Medical Marijuana: The Drug Czar is Wrong (Again)

In its official response to the AMA’s recent call for a review of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug (barring any medical use) under federal law, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that it would defer to “the FDA’s judgment that the raw marijuana plant cannot meet the standards for identity, strength, quality, purity, packaging and labeling required of medicine.”

While we’re not used to factual accuracy from ONDCP, in this case they’re wrong not once, but twice.


First, there is absolutely no reason that plant medicines can’t be standardized and controlled for purity and potency. Indeed, the Netherlands has been doing just that for years, with medical marijuana distributed in Dutch pharmacies that is “of pharmaceutical quality and complies with the strictest requirements,” according to the Dutch government.

Second, the FDA has never said that a natural plant product can’t be a medicine. Indeed the agency has a lengthy “Guidance for Industry: Botanical Drug Products,” specifically designed to aid developers of plant medicines. The document not only doesn’t rule out plants as medicines, it even states, “In the initial stage of clinical studies of a botanical drug, it is generally not necessary to identify the active constituents or other biological markers or to have a chemical identification and assay for a particular constituent or marker.” Given that the active components of marijuana are already well-known and extensively researched, marijuana is well ahead of where the FDA says plant products need to be to start the process of seeking FDA licensing.

Yes, the FDA did put out a press release in 2006 saying that “smoked marijuana” had not been shown to be a safe and effective medicine. That statement was utterly unscientific, as we pointed out at the time, but it was absolutely not a declaration that the plant could never be a medicine.

53 responses to “Medical Marijuana: The Drug Czar is Wrong (Again)”

  1. Also…How do not at least some of us have a valid “Religio-Medical” defense if we choose to use Cannibus for our own medicine for whatever we BELIEVE it to be useful for, as given to us from ESTABLISHED RELIGOUS DOCUMENTS (i.e the TORAH AND THE BIBLE…GENESIS)???

    Meaning I am a Christian,I have the right not to participate in Government programs I deem to violate my religous lifestyle as outlined by the Constitution (I.E. you can opt out your children out of public school for homeschool for religous purposes).Shouldn’t I have the right to choose my own GOD MADE medicine for my own person(NOT DISTRIBUTING or even SHARING to others)??As it is my Religious BELIEF that Cannibus DOES have at LEAST one medical benefit(calms my anxiety attacks), I should not be coerced through force to participate in the CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT and subsequent legislation as it pertains directly a GOD MADE PLANT (Not a man made derivative from a god made plant.) Because Even if ALL the studies in ALL the world infered ANY conclusions either For OR Against the “Actual Medical Value” of Cannibus it would be the Beliefs derived from man made STUDIES and NOT my RELIGOUS documents!!!Genesis 1.29: “God said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours.”

    Quite simply all the conclusions of these studies are based on a Logical Fallacy (post hoc, ergo propter hoc)Futhermore, all the tests and measurements would have only measured a previous event. Any future events of use CAN NOT be ABSOLUTELY PROVEN!!!To say one could do so would be to say one can prophess the future, or they would have to admitt that they are simply making a projection based off their OWN BELIEFs wich in turn are based on an outcome shown by a man made study.

    As such shouldn’t those of us with supporting Established Religous Documentaion(Torah, or Bible) be Free from the persecution of the Controlled Substances Act when using Cannibus STRICKLY as medicine by rights of Religous Freedom???

  2. Great article, thanks for writing it. It’s good to see MPP is on top of calling people out when they are wrong about something. We need more of that, people respect it.

  3. Of course, it should be noted the drug czars job is stated as having to come out and prevent any leglization attempts.

    Really, his job should be illegal and unconstitutional

  4. Fire the drug czar. He is nothing but another flunkie in a job that is not needed.I guess he has no plans for future employment after Obama. Government has no business being in the marijuana trade anyway. Isn’t it our goverenment who has been growing and dealing pot for 30 years now. And why did a C.I.A. plane crash a couple of months ago with over 4,ooo lbs. of cocain aboard? They sell poisen to Americans to make money for drug dealing south americans and yet take everything they can from it’s own people for having cannabis. I see the A.M.A. finally is going to reschedule cannabis and it’s about time. Keep tokin and overgrow big bro.

  5. So that’s it huh? They’re gonna keep fighting this until nobody is at their side I guess. As long as ONE scientific institution can be coerced into the twilight zone to say bombastic public claims, we won’t see an end to this.

