DEA is wrong? How can that be?

Tom Angell reporting: State Department Says DEA Is Wrong on Marijuana Monopoly

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has long held the position that international drug control treaties to which the U.S. is a party prevent the federal government from granting more licenses to grow marijuana for scientific research.

The U.S. State Department just said the DEA is wrong. […]

But in written response sent to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released Thursday, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, said that DEA’s interpretation of the treaties is wrong.

A country issuing more than one cultivation license “would not be a sufficient basis to conclude that the party was acting in contravention” of the treaties, the bureau said. […]

“Nothing in the text of the Single Convention, nor in the Commentary, suggests that there is a limitation on the number of licenses that can be issued,” the State Department writes. […]

“For years, the DEA has cited this international treaty as the reason for limiting medical research,” Gillibrand said in a press release announcing the new State Department position. “Now that the State Department has confirmed this treaty should not be a barrier to expanding research, the DEA should issue new licenses to supply medical researchers and stop letting antiquated ideology stand in the way of modern medical science.”

I love it when one government agency calls out another one. And, of course, when it comes to interpreting international treaties, it seems the State Department may trump the DEA.

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37 Responses to DEA is wrong? How can that be?

  1. cthulu advocate says:

    Take that, DEA! And a rogue agency lurches toward permanent irrelevancy. Now, to cut their budget. . .

  2. thelbert says:

    even if the regulators amongst us make pot more legal, i will continue my outlaw ways:

  3. Jean Valjean says:

    DEA has been trading on Anslinger’s coup of the UN single treaty since 1961. His bs would be enshrined in “law” for ever more he thought. Finally, 50 plus years later, his lies are being deconstructed and DEA is revealed as the fraud it always was….

  4. QuaxMercy says:

    … and we’re several steps closer to de-monopolizing the source of research grade Cannabis. Ole Miss has, with malice aforethought, kept their operation at a doo-doo level for 40 years! Think of the expertise they have squandered, the strains they have butchered and lost!

  5. Frank W. says:

    I think of them as our Drug War’s Gehlen Bureau of the 1950s. Full of Nazis, hated by everyone, yet Somehow funded for those years.

  6. Punchy the Clown says:

    International treaties? We don’t need no stinking international treaties.

  7. LetMyPeopleGo says:

    “These and other individual cases bring home the draconian nature of drug sentencing in this nation, and remind us that there are names, faces and families behind these policies, whose lives have been destroyed. Despite the progress the president has made in beginning to undo mass incarceration, we are reminded of the countless others, principally people of color and specifically Black, who languish in the prisons and do not belong there.
    “I am pleased by today’s news, but I know that for every prisoner whose sentence the president commuted today, there are a hundred more who are equally worthy,” Mary Price, general counsel of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, told The Associated Press.
    Similar commutations of sentences are expected to increase during the remainder of Obama’s time in office.”

  8. Tony Aroma says:

    This means nothing. The DEA doesn’t answer to the State Dept or the Justice Dept or federal judges or anybody for that matter. When it comes to weed, the DEA has the final say, period. Even Congress appears afraid to challenge the DEA. All they have to do is say NO. They don’t have to justify their decision, all they need to do is spout some nonsense which amounts to “because I said so,” and that’s it.

    • DdC says:

      I agree Tony. One thing it does that isn’t picked up enough. Is to identify the quacks. Now they go onto a list of quacks for future reference. The 3 lil darlings of the left, champions of the reform groups. Out spoken about the needs of the people not being met while pushing legislation with no teeth. Or if they have to compromise, do it with a big pharma monopoly at a special schedule#2.

      Plastic hero’s bartering with insanity and then celebrating it as a win. It makes it easier to understand if you leave logic out and see it as it is. All of the charges against the DEA. Arbitrary and capricious dealings and statements. Blocking Justice and banning Medicinal research funding. All of the 40 years of persecuting 30 million Americans with arrest records.

      To ban them for life from tuition assistance and Pell Grants to organ transplants and employment. To any other Department of Government serving the people this would be means of discharge, jail and treason.

      For the DEA minimal opposition, and any opposition, at best are appeasers trying to compromise with the laws of physics and common sense. While a party of road paving demonists granting them, the DEA infallibility, To continue to march towards Zero tolerance.

      Every damn unscrupulous act done by the ONDCP, NIDA and DEA is what we pay them to do. Arbitrary and Capricious, oh yes thank you, we try our best. How do they get away with Perjury in Congress or the Courts? Like getting to Carnegie Hall. practice, practice, practice.

      Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie

  9. Servetus says:

    The DEA can’t control the narrative on marijuana in the limelight of legitimate, independent, marijuana research. Cannabis research in other countries already challenges the DEA/NIDA paradigm on every front. The DEA’s denial of the legitimacy of proper marijuana rescheduling morphs into a justification for removing the decision-making process from the DEA, a law enforcement agency, giving it instead to an independent scientific panel for deliberations and action.

    Otherwise, there will be problems. Legal marijuana simply does not benefit law enforcement in any way. No more overtime, no more excuses to bypass Fourth Amendment protections, no more forfeitures, no more busting hippies. The wrong people in this case are charged with making the decisions.

    • Tony Aroma says:

      The DEA has never been officially involved in the decision-making process. According to the Controlled Substances Act, the Attorney General is the one that decides on scheduling. I have no idea how the DEA ended up with the final say in these matters, but that power was never given to them by Congress. Same thing with that long list of criteria the DEA uses to decide on scheduling. Those criteria were made up by the DEA after they assumed power. Congress only specified 3 criteria in the CSA: high potential for abuse, no medical use, and no safe use. The criteria the DEA use go way beyond what Congress intended.

      • DdC says:

        That’s right, the AG and the President can change or eliminate the CSA. The DEA only enforces it in cases above 100 plants. Actually since Raich v Gonzales the Treasury Dept is in charge of cannabis as commerce with the IRS. So the DEA are basically impotent except for the bullshit they give to politicians at policy meetings. Its all in the paperwork. The IOM in 1999 was a re-evaluation of previous research including the Shafer Commission rejected by Nixon. That was after a decade of pleading and then when it was over. The IOM stated it had medicinal value and that should have removed it as a schedule#1.

        We thought. First it had to be re re evaluated by the HHS to make sure it was bonafied for the FDA to start conducting tests. 2016 the IOM as far as anyone knows is still being held up by the HHS before the FDA even starts testing, which they haven’t. Until the FDA approves it, it is not a medicine. The DEA is the target but they work for wall st the same as the prohibitionists. When enough questioned it they came up with CARER that would keep it with big pharma monopoly. Its never been about smoking a doobie and the concern of the government wall st lackies about our safety. Prohibition a trillion dollar business and they aim to keep it.

        • Servetus says:

          Today’s government, DEA, et al., doesn’t favor the public welfare. It’s all about individual political survival, minus any foresight of what happens tomorrow. The system is engineered to induce public failure, misery, discord, leaving little but exploitative approaches to governance, in effect, mendicancy for the masses. Governance in the case of drugs-availability more closely resembles colonialism than it does a healthy democracy—i.e., smash the common welfare, and make the subjects dependent upon their rulers.

          It’s a control issue. By controlling sex and reproduction, the Vatican seeks to control a big part of people’s lives. By extending a similar control-freak policy to ethnobotanical issues, the various governments, vis-à-vis the DEA/NIDA/Vatican, seek to control a lot more, to spread their net.

          Festoons of leadership notwithstanding, the powers that collude will hit a wall if they don’t apply their brakes very soon.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Tony, the DEA was created by “Executive Order 11727 – Drug Law Enforcement” issued in 1973 by Dick Nixon. I’m not seeing any conflict with the Federal CSA in that EO. In the order Mr. Nixon includes the controlling legal authority which he believed gave him the power to issue that order:

        Now, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including section 5317 of title 5 of the United States Code, as amended, it is hereby ordered as follows:

        SECTION 1. The Attorney General, to the extent permitted by law, is authorized to coordinate all activities of executive branch departments and agencies which are directly related to the enforcement of laws respecting narcotics and dangerous drugs. Each department and agency of the Federal Government shall, upon request and to the extent permitted by law, assist the Attorney General in the performance of functions assigned to him pursuant to this order, and the Attorney General may, in carrying out those functions, utilize the services of any other agencies, Federal and State, as may be available and appropriate.

        I’m not seeing anything that’s specifically out of compliance with the Federal CSA. I can see a lot of things wrong with the Federal CSA but as it stands now the law is the controlling legal authority. The POTUS is the boss of the AG, the AG delegates his authority to the DEA on the orders of the POTUS and as it stands everything is kosher. Can you point out what you think I’m missing?

        • Windy says:

          You all write about this as if the fed gov has legitimate law enforcement powers. IT DOES NOT! EVERY single federal police agency (FBI, DEA, ATF, etc., etc., etc.) is blatantly unconstitutional, NOWHERE in the Constitution is the fed gov granted the power to enforce laws or have any police powers at all, those were ALL left strictly to the Sheriffs and the sovereign States. The more people who accept the fed gov having police and enforcement, the more the fed gov gets away with violating the Constitution, might as well just toss that document in the trash if the American people are going to continue to let the fed gov get away with these abuses.

  10. Vic Tayback says:

    When there are no government obstacles regarding research cannabis innovation flourishes:

  11. Jean Valjean says:

    Protester at Trump rally in Oregon:

    ‘“Dude,” one man wearing tie-dyed, harem pants shouted with disbelief at the people exiting the arena into the warm night. “You came here [to Oregon], got a Trump towel, but you didn’t get any weed?”’

  12. Spirit Wave says:

    Those treaties require national constitutionality for validity.

    After Alcohol Prohibition failed via two federal constitutional amendments (the latter basically verifying that failure), our Supreme Court decided to illegally redefine the Commerce Clause from “regulate commerce” to ‘regulate any activity having a substantial effect on commerce’.

    Our Judicial Branch has no power to (re)define law — just solely interpret it.

    During several decades of metaphorical crickets chirping over that illegality, we have Certain Drug Prohibition (if you will) — the negatively bigger and badder sequel to Alcohol Prohibition, but “mysteriously” without a similar constitutional amendment.

    The Commerce Clause is not a sane (so just) basis for banning (not regulating) the mere possession of a plant, for prime example.

    Judicial corruption is obvious to anyone caring enough to look, but apparently due to the boring nature of law, most people don’t — so millions of non-violent (sanely innocent) lives have been demonstrably ruined to varying degrees for several decades and still strongly counting.

    Fundamentally and critically, this is a language issue.

    The ninth amendment (“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”) outrageously has literally no judicial effect — despite clearly judicially recognizing our fundamental rights (the only rights formally defined outside of our Constitution).

    That obviously includes the right to liberty, which objectively (so fairly, so justly) is defined as the unalienable condition of being free from restriction or control (the only limit against your liberty is the right itself — civilized liberty — without exception).

    The ninth amendment is illegally trumped by the tenth amendment (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”)

    Notice how amendment nine refers to rights, while the tenth refers to powers.

    Exercising rights requires power.

    If any right (e.g. liberty) is trumped by government power, then it’s obviously not a right to begin with — and that’s the fundamental and critical problem that nobody else is apparently even discussing.

    It’s also the “lawful” basis for rampant discrimination (e.g. race, gender, sexual preference, recreational drug choice, etc.) hypocritically spanning our nation’s history.

    Genuine idiocy in law extends to the “living document” belief system supported by even self-proclaimed constitutional experts — a belief stating our Constitution is amenable via judicial forces (e.g. Commerce Clause redefining).

    Article V in our Constitution defines the very (very) serious challenge required to amend our Constitution, so that belief truly is idiotic (but still popularly embraced amid the aforementioned crickets).

    “We the people” can’t uproot judicial corruption on corrupt judicial turf. We need to take this serious case to the court of public opinion (the true highest court of the land) until public pressure is enough to ensure the mainstream media broadly and powerfully challenges (and then finally exposes) the horrific drug war scam (i.e. flagrantly massive law abuse).

    Despite billions of taxpayer dollars spent annually, we don’t even have a drug-free prison system (nonetheless literally one shred of concrete, so credible, evidence proving any effectiveness against drug abuse).

    Law (actually language) is the fundamental problem, and if that remains unaddressed, millions (if not billions) of more innocent lives will be ruined to varying degrees by law abuse — inclusively the actual drug epidemic (drug prohibition addