people could grow their own advil, tylonol, bayer, prozac and so on in there back yard some people would not be happy. They got their claws in him and they wont let go.

  5. The U.S. Government has been wrong about marijuana from the beginning, but their rationale seems to be that if they can only persist with their obfuscation and obstructionism long enough, it will somehow make them right. The whole concept of the so-called drug war, particularly as it applies to marijuana, defies logic.

  6. It’s a shame that they continue to block efforts that are out to help people who are in pain and need. There is no doubt that they plant offers medicinal benefits and I’m saddened to be kept reminded that money is the root of all evil.

  7. we should start leaving the names and numbers of these crooked politicians that keep stifling progress, so we can *peacefully* call them (not something they understand, as they’ll use force, usually unnecessary amounts, to get you to follow their ridiculous rules. Whats this a$$hole’s name and number? time to stand up and say wussup.

  8. While this is dissappointing, and we know Obama is not going to be our legalization saviour, there is hope. The states are making slow and steady progress at passing their own decriminalization laws. At some time in the future we will hit the tipping point of where mass state laws will force their federal representatives to begin initiating federal legalization. Also Obama might not be openly pushing legalization, but i bet his policies on studying it will be far more liberal that the last 30 years.

  9. I’m afraid I have to agree with #9, the guy’s assessment of Gupta.

    Unfortunately the the massive media companies have become pawns of massive corporations via their advertising. Totally crooked and un-objective. Yet, VERY newsworthy, but not something they would ever run an expose on.

    Gupta seems to have been steeped in this, being so exposed to it at CNN.* (But of course some of us already think many doctors are steeped in it during their entire training, and subsequent practicing.)

    Samuel in #10, as well, states a thought that has often crossed my mind. But not only with regard to big pharma, but also the energy industry. If someone were to discover a great, and safe, energy resource that everyone could use in their own homes, AND have enough left over to sell back to the grid, I bet the massive energy companies would try to sue it out of existence or try to claim they have a patent on it already. Or poison people’s minds in to not using it claiming it was the next evil, and huge slander. (The telcos have a track record of doing this with regard to murdering citizen initiated wireless networks for the benefit of society.)

    As far as I’m concerned the big pharma companies are just like those people they hate, the people at the source of the hard drug dealing. They both take something God made, then refine a certain part of it, and turn it in to white powder.

    Then it also seems the DEA is also like the people they despise. They invade other countries, set up shop, corrupt the government to go along with them based on money. They both engage in terror tactics, kicking in doors, threatening and killing people with then going unpunished (in this lifetime), etc…

    Ding…this just in… here is yet another news item about how corruption due to the illegal laws against drugs are ruining society…

    (Frankly I’m kind of surprised to see it on Yahoo/AP since they seem to only publish white-flour and sugar articles.)

    *I’ve consulted for a newspaper and heard similar comments. Sorry to say but the main focus was not on informing readers, but on placating advertisers.

  10. Ooops, of course I meant to type:

    “They both engage in terror tactics, kicking in doors, threatening and killing people and going unpunished (in this lifetime), etc…”

  11. Wow, I must have missed that part of Constitutional Law that says the 4th branch of government is the anti-marijuana lobby.

    Thank god newspapers and books are d ying once the paper mills go out of business there won’t be as many lobby’s fighting against research.

  12. lol!silly fools,you forgot all the drug money gettin’ pimp outta cvs!you cannot patent a plant.for christ sake it would also stop the logging,construction companies, big oil,etc cold.think of it..revolutionizing the future around one plant.

  13. Dear Masterweedom, It’s not entirely clear to me what you are saying. But rest assured when I wrote that companies are patenting plants, I am not lying. I searched through Bill Moyers’ site since I could have sworn it was he who brought it to my attention, but could not find what I thought I saw. I could have sworn he interviewed an Indian woman who rose up against a big US company that had claimed a patent on a certain strain of rice that had been widely in use for ages, and was threatening Indian farmers, but I could not find it quickly. So instead here are some links for you to read:

    Also check out this transcript, search for the second occurrence of “Predator State” and read that paragraph and the ones following it.

    I agree it makes as much sense to patent a plant as to outlaw a plant with so many great uses like marijuana.

    And in case you haven’t seen the episode of Bill Moyers discussing big pharma’s advertising, just take a look at this podcast:
    Melody Peteren 2008-05-16

  14. Another thought came to mind, with regard to Massachusetts and hemp. On an old show of PBS’ This Old House, I recall the host, Kevin, showing us around a defunct rope factory down by the ocean.

    He clearly said it was a hemp rope factory. It was still standing, and perhaps ready to be put to use again! 🙂

  15. When I studied to take my Ophthalmology Boards for certification by The
    American Board of Ophthalmology in 1981, there was a “Board Question”
    regarding Marijuana. It specifically regarded the effects on our eyes. The
    question was “What are the ocular effects of Marijuana?” The answer is: lowering
    intra-ocular pressure, redness and dryness.

    It has long been known that cannabis lowers eye pressure, yet this fact is neglected thanks to our government. Many people with Glaucoma, a disease in which elevated eye pressure damages the delicate nerve fibers inside our eyes leading to blindness, are losing their vision who may not have to if they had safe access to cannabis. Instead, Many people are taking dangerous prescription drugs with disastrous side effects who could possibly benefit from a medication with the highest safety profile of them all; cannabis.

    I used to always ask the representatives from the pharmaceutical companies why they don’t research marijuana to treat Glaucoma so we can offer it to our patients? The answer
    was always the same. “The Federal Government will not allow that. We would like
    to. We know it has benefits. We can’t.”

    About 50% of patients with Glaucoma will suffer irreversible vision loss
    despite all current medical and surgical therapies. Most glaucoma drops and
    pills have severe, and even life threatening, side effects. They can be toxic
    and are poorly effective in the long run.

    It is a disgrace that our government and the DEA will not allow patients access to such
    a relatively harmless and safe medicine as cannabis. I think vision is precious and dedicated my life to preserving and restoring it. I wish our elected officials and the DEA shared my perspective.

  16. I also think there is a difference between longevity, i.e. keeping someone alive while their quality of life suffers and compassion. Our Federal government should be more compassionate in my opinion. I watched my mom suffer for 14 long hard years with cancer, she was a mess when she died, an absolute mess. I will never get that vision out of my head, it sickens me to this day still. Our loved ones deserve better, compassion is important when someone is going to cross to the other side.

  17. What benefit is there to arrest a sick person utilizing a Doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana to help their particular medical condition? Absolutely None! So then who benefits? Connected profiteers in high places called politicians, DEA officials, FDA officials, and others used to influence legislation financially by those big pharma companies whose profits would be affected directly from the legalization of medical marijuana. All these criminals, and thats exactly what they are CRIMINALS!, are the ones that should be put in prison, and not those old people in wheelchairs suffering from some medical ailment using medical marijuana. Maybe its time WE THE PEOPLE take the law into our own hands and arrest these crooks circumventing the laws of our Constitution, for if over 86% of the people of the United States from coast to coast are in favor of medical marijuana, millions of people in the 14 States that have passed such legislation testify to medical marjuana’s benefits, and every medical organization on the Planet Earth support its use for medical purposes, then the only reason it remains illegal is for the financial Profit of a few!!! Its time to end this tyrannical deceit once and for all, and bring the real criminals to justice!

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