  6. Our grandchildren will be reading about this in their history books and it will be affectionately be called the ” Second Civil War” rather than the “War On Drugs” ( That ought to make Mr. Kerlikowski and Mr. Holder very happy). In that section of their books will be a political cartoon (taken from the New York Times maybe? Just before the demise of this war), of an emaciated horse, pulling a plow through a Hemp field,with the word PROHIBITION printed across it’s poor old tired butt…. and riding behind it, whips in hands, will be David Evans and (I don’t know…Tim Pawlenty? John Walters?…pick one). With the caption, ” Nahhhh…he ain’t dead quite yet”.
    Thank God we really are a nation of people who love good over evil….information over ignorance…..freedom over an excessively constraining goverment…this just gets better and better. I’m actually beginning to feel sorry for all of the Prohititionist and the embarrassing portait history will paint of them.

  7. What is incredibly insulting is not the drugs which go THROUGH the FDA approval process, but rather, the ones that DO NOT. “Supplements” have been pulled off the shelves at an alarming rate after causing bodily injury and death. They do not need to go through the FDA approval process. Many are forced off the market and only after bodily injuries or deaths occur does the FDA FINALLY require the “supplement” to go through scientific study. The FDA is broken and corrupt. Sadly, every report I have seen on the AMA’s reversal of course today seems to be calling for 2-3 YEARS of FDA studies before they will allow cannabis to be deemed a “drug.” Let’s call it a “supplement” and get on with it already. No other drug on Earth has as longstanding a reputation for safety than cannabis.

  8. is it any wonder why america is losing the academic race, science race, and the economic race why idiots like this are left to positions of supreme power in our country. hold on lets let the most uniformed cop make the most important scientific choices for the whole country. plants can’t be medicine, congrats, you’ve passed the moron test. And the fda, all these sick people in the country decrying relief from terminal conditions. were is your compassion, if you have any.

  9. (“The FDA is broken and corrupt. Sadly, every report I have seen on the AMA’s reversal of course today seems to be calling for 2-3 YEARS of FDA studies before they will allow cannabis to be deemed a “drug.”)

    Can we as a nation really wait another 2-3 years. Education is down the tubes,public services are next, states are cutting program arfter programbut, its ok to keep wasting money on this un-winable drug war. I think one of the things that bother me most is the drug warriors keep saying ” But the kids..” YES! What about the kids, what about a GOOD education? We can dump billions into this war but schools/education keeps getting cut. Such hyproptic bullshit! They could care less about the kids,or they would stop this(in McCafferys words ) “NONSENSE!”

  10. C #13:

    I think compassion and common sense is dead in this country for the most part. Being politically correct is more important than being realistic to politicans/beauacrates.

  11. R.O.E. i really liked your thomas jefferson post it made me see how far we are from where we started. i think our only choice will be full legalization by the people at the polls. the drug war is really taking a tax on the citizenry, as judge gray said we only have finite resources in the legal system and at this point we are choosing cannabis over violent crimes.

  12. this is what irks me is regardless of their stand we the people are tired of being discriminated against for wanting to use something that is grown right from the earth to put into OUR OWN bodies for any reason, medically or recreationally. i am tired of the government telling me what i can and cant put into my own body by either inhalation or thru foods or pills. it should not matter.

  13. C #15:
    Thank you for see this. I feel if I reach one person with these quotes,we have a chance of recovering what our government has ruined. Heres a list I have compiled so far.

    Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.

    Never spend your money before you have it.

    Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
    Thomas Jefferson (Motto on his seal)

    Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government…
    Thomas Jefferson (The Declaration of Independence)
    When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

    Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    A little rebellion now and then…is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Letter to James Madison, 1787

    It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Notes on Virginia

    Be polite to all, but intimate with few.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    I live for books.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Writings

    Delay is preferable to error.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Notes on Virginia

    The happiest moments of my life have a been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

  14. This is the 2nd step. step by step we’ll get this plant to be where it should be. if that makes any sense. and that is a sch. 2 drug, w/ taxes+regulatations so that patients can get it safe + a 1 yr. license is plenty of time.

    I think White Widow should be the plant to smoke any how, thats my take

  15. Weak sauce on behalf of the ONDCP. If that’s the best they can come up with in response to the AMA position to move Cannabis off Schedule 1, we have indeed Won The War, and now just need to be patient while the Peace Treaty is signed.

    Folks have been taking all sorts of herbal remedies for years with out knowing what it does, how it works or an evaluation and study by the FDA.

  16. Oh yeah…on a side note…The FDA can’t even prevent bad peanut butter from hitting store shelves. Maybe if they had half the the funding the War on Drugs had, we could have prevented many taxpayers and their children from getting seriously ill.

  17. This statement by the Drug Czar reminds of the judge’s final decision in the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, when he defers to the judgement of the U.S. Post Office that the defendant is the one and only Santa Claus. Of course, such sophistry makes an entertaining comedy of errors, and that is precisely where that kind of thinking belongs.

  18. Wait A Minute…. Where does the FDA come into the picture in regards to rescheduleing marijuana? The Drug Czar said he would defer to the FDA, but it’s not the FDA that makes this determination…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but there are only a few poeple that have the authority to change the CSA:
    1) The Congress
    2) The Attorney General
    3) The Head of the DEA

    The Head of the DEA is actually bound by the recommendation of the Secratary of the Department of Heath and Human Services. If the Sec of DHHS says there are medical uses for treatment in the US the DEA must reschedule.

    I understand that for any medicine to be marketed in the US that it first must pass FDA approval, but that’s really step number 2 to this process isn’t it? Rescedule first and then bring it through the FDA approval process for mass marketing.

    Another thing that I’ve noticed lately is the call from prohibitionists that there are “more effective alternatives” to marijuana. I wish these people understood that the law itself doesn’t say that the drug has to be the most effective treatment in the US. All the law says is that there ARE medical uses for treatment.

  19. First off, I say we fire the whole dam politcal system, congress, and anyone else that thinks Freedom should only be for themselves. Second, Darthnole, I think that the UN has to also approve of the reclassification, not sure on that, but just a thought. And third, aren’t the people in Congress just puppets? Arent they suppose to enforce laws that WE THE PEOPLE see just? So far, this Obama administration has only worsened the economy, put more lives in jeopardy, and went against every political promise he made to get into Presidency. I say impeach. I say Freedom. I say give the country back to the people. Stop tyranny. Stop terrorism. Stop killing american people.

  20. JJ: The UN does not have to approve the reclassification. The International Treaty that talks about marijuana trade is the 1961 Single Convention and Bruce has previously explained to me that there is an exemption from international control for medicinal uses.

  21. Thanks JD.
    Do any of you realize that our founding fathers were considered to be” Radicals,extremists,criminals?”

    Are any of you willing to take on those titles? I already have for sometime now,according to our government, anyone like me who flys their flags, protests and makes signs, speaks their minds, are these things. I think we need to become our own modern day “founding fathers”. It maybe the only way to stop what is happening to OUR country.

  22. The Fraud and Deceit Assoc (FDA)…just another tool for the corporate-tocracy, of course in the disguise that they are protecting us and concerned about our health, is not to be trusted. Cannabis is a plant…Cannabis is a plant…Cannabis is a Plant !!! For me personally, I am not willing to be flexible about this. Now speaking of plants, and did someone mention the UN, the WHO or the WTO ??? Please…pay attention to lots of sneaky shit based on the Codex Alimentarius (just had a meeting in Germany and good news is they are delayed in implementing their world wide plant classifications) and the upcoming (December) meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark concerning the “cap and trade ” climate change tax tyranny. I’m worried about this…Barry Obaaaaaaaama may forget just which country he really works for. You know, the guy who said so many things to get elected…oh but I forgot, he’s so respected…just won the Nobel Peace prize…what did I just hear…40,000 more troops to Afghanistan ???? But it’s for our peace and safety??? And are we really expecting this government to free the Cannabis plant so us regular common folk could have a little medicine of our own to be used for our comfort and health in peace at home? Check out the micro plant powder at Hemp food for storage and detoxification. Play closer attention to the police state forming around us. Good luck to all…stay healthy, but please don’t expect the FDA to be looking out for your health. BTW, isn’t it the FDA that approves all the drugs that make it into the MSM advertisements…you know the approved drugs with all their negative side effects/contraindications? Good business for the adverse reaction drug lawyers also. Ho hum…..

  23. Re supplements (comment #12): this is the way to go with reclassification. Cannabis is and should be named a nutritional supplement, not a “drug”. The criterion of preferable, best, most positive use should apply to naming and classification of anything, especially herbs of multiple use-modality options. One way for cannabis to be a “drug” is to smoke it in a hot-burning “joint” where remaining cannabinoids (after wasting a high percentage) co-interact with carbon monoxide and other combustion toxins, heat shock, etc. Use a long-armed one-hitter, suck slow, burn at low temperature, and your use should qualify as non-drug use even though inhalation route is used. (At least it is less drug than a puff, drag or bogart on a hot burning nicotine $igarette.)

  24. ROE, I have too been called these names. I dont understand why. I dont really care why or if they wish to label me in that way. I will fight for honor. I will fight for my rights given to me by MY god, whether that be Jesus C Christ or anyone else I wish to pray to, and I will not STAND FOR tyranny. We the people came over to this country to get away from people like our “Elected Officials” and now they have followed us across the sea and somehow got back into power. If you dont see this or think it is happening, then why is the government covering up SOOOOO dam much information? Secrets, lies, tyranny, and terrorism is all our government stands for now. and I say F them!

  25. We have have had enough of the DEA, CIA, FDA and the rest of the bull—- goverenment offices thet force their laws for themselves, on us. What heppened to “free America”, ? It was forced out by greed and bigotry. Now it is greed thet is helping us to change marijuana laws. When our own Gov. can became americas biggest drug dealer, both legal and illegalthey sew green, money. Now they are trying to profit on the freest plant on earth. Not until gov. figures out how to monoplize the cannabis plant and it’s uses will they ever agree to say, It is meds. keep tokin and overgrow big bro.

  26. Instead of fighting to convince the government to legalize medical cannabis, we should scrape enough money together to buy off the FDA…god knows it worked for the big pharmaceutical companies.

  27. We are not trying to get the government to legalize,we are educating the people so they will vote and throw out the feds law. We all know the fed will never change so the peoples veiw must!

  28. Another thought…If voting should fail to bring freedom back to its true standing….then what do we do? I will not answer that.



    Everyone has been chompin’ at the bit, wantin’ to know if its time to raise their glasses, and draw their swords.

    WELL!!! “NOW IS THE TIME”…to raise our glasses. Our imaginary glasses have been raised for some time. Now we must lay our imaginary swords on the flag we are about to raise, proudly wave, and salute.

    1 to 3

    We must all be on the same page, with total concentration on the prize. We must spread the word. We, each and every one of us, must give a voice to our rights. The audiance will not be silenced any longer. We speak as one, and applaud our actions, and the results of our actions.

    Manford Mantis


    the news chanel that is doing the most coverage is fox news they are sending out test shows to see how it flies and i think they like what they see
    the republicans need new blood they need young blood or they are going to wither and die
    I’m getting to the point that I don’t care who does it but i whould rather it not be them

  31. Is the War on Cannibis really a social-political cleansing tool to scare and to weed out citizens who may oppose progress from greedy corporations?

  32. Just ask William Randolph Hearst and his lumber/paper industry, or Dupont chemicals and their synthetic fibers. Ask Annheuser Busch, or the pharmaceuticals, the private prison sector, the DEA, the list goes on and on. These companies and organizations have everything to gain and everything to lose from keeping weed illegal. The drug war has nothing to do with the actual safety or medicinal value of cannabis.

  33. Oh I meant they have everything to lose from legalization cause they stand to lose millions, if not billions, in profit from lost sales and lost money collected from arresting people with a natural plant.

  34. If any of ya havent figured it out, I try to think of the hard questions that need to be asked. I may find a bullet in my head some day but, if it frees this country…so be it.

  35. matt45# isn’t that the saddest concept. billions made on the ruied lives of the cannabis prisoners. for what to protect our society from cannabis, when every day alcohol and tobacco kill countless people with violence and disease. ive wanted to use cannabis lately just to relax. it’s been 3 years, i kind of feel anxious all the time and have a hard time winding down. i think it may be bad for my heart in the long run feeling like this all the time, but if i do i risk losing my job, house, car, wife, and children if for some reason i get drug tested. it isn’t right.

  36. It has become so obvious that our government is corrupt at every level. What started out as a nation built on freedom ( IE: Free Trade, “pursuit of happiness”) has become a nation run by greedy politicians and self-interested government entities. The DEA is so obviously flawed, and yet, with our current system of lobbyists, is really hard to get out out of power. Personally, I would like to see the entire concept of a Czar in America outlawed as the true meaning is monarch or “absolute ruler”. This conflicts with our constitution.

  37. ROE, you are my buddy and my hero. I feel the same as you and will die the same as you, FREE. The only sad thing is, that with freedom, comes the ability for another problem such as this to arise. I hope that one day the founding fathers of this country will be proud of this country. I hope that everyone will be able to think, do, and say whatever they wish. EVEN IF IT IS AGAINST THE LAW. We the people are done being slaves. Abe lincoln abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclomation. But for some reason, slavery never really ended. It just became legal for the government to control everyone. Big Brother is knocking at our doors. I am a Modern Conservative, possibly a liberal to some, but I am tired of not having freedom, fairness, and equality.

  38. I’m just sick of being lied to my face and then they act as though its ok because they have ‘the power’ or law behind them. A lie is just that , no matter how you try dress it up. I hope these people realise that if this country would fall into choas due to their lies and corrution…well they would be the first to go.

    When your in a snake pit , you dont go kicking dirt around.

    We all know how our economy came to be as it is,I’m one of many millions that lost their dreams due to their greed,corrution,lies.

    The snake pit is full.

  39. Something occurred to me. I have to air out. I was recently called a hero by one of our postees here. I thought about it for sometime and never have I been called a hero for anything I say or thoughts I convey. I dont concider myself a hero,nor do I really want that title(my head is big enough). I am just an average joe,a somewhat ..”cough”.. noraml American,what ever normal is. I have strong veiw points on many issuses,some very strong. I do my best to get people to understand my veiw points because I love life and my country. I feel our country is under attack by the very people who run it.

    With that said,if I get people to see whats going on in this country,If those that what to call me a hero,well ok fine. Just as long as freedom is saved from these wolves in sheep clothing.

    But the bigger point is this. I am no hero,just an average American with a veiw point. I have seen I do influence people with my thoughts and words. You can be a hero too. You can influence people also. If an average joe like me can do this…well then.. Imagine what a REAL hero can do.

    Who are my heros? Our founding fathers.

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    A little rebellion now and then…is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Letter to James Madison, 1787

    So please,if you must,call me a hero but, I wont allow being put on a pedestal, for I am …just one of you.

  40. Here is a question for everyone. Isn’t there some kind of law that says if a law was passed under false pretenses that that law is null and void? Shouldn’t there be?The subject matter of false pretenses is not limited to tangible personal property – statutes include intangible personal property and services. For example the North Carolina false pretense statute applies to obtaining “any money, goods, property, services, choses in action, or any other thing of value …”[1] ALSO Under common law, false pretense is defined as a representation of a present or past fact, which the thief knows to be false, and which he intends will and does cause the victim to pass title of his property. That is, false pretense is the acquisition of title from a victim by fraud or misrepresentation of a material past or present fact. AND False pretences as a concept in the criminal law is no longer used in English law. It used to refer to the means whereby the defendant obtained any chattel, money or valuable security from any other person with intent to defraud. It used to be an indictable misdemeanour under the Larceny Act 1861 as amended by the Larceny Act 1916. The modern concept is a deception and it is used as the common basis of the actus reus (the Latin for “guilty act”) in the deception offences under the Theft Act 1968 and in the Theft Act 1978.
    Now Wait A Minute! Marijuana Laws were Passed under False pretenses. Why is it still a law and why isn’t anyone in trouble for lying to the ENTIRE COUNTRY!!! Not to mention the BILLIONS of dollars that we have had stolen from us by this FAKE LAW. As I stated previously. Marijuana is NOT Cannabis. Therefore the way I see it and the way our entire country should see it is Cannabis is not illegal (and NEVER has been), A Mexican tobacco plant by the name of marijuana is/has been illegal. Why hasn’t anyone used this argument in the debates about legalizing HEMP or CANNABIS. I refuse to call it “marijuana”, especially now that I know that it isn’t even the same plant. The American People should SUE Congress for all the money we have lost because of “Marijuana” prohibition, and all the money we have paid in fines on a law that was never actually passed in the first place. THANK YOU…. Answers anyone? Questions Anyone?

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