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Desisting DEA Deferrals and Delays

One thing we’ve seen for decades is that the DEA handles any challenges to its authority over marijuana by delaying, sometimes for many years (particularly with scheduling challenges). And they’d get away with it pretty much all the time.

That may be changing.

Federal Court Orders DEA To Explain Marijuana Research Block

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed SRI an initial procedural victory, issuing an order that DEA “file a response to the amended mandamus petition, not to exceed 7,800 words, within 30 days of the date of this order.”

Not 10 years from now. 30 days.

They’ll still use every weapon in their arsenal to slow the process, but it’s going to get harder for them.

Of course, even better would be to remove marijuana from their authority altogether.

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32 comments to Desisting DEA Deferrals and Delays

  • Daniel Williams

    Which President Trump will do.

  • Servetus

    Choline can protect fetuses from developmental brain changes said to be due to marijuana consumption by pregnant women who didn’t know they were pregnant at the time. Had the DEA made cannabis research a priority instead of stifling it in the interests of not saying anything good about weed, birthing information along with sufficient choline to protect fetus development might have been part of prenatal vitamin supplements long ago:

    31-Jul-2019 — In Colorado, it’s common for women to use marijuana before they know they’re pregnant and some continue to use as a natural remedy for morning sickness, depression and anxiety,” said Camille Hoffman, MD, MSCS, associate professor of maternal fetal medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine. “In this study, we found that maternal marijuana use begins to negatively impact the fetal brain at an earlier stage in pregnancy than we expected. However, we also found that eating choline-rich foods or taking choline as a supplement may protect the child from potential harm.”

    Fifteen percent of 201 mothers in the study used marijuana both before and beyond 10 weeks gestation. Infants of mothers who continued to use marijuana beyond 10 weeks had decreased cerebral nervous system (brain) inhibition at one month of age. Decreased brain inhibition this early in development can relate to problems in attention and social function. Later in life, this can translate into a predisposition to conditions like substance abuse, depression and psychosis.

    In addition, infants exposed to prenatal marijuana beyond 10 weeks gestation had lower “regulation” scores at 3 months of age. This can cause decreased reading readiness at age 4, decreased conscientiousness and organization as well as increased distractibility as far out as age 9. These adverse effects in the infant were not seen if women had higher gestational choline in the early second trimester.

    Overall, results showed maternal choline levels correlated with the children’s improved duration of attention, cuddliness and bonding with parents. […]

    “We already know that prenatal vitamins improve fetal and child development, but currently most prenatal vitamins do not include adequate amounts of the nutrient choline despite the overwhelming evidence of its benefits in protecting a baby’s brain health. We hope that this research is a step towards more OB-GYNs, midwives and other prenatal care providers encouraging pregnant women to include choline in their prenatal supplement regimen,” Hoffman adds. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Expectant mothers can mitigate the impact of marijuana on baby’s brain development: Study provides evidence that higher maternal choline levels during pregnancy reduce harm

  • The DEA allowed excessively high amounts of opiate pain killers in pill form to be distributed nationwide for years. Numbers of pills that could only be consumed if they were being diverted elsewhere – namely the black market. They knew it (for a number of years) and did nothing until people started dying (from black market fentanyl). Then the DEA blamed it all on doctors prescribing habits for opiates.

    If you look at this issue and combine it with Pete’s data you start to get the picture. The war on drugs and its main enforcer the DEA are equally inadequate and more than useless – societally destructive as a fact.

    The apparency of the DEA as a bumbling do nothing agency is only superseded by the thought that the DEA is possibly purely corrupt.

    Marijuana should be removed from the controlled substances list. It is too valuable of an asset to leave its fate to the DEA.

    • strayan

      I concur with your analysis TC

      Incidentally today was the first time I have ever seen any journalism about this:

      https://newrepublic.com/article/154560/broken-health-care-system-caused-opioid-crisis

    • Servetus

      The DEA is a captured agency, in this case captured by Purdue Pharma, et al., and as a result it is corrupt and bumbling. The tactics pharmaceutical companies used to market opioids to the masses are the same marketing strategies they use for all their drug products. Marketing managers such as the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company had as much to do with killing people with ODs as did Big Pharma. See Martha Rosenburg, “How Slick Consulting Firms Get Us on Drugs” at Counterpunch.

