Patients throughout California know the myriad benefits that medical marijuana can have in treating a variety of mental and physical conditions. However, a new report suggests that if the Drug Enforcement Agency had its way, no one would be aware of the positive benefits of marijuana use. The report is titled “The DEA” Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science” and it uses case studies from 1972 to the present in order to make the argument that the DEA has suppressed research into how marijuana could help patients.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has continued to take legal action against those who provide marijuana to patients, even in states like California where medical marijuana is legal. If the accusations that the DEA has purposely obstructed research are true, then the DEA may have gone even further than simply targeting providers in preventing patients from getting the best in medical care.
If you are facing DEA action or other criminal charges, you need help from an experienced Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyer. Call an attorney to learn about your rights and to get help defending yourself and minimizing the chances of serious criminal penalties.
Is the DEA Preventing Research Into Marijuana Benefits?
The Drug Policy Alliance compiled case studies showing what the report claims is a “decades-long pattern of behavior that demonstrates the agency’s [the DEA’s] inability to exercise its responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner or to act in accord with the scientific evidence.”
Case studies that were included in the report include situations where
- The DEA allegedly obstructed the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I Drug, which is reserved for the most dangerous drugs that have no currently accepted medicinal use in treating illness and that have a high potential for abuse.
- The DEA allegedly overruled an administrative law judge in order to prevent effective research on medical marijuana and maintain a federal monopoly on researching the health benefits and effects of cannabis products.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has been trying to have marijuana rescheduled from a Schedule I drug since 1972, which is a year before the DEA was created. According to the Drug Policy Allowance, the DEA first refused to process NORML’s petition and then defied an order from the U.S. District Court of Appeals from the District of Columbia to fulfill the procedural requirements and act on the petition. It was not until 1986 that the DEA actually took action and an Administrative Law Judge ruled marijuana should be rescheduled after two years of public hearings. However, a DEA administration overruled the findings of the ALJ.
The report also alleges that the federal government has had a monopoly on producing marijuana available for FDA approved research since as far back as 1968. First, the National Institute of Mental Health had the monopoly, which was transferred to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 1974. It was not until 1999 that the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines to provide marijuana to privately-funded studies. However, if the goal was to develop an FDA-prescription drug from the marijuana plant, the marijuana was not to be provided.
These types of restrictions have made it more difficult to prove the benefits of marijuana and to make a change in the drug’s classification. The impact has been detrimental on patient heath.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
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