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The DEA wants to make it easier to sell marijuana

… if you’re a pharmaceutical company.

It was, of course, fascinating (although unsurprising) how fast Marinol was able to get moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3. Marinol is, after all, synthetic THC (or dronabinol) and marketed to function the same as marijuana (although its limitations can be quite severe compared to whole plant cannabis).

Marinol has, interestingly, even marketed itself as “legal marijuana.”

Well now the DEA is concerned that some companies who want to sell “legal marijuana” might have a hard time doing it, so they’ve published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would allow them to open up the definition of Marinol in Schedule 3 to include “Any drug product in hard or soft gelatin capsule form containing natural dronabinol (derived from the cannabis plant) or synthetic dronabinol (produced from synthetic materials).”

After all, they want companies to be able to market alternative versions and generic versions of Marinol…. just so long as it isn’t actually cannabis.

(ii) Any drug product in hard or soft gelatin capsule form containing natural dronabinol (derived from the cannabis
plant) or synthetic dronabinol (produced from synthetic materials) in
sesame oil, for which an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) has been approved by the FDA.

Once again you have the DEA and the FDA working together to make sure that the pharmaceutical companies are taken care of without having to worry about trivialities like proving “accepted medical use.”

When drug products that reference Marinol® receive FDA approval, they will have a currently accepted medical use in the United States.

Actual cannabis, on the other hand, is claimed by the DEA to not have a currently accepted medical use in the United States, despite reams of evidence.

You can comment on the proposed rule making by January 3. Not sure what good it’ll do. Not even sure what comment I’d make… “Yes, please expand the definition because that might eventually lead to…” or “No, don’t let the other drug companies in until cannabis itself gets invited…” Not that the DEA is going to be interested in what I have to say.

[Thanks, Shaleen]

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70 comments to The DEA wants to make it easier to sell marijuana

  • darkcycle

    Read closer. GW is saying their extract is equivilant to whole-plant cannabis. Equivilancy is just that. And to reclassify an entire medical compound to restrict optional delivery modes is unprecedented, I’m not sure the guidelines will even allow it. In any event….This is our Federal Government now announcing that Cannabis is medicine. At the very least, it is monumental in that this wouldn’t have ever happened had we not rung their bell but good in that last fight. Now that we have, and we’re spoilin’ for another, they are behaving just like the bullies they are…trying any way they can to weasel out of the next one, ’cause they don’t know if they can win it.

  • they announced that cannabis is “medicine” when they allowed synthetic THC (Marinol) to be classified in schedule iii — which you may not have noticed did nothing to alter the status of the plant itself.

    it doesn’t matter what you want to read into it as none of the classification provisions (that’s the part that says “no recognized medical use”) of the CSA will change — only the government approved definition of what constitutes “dronabinol” is being altered.

    and as the FDA remains the approval authority for what constitutes “medicine,” once the nomenclature of “dronabinol” has been re-defined it will give carte blanch to the DEA to put the final nail in john gettman’s reclassification petition.

    interestingly, solvay pharmaceuticals has been borged by abbott laboratories — a way bigger gorilla.

    they mean it when they say ZERO tolerance and they still control the system itself. we are wasting our energy and resources pursuing “medical” marijuana and they will absolutely be working to rip out the entire state level medical marijuana infrastructure shortly after this thing becomes official.

  • darkcycle

    They can’t change State law, Brian.

  • DdC

    … and the FDA won’t even see a bud until the HHS ask them too. As they sit on the 1999 IOM re-evaluation of previous studies. They can’t reschedule Ganja and maintain profits on prohibition and eliminating competition. It ain’t gonna happen as long as they retain a monopoly on research and the chain of command remains as slanted towards synthetics as it is. Ganja had no physical properties to list it as a schedule#1 narcotic 40 years ago. Hasn’t changed because reality isn’t a part of the equation. Popping your head like a zit over it won’t change it either. You want to free the weed then we must remove the Fascists. The ones most don’t even recognize and vote them in anyway. They can’t change State law? They don’t need to, they over rule it. Same as the rednecks can’t stil moonshine or enforce Jim Crow. Maybe today its reversed. Now the Fed DEAth has taken the place of the KKK. Now its ok to scare voters daily and juries are encouraged to nullify guilty verdicts on the lynchmobs and snitch on those needing “punished”.

    as we did with tobacco.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with smoking good Ganja.
    Schwag is a drag.

    What, more appeasement? Continue killing smokers with chemicals added but always kept out of the argument. Blame “tobacco”, even the farmers. For growing a plant used safely for thousands of years before the same prohibitionists corporations started adding their poisons for “your smoking pleasure” and psychological enticers. Including using big name stars to hawk it on TV. Ronnie Rayguns early gig when he wasn’t hunting commies behind the couch with his junkie pal Joe McCarthy.

    “Your” tobacco propagandists and prohibitionists have only succeeded in expanding a billion dollar black market using kids to sell bootleg cigs to other kids and those without funds. You helped burn down more houses in property management corporate developments, especially section 8. Driving people to hide their deeds. Or segregated them to the outdoors as lesser beings.

    Same as your hate causing the lower income more sickness and death by driving them to generic brands, at cheaper prices and with even more chemicals. People being kicked out of their homes for smoking, anything. BBQ’s. Even with a doctors permission, they think they can disregard Prop 215 the same as cops. Now the prohibitionists have outlawed “smoke” in parks and on certain streets. 2nd hand smoke traveling through an open field might hit a child in the SUV spewing legal and advertized dioxins all over the place.

    Ganja expectorates harmful pollution, including “cigarette” smoke. But to the self appointed moralists its all just smoke. The flame retardants and burn enhancers added to American class A cigarettes don’t affect a thing I reckon. Haven’t learned a damn thing. You can’t outlaw vices! The only reason is profit, by herding unthinking people to the ranks. Basically the same recipe to create all kinds of fascist terrorism. Slaves, Jews, Hippies. Just stigmatize, shame and then make laws to enforce your paranoia. Replacing the natural inexpensive for high profit unhealthy Fossil Fools products. Transfats. and Voila. Dumbedown society of fat idiots!

    Bullshit! Vapor this! Fuck them and the whores they rode in on. You, like Obombo, will never get fascist fuck ups to sympathize with those wanting to take their profits away. Rationale, sanity, reason and especially truth fall behind the agenda. DEAth Merchants and Drug Worrier believers rely on Faith in their leaders and have no concrete evidence. Those with concrete evidence have no voice. I’ve seen it come a long way in 40 years of advocating. Especially since the internet. I see millions toking and no one complaining. Trying to force them to believe in horshit is futile. Crude Oil, Coal, Aspartame and Nukes produce second hand “smoke” far more widespread and hazardous. Phony Wars/Police Actions even more. You want to prohibit something, start there.

    Legitimacy comes from year after year of using and finding no victims outside of those produced by these costly prohibitions. Years of working without problems, as a known stoner. Even the Missouri mules working and living near stoners year after year finally get the reality. We’re no different than anyone else. Not appeasement trying to “sell” politicians something. When we reach critical mass the Federal and United Nations Ganjawar will end without a shot fired. Legal lies are not laws and only fools follow them. Con Promising reality is reckless and very dangerous.

    Ganja is safe, it can be cloned or isolated for consistent strains to cover specific individual symptoms. The dosage is dependent on the individuals needs at the time it is needed, only unlike the white powders, you can take another hit if you want and it won’t do harm. Cannabis food and medicine and the Food and Drug admenstration has never smelled a bud or tested Omega 3 levels. The FDA is totally political for corporate profits. Same as when they shelve cures that might hinder quarterly earnings. Or Hemp, solar panels and electric trolly’s. Cigarettes are what’s killing people, not tobacco. Vapor in the lungs is called pneumonia.

    Organic Cannabis/Tobacco vs Chemical Cigarettes

  • federal law supersedes state law — that’s why you can’t own slaves.

    guess we’ll see soon enough.

  • hey brian… but isn’t it just wordplay? I mean the whole WOD system is a convolution of language (or “clusterfuck” as we usually labeled such jingoistic bs and misapplied policies in the military) that distorts reality beyond recognition (theatre of the absurd).

    We can’t turn our back on medical, there are those dedicated to just that aspect of cannabis and the gummint’s hypocritical denial of any medical use becomes obvious with just a cursory glance at facts. Medical cannabis stories also make honest, the-folks-next-door examples for the fence sitters and unawares. Medical is just another avenue for attack, one that can easily tug at hearts.

    Having hempies, medmj and stoners fighting seperately is an ineffective use of real energy.

    We can’t argue (imho…) effectively for legalizing all drugs until we make our case against prohibition. I mean we can, many do (me among those) but pot’s prohibition makes such a glaringly obvious case w/ a product versatile beyond any of its cousins in the plant kingdom.

  • Duncan20903

    Why are these people so queer for pills? Perhaps a fetish of some sort? Congenital stupidity? The FDA can approve leeches and maggots as medical devices but can’t bring themselves to even consider whole cannabis. Go figure that one out.

    Do you think that cannabis suppositories would meet the their standard? Suppositories let them compensate for severe nausea because it’s not likely that a person will regurgitate that which was stuck up their butts. Though it’s going to be a delta 11 high rather than a delta 9. To the best of my knowledge here’s no way except inhalation to make it a delta 9.

    I really do think that if we developed cannabis suppositories that it would cause a significant number of Know Nothing prohibitionists to defect to our side. It’s just something I think they can get behind.

  • vicky vampire

    Yeah Lets say the FDA makes Sativex legal in USA which I think is up for consideration in 2011 not sure I doubt it will be legal let Its been in Canada since 2005,mm I’m sure there would be more stipulations you think? and like my hubby says how many docs prescribe marinal already and in states that have no legal pot will docs be will to prescribe Sativex to help patients in pain that other meds are not helpfuL.can’t see it to the future. but not optamistic.

  • darkcycle

    True Brian, but the States are not required to enforce federal laws now are they? I shouldn’t have to tell you that. See Ashcroft v. Raich. And they cannot compel the States to change their laws. Getagrip. This is all a big chess game and they just sacrificed a pawn to try for a bishop. And it won’t work.

  • darkcycle

    Duncan, they’re queer for profits and control.

  • yes allan we need to build our case directly and specifically against prohibition itself — as a morally indefensible policy. depriving people of effective medications is a human rights issue — and whether we like it or not, it applies more directly to more people in the case of opiates than to cannabis

    but the problem with hempies and meddies is that they aren’t focusing on the big picture and more importantly are not actually convincing too many people of much of anything. compassion sounds great, but once sativex and other similar products are being prescribed, the guy in the wheel chair holding a bong looks more like a trojan horse than a person requiring compassion.

    whether we like it or not or whether it’s efficacious or not is really not the issue. the issue is that the people holding all the power get to make the rules and the rules are quite clear — plant products are not “medicine.”

    compounding it all is that far too few people benefit from chasing those minor pieces of the puzzle and those who do benefit seem content to let everyone else rot.

    the goal of a civilized society is facilitate the greatest good for the greatest numbers — not to create special classes of protected people to the detriment of everyone else.

    duncan: the primary problem is how the CSA criteria are worded. it is focused on the notions of accepted medical use and propensity for “abuse.” you can make medications prepared from the cannabis plant “legal” without making the plant itself “legal” — exactly as is the case with opium poppies.

    basically, i don’t want to use pot as “medicine” (as is rue of most people) — i want to use it to get high. so why should the CSA enter into consideration on whether or not i am “allowed” to do so in the first place?

    we totally need to change our tactics and messages — we need to acting more like the LEAP folks

  • DdC

    I don’t think you could sell many suppositories to DEAth monger bureaucrats whos very existance depends on them being tight ass hard nose sunsabitches. They only patent them.

    STABLE SUPPOSITORY FORMULATIONS OF DELTA-9-THC (TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL)
    The present invention relates to suppository formulations containing
    readily bioavailable Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol derivatives
    wherein the suppositories have long-term stability

    Inventors: Elsohly, Mahmoud A.

    There’s a Monopoly on Marijuana Growing & Research By Dave Stancliff
    CN Source: Times-Standard August 09, 2009 USA

    I’d like you to meet Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly, the only person in the United States who can grow tons of marijuana and not worry the Feds will bust him. If your company wants to do research on marijuana, he’s the guy to see. Dr. ElSohly’s lab at the University of Mississippi has an exclusive contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which supplies the pot to approved researchers who study its ill effects.

    Good old fashioned stoner ingenuity … I’ll pass.

    Cannabanus Suppositories
    You put the cannabis into the plug, the plug goes into your butt. Then you are getting high very quickly and efficiently. There are many blood vessels in the anus and they are absorbing the THC at an extremely fast rate. It’s called the Assinator.”

    “My company is Cannabanus”.jpg

  • darkcycle, the feds will do the enforcement — duh! so you get a grip. the current action with regard to rescheduling is designed to put an end to the quasi-legal double standard of medical marijuana.

    honestly i get no joy out of being correct, but anyone who thinks they can outmaneuver the guys writing the rules just isn’t paying enough attention.

    i guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree, but the DEA is not backing down one bit from keeping the plant on schedule i

  • Duncan20903

    Wow, did Pete have an open house? All these new to DWR posters on this thread.

    @Vicki Vampire there are already several drugs that are both Schedule 1 and in a particular formulary in a less restrictive schedule available for prescription. GHB is schedule 1 but not if it’s produced by an authorized pharma, then it’s schedule 3. Of course cannabis is schedule 1 but Marinol is schedule 3. Heroin may not have a scheduling other than schedule 1 but Fentanyl is available by prescription and some order of magnitude more potent that heroin. Amphetamines were originally in schedule 2 if injectable and schedule 3 in pills, both now schedule 2. Nabilone is schedule 2 so cannabinoids are in schedules 1, 2, and 3. So there’s plenty of precedent for a drug to be scheduled so as to be in two or even three different schedules at the whims of the powers that be. IMO there’s no doubt that Sativex will be approved in the US. There’s just too much money to be made to maintain it in schedule 1. There’s also the baby boomers nearing the end of the road. When they start getting sick the gov’t is going to have to do something to placate them because they’re going to want cannabinoid medicines, and what the baby boomers want, the baby boomers get.

    Wow, you know from time to time I’ve wondered what the heck happened to the Quaaludes. They used to be as common as M&Ms back in the 70s. It got rescheduled to schedule 1.

    Doesn’t anyone find it peculiar that there is no significant black market demand for Marinol? I can say it’s not surprising to me but I got my hands on a Rx for Marinol back in 1991 in an attempt to be able to consume cannabis while on felony probation. From my experience I see Marinol as ‘the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.’ I’ve still got 4 of the suckers which I keep as a souvenir. Mostly because it was a doctor up in Boston named Grinspoon who wrote the Rx for me. Yeah, I drove all the way to Boston to get that Rx and didn’t even catch a buzz.
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    …and regardless of what they do or say, I and I will still partake.

    In the last few weeks I have taken to posting in no uncertain terms that we’re not going to quit consuming cannabis. The item is non-negotiable, and that the Know Nothings need to get used to this piece of reality. I think with at least 7 decades of supporting evidence that we can confidently make that statement. Really, their only power is to decide who’s in charge of production, distribution and quality control. Why the fuck would anyone choose organized criminal syndicates over licensed, regulated businesses which can be held accountable if they break the rules?
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    If I was privy to the inside workings of cannabinoid therapeutics and was able to learn that cannabinoids have been proven to be a valid medicine, and have determined that the application was being significantly discounted by not only the financial markets but a significant number of of people in the mainstream pharmas I would absolutely buy a few thousand shares of GWP. Wait a second…what the heck am I saying? I do have that knowledge and I have in fact bought a basket full of GWP. Seriously. Buy GWP. It’s about a buck and a half per stub. If you’re not familiar with OTC stocks do some research first because the OTC market is shark infested water. These securities are commonly referred to as pink sheet stocks. I honestly had thought I would never buy such a security until GWP came along. But GWP is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and the pink sheet stubs were set up to make it easier to buy for those without reasonably easy access to the LSE. GWP is equivalent to MSFT in 1987, CSCO in the early 90s, etc. If they make an updated version of “The Graduate” It won’t be just one word, it will be two words. It won’t be ‘plastics’ it’ll be ‘cannabinoid medicines.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSxihhBzCjk Gosh, how much money did people in 1967 who understood the potential for plastics make? It may have been a fictional movie but the stock tip was very, very real.

    I fully believe that in the next 10-20 years scientists are going to be discovering how to manipulate the human endo-cannabinoid system and to develop the protocols to put that knowledge to use. Cannabinoid drugs are going to be significant generators of revenue, likely making Viagra’s gross revenue look like chump change. Because of that I expect that we’ll all be healthier, happier, and less stressed, and I’ll be steenkin’ rich.

    I’ve put my money where my mouth is.

    If you think I’ll sit around as the world goes by,
    You’re thinkin like a fool cause its a case of do or die,
    Out there is a fortune waitin’ to be had,
    You think I’ll let it go you’re mad,
    You got another thing comin’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RRoCkncvYo

  • Duncan20903

    C’mon Brian, are you really promoting the thought that the US Gov’t can overturn Prop 215? Are you aware that Prop 215 has been in front of the SCOTUS 3 times already? Care to explain to me why they didn’t toss the law in the garbage when they had the opportunity? They even refused to grant certiorari the last time around. The SCOTUS said “too boring, nothing to see here, move along.”

    duncan: the primary problem is how the CSA criteria are worded. it is focused on the notions of accepted medical use and propensity for “abuse.” you can make medications prepared from the cannabis plant “legal” without making the plant itself “legal” — exactly as is the case with opium poppies.

    Just FYI I wrote my post above about multiple scheduling before I read the above from yours, and it seems we’re in sync on this particular issue. But I have to say that the last 14 years support the idea that we can in fact outmaneuver the Feds. How in the world can you claim that something that has happened is not possible? You’re giving too much credit to them and nowhere near enough to our people. Without the efforts our side has made and been successful there would be no medical cannabis and marinol would likely still be schedule 2. Do I think that in 10 years there will be any sick people in California claiming the protection of Prop 215? No actually the logical end of this drama is the development of non-psychoactive compounds either extracted from the whole plant or synthesized in a laboratory. Regardless Prop 215 will still be in force cause it’s damn near impossible to overturn a California ballot initiative. Somebody has to be interested enough to go out and collect more than 1/2 a million signatures of registered voters to get it on the ballot. I wonder if the California lawmakers could commission such an effort. I know they can’t just put another ballot initiative by voting to do so. Please old man, we damn near gave John Walters a fatal apoplexy from our success in bringing this very real issue to the voters and winning.
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    Geezus DdC, you made me pucker up.

  • vicky vampire

    Thanks for info Duncan,20903 maybe I’m just a pessimist not to bright looking after recent election. and not to go into much detail for fear cause I happen to live in a state that has not decriminalized pot at all ,and has state liquor stores,and only sells 3.2 beer in all supermarkets and the predominate religion abstains from tobacco,coffee alcohol get my drift sorry if I sound so sarcastic but even if Sativex were legal my husband says good luck getting a doctor precribing it in this state and believe me I would qualify am I ignorant to scared or what this state does not budge much on social issues gay stuff. etc. maybe your more optimistic than I give me some hope.

  • c’mon duncan, are you really promoting the thought that the US government can’t do whatever the fuck it feels like doing? i don’t like it any more than anyone else — but that’s where we are.

  • vicky vampire

    a few more thoughts from my post above look the state I live in hands out anti-depressents like candy an on ocassion strong pain killers like oxycontin but believeme sativex they would look on with suspicion cause it sends wrong message yes everyone knows that in good old Utah it would most likely be the last state holdout to even consider medical marijuana if ever don’t you guys agree.

  • vicky i sympathize and i do think there is reason to hope. i grew up in Utah and now live i Nazizona (out the the frying pan into the fire). Looks like we are going to get MMJ! Simple possession here is still a felony. i believe in Utah now simple possession is a summons and small fine (like a traffic ticket). So it’s not all bad there. Further, when our hate lead legislature passed the breathing while brown SB1070 law last year there were loud voices in Utah calling for a similar law. It’s seems for now at least cooler heads have prevailed there (owing in large part, i think, to the obvious economic damage done here). So i completely understand the extreme social conservatism that prevails in your state but i think that there is reason to hope that because of the tight hold (with recent relaxation) that Utah has always had on alcohol, the powers that be might be able to accept legalization without “sending the wrong message”.

  • Samuel Wile

    Well, I don’t understand why they just don’t leagalize it… If anyone can recall the tobacco companies for just a second.. remember when all the State’s sued them and got this huge bundle of money that was supposed to go into medical healthcare??? Anyone recall what happened to that money?.. Well after they won against the Tobacco companies all this money was supposed to go to the hospitals for smoker’s for the excuse of cancer….. What happened was they pocketed it all and maybe about 9% went to the hospitals… So why would any of you expect a government that thrive’s off our money in this pathetic excuse of a war against “Pot” to legalize the one thing that give’s the DEA a for sure budget..??? Most of us live in the real world but don’t forget that the ” Suit’s” don’t live in that world.. They live off tax payer’s money ect, ect, ect, plus the money they rake in for bust’s… I hope just like everyone else that they just legalize the shit and work on the stuff that matter’s most… like building our country back up or taking care of our people. Watching over smaller countrie’s. Stepping in when their’s genocide happening…. Those thing’s matter more than alittle weed.. Beside’s what’s weed compared to all this other stuff out on the market… Salvia, legal budd, caffiene pills, creatine, enhancer’s of an assourted kinds. C’mon yah know… I think that even marijuana may even be helpfull in prison’s.. Commecary would have to be the one’s to sell them like ciggarette’s or bed sheet’s or that little tv they get..lol but anyway it would give them something to look forward in putting the guards in less than harms way from the usual.. A bunch of mellow prisoners is better than a bunch of High strung ready stabb your ass at any given moment prisoner’s.. kinda see where all this is going.. positive note’s on Marijuana….. even in the worst of places…idk the last part was just a theory.