      The only thing I can think of that might stop this sort of disaster from occurring again is to switch to socialized medicine, where profits do not end up the only priority.

        • kaptinemo

          Normally, the process mirrors the good ol’ revolving door ethos of Warshington DC: corporate officers become government regulators then after they have done their damage by weakening regulations against those corporations, return back to the corp-rat world.

          But even more to the point, the DEA has always been CIA’s bitch. Been that way from the beginning. After all, as Professor Alfred McCoy proved in his seminal work The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia the intel agencies of just about all the Western powers are involved in the illegal drug trade. And that’s been the case since at least the beginning of the last century…if not even further back.

          The idea that the CIA would tolerate DEA’s interference in their (major) operations is patently laughable. DEA is allowed to make symbolic ‘busts’ of mostly small time players but will never, ever touch the real kingpins (like banksters), for that would require them to attack the very Elites who hold their leash. Not-a gonna happen. Just ask ex-DEA agents like Celerino Castillo and Michael Levine about what happens when you try to do your duty and thus earn the CIA’s ire.

          DEA was supposed to be Nixon’s bully-boys, his state-sanctioned Brownshirts, whupping up on political dissidents because Nixon thought dissent against his (criminal) domestic and international policies was linked to drug use because many of the young people who opposed him just happened to like cannabis. ‘Drugs’ were just the excuse to crack dissident skulls.

          Even though Nixon was finally removed, and the true rationale for DEA’s existence gone with him, it still had the cachet of ‘fighting drugs’, and thus it was handy to have around so pols (many of whom knew from the get-go the task was a Sisyphean one) could point to it and say its existence ‘proves’ they were ‘doing something about drugs’, and so Nixon’s bureaucratic Frankenstein’s Monster still lurches and shambles about, causing untold damage in its wake like a Juggernaut. While every DCI since then has laughed his ass off at the idea of the DEA being anything but their sock-puppet.

          A very old book that chronicles the rise of that Monster is Agency of Fear; Opiates and Political Power in America By Edward Jay Epstein It’s well worth a look. as are the books Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War by Celerino Castillo and The Big White Lie: The Deep Cover Operation That Exposed the CIA Sabotage of the Drug War by Michael Levine

        • Servetus

          Captured federal agencies are common in the US. For example, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forestry service in the Rocky Mountain West are dominated by lumber, oil, and mining companies, along with Mormon cowboys like the Cliven Bundy gangstas whose 2000 head of European bred cattle graze on public lands and destroy the native habitat for humans, wildlife and fauna. If the DEA isn’t evil enough for you, you can always make yourself sick and angry over federal environmental corruption by reading Christopher Ketcham’s excellent book, This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West, (2019).

          As for opioid ODs, the same demographics apply. “The Oxy Electorate: A Scourge of Addiction and Death Siloed in Fly-Over Country,” by Kathleen J. Frydl, as early as Nov 2016, describes people in rural and rust belt economic conditions as being especially affected by opioid problems.

          Opioid tragedies are the canary in the coal mine. The counties facing the problems are typically the same ones that voted Trump into power, or as Noam Chomsky notes: the primary [constituency], wealth and corporate power; and the voting base, relatively affluent fairly generally, including a large bloc of Christian evangelicals, rural whites, farmers, workers who have faith in his promises to bring back jobs, and a collection of others, some not too admirable.

  • kaptinemo

    OT: As predicted here long ago, the cannabis prohibition issue has gone mainstream politically…and has finally gotten the traction it deserves: Tulsi Gabbard Praised for ‘Pummeling’ Kamala Harris’ Record: Jailed ‘1,500 People’ for Weed and ‘Laughed About It The pols who supported prohibition and arrogantly thought themselves politically bullet-proof for doing so are now being called out for it. The worm has turned.

  • “How an epic legal battle brought a secret drug database to light” https://tinyurl.com/y5xyrzt9

  • Mr_Alex

    @DdC and DrugWarRant commenters

    By any chance have any of you seen this, its a clinical trial comparison between normal laxatives and Huo Ma Ren an Chinese Cannabis based medicine for the treatment of constipation, from what they found, Huo Ma Ren treated chronic constipation better than traditional laxatives:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258248534_Chinese_herbal_medicine_Ma_Zi_Ren_Wan_for_functional_constipation_Study_protocol_for_a_prospective_double-blinded_double-dummy_randomized_controlled_trial

    • DdC

      Not this in particular Mr_Alex.
      A group on FB posted this lame post.

      Tried to get my medical marijuana card today
      but had no luck. Thanks a lot constipation.
      They told me to shit or get off the pot.

      So I looked it up and found.

      July 8, 2019
      Research reveals medical marijuana
      can treat digestive disorders, including constipation. https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/conditions/constipation/
      Constipation can also be caused by digestive disorders treated with medical marijuana. Furthermore, medical marijuana can substitute or reduce the dosage of certain medications causing constipation, such as opiates. This indicates medical marijuana may not only treat constipation itself, but some underlying causes.

  • It would be of value to study the percentage of neglected chronic pain patients in relationship to black market opiate OD’s. If those deaths from OD’s are related to the current trend in medicine that denies chronic pain patients any effective treatment, you could trace the current problems and OD’s directly back to it’s source – the DEA. Just a thought.

  • Mr_Alex

    @DdC

    I am not sure if you would be surprised with this, earlier in the week, I appeared on a livestream which was a meeting with the Hong Kong Police. When I briefed the senior commanders that what ever advice they are getting in regards from the UK, US mainly the D.E.A and other law enforcement agencies on cannabis was out of date. The Hong Kong Police commanders took offence to what I had to say and labelled me a internet troll.

    Also Hong Kong is making Autism a qualifying condition for medical cannabis but with an nasty surprise, individuals on the Autism Spectrum and parents who have children on the autism spectrum have to report weekly to the Hong Kong Police and there have been reports that Autistic people and parents who have autistic children are starting to find the Hong Kong Police intimidating.

    • DdC

      Congrats Mr Alex, you’re an official advocate. All Cops profit on prohibition and most wealthy have vested interest in status quo pollutants. So money is a factor in their reactions. No right minded person would believe Nixon’s lie over the Shafer Commission report. Yet here we are almost 50 years of bipartisan sidelining and silence with the same schedule as it was when tricky dick trashed it. Karma will win in the end and we have come a long way since even Clinton was busting people after Prop 215. Its like guns, some take a little longer to realize mass shoutings with military weapons of mass destruction aren’t caused by Hilary’s emails. Or stopped with thoughts and prayers. We had a wing nut go off at the Garlic Festival last week. Yet the governor is busting 800 non licensed growers in Northern Cali. Priorities are skewed. Not sure how Hong Kong sees it. Most who profit on fake protection and security are authoritarian fascist with not one give a damn about the person or their well being. Be well.

      Policing for Profit
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1743

  • Servetus

    Forget rescheduling cannabis. Imagine there is no DEA. No ONDCP, too.

    Andrey Vyshedskiy at Boston University just revealed the evolution of the human imagination 70,000 years ago. It was due to a genetic mutation, one that first enabled our species to create art and technology, as well as converse—“Language Evolution to Revolution….” Yet, the federal government still doesn’t possess the imagination to dismantle a corrupt federal drug enforcement apparatus. Instead, they need a 7800-word essay from the DEA to figure it out.

    Don’t delay. Smash the DEA.

  • WalStMonky

    Only 1 marijuana-impaired driving charge laid in Calgary since legalization

    8 drug-impaired driving charges laid in 12 months in Alberta, government says
    Aug 06, 2019

    /snip/
    The Calgary Police Service (CPS) believes that number will go up with more officer training and as roadside screening devices advance in technology, but one of the city’s top impaired driving defence lawyers says he’s not so sure that will be the case.

    “There’s no charges, there’s no wave of cannabis impaired drivers, there’s just a big nothing so far,” says Tim Foster, whose firm gets about 30 impaired driving cases every month with almost all being alcohol-related.

    It’s always been illegal to drive while high, so Foster says he wasn’t expecting an influx of charges after legalization.

    “We have hardly seen any at all. We may have seen one since cannabis became legal,” he said. “Despite all the alarmism with the police and the government saying this was going to be a huge problem, it has turned out to be exactly the opposite.”

    Francis’ Law goes international.

    • primus

      It boils down to this; toking drivers do not drive in such a manner as to attract police attention so they are not being charged. Toking drivers are generally more not less careful and therefore are not causing accidents. We here on the couch have always known that, and it is finally becoming known to the unenlightened.

  • Servetus

    Another study confirms that legal marijuana reduces opioid mortalities.

    In The Effects of Recreational Marijauna Legalization and Dispensing on Opioid Mortality, by Nathan W. Chan, Jesse Burkhardt, and Matthew Flyr, the researchers contradict claims made by prohibitionist Keith Humphreys, et al, with results directly opposite those widely disseminated by Humphreys and the major media. Francis’ Law remains intact. Abstract:

    06 August 2019 – This study documents how the changing legal status of marijuana has impacted mortality in the United States over the past two decades. We use a difference‐in‐difference approach to estimate the effect of medical marijuana laws (MML) and recreational marijuana laws (RML) on fatalities from opioid overdoses, and we find that marijuana access induces sharp reductions in opioid mortality rates. Our research corroborates prior findings on MMLs and offers the first causal estimates of RML impacts on opioid mortality to date, the latter of which is particularly important given that RMLs are far more expansive in scope and reach than MMLs. In our preferred econometric specification, we estimate that RMLs reduce annual opioid mortality in the range of 20%–35%, with particularly pronounced effects for synthetic opioids. In further analysis, we demonstrate how RML impacts vary among demographic groups, shedding light on the distributional consequences of these laws. Our findings are especially important and timely given the scale of the opioid crisis in the United States and simultaneously evolving attitudes and regulations on marijuana use. (JEL I18, K32, H75)

  • Servetus

    A Colorado brown bear was caught on camera stealing a trash dumpster belonging to Bud Depot, a marijuana dispensary:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkMg6wklcgk

  • Servetus

    Kary Mullis has passed away at age 74. The Nobel Laureate in chemistry is credited for discovering the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Mullis said his imagination was inspired by taking LSD, and that the PCR discovery came to him suddenly one dark evening as he was driving to his home in Mendocino with his daughter in the car. He pulled the car over and stopped, instantly recognizing the new chemical process would win him the Nobel Prize. Dr. Mullis was also an advocate for legalizing marijuana.

    https://evilleeye.com/in-the-neighborhood/nobel-prize-winning-emeryville-scientist-kary-mullis-passes-at-74/

  • Servetus

    Illicit drugs are a $150 billion per year business. Nothing will stop it. Not even the $51 billion the US spends annually enforcing drug laws. Nothing wastes money like drug enforcement.

    20-AUG-2019 — Spending on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine by Americans reached nearly $150 billion in 2016, with a large proportion of spending coming from the small share of people who use drugs on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

    Researchers estimate that from 2006 to 2016, the total amount of money spent by Americans on these four drugs fluctuated between $120 billion and $145 billion each year. By contrast, a different analysis finds that spending on alcohol in the U.S. was estimated to be $158 billion in 2017.

    Total spending on cannabis, from both illegal and state-licensed sources, increased by approximately 50 percent from 2006 to 2016, from $34 billion to $52 billion. The market for cannabis is roughly the size of the cocaine and methamphetamine markets combined, and the size of the retail heroin market is now closer to the size of the marijuana market than it is to the other drugs, according to the analysis. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually: Amount rivals what Americans spend on alcohol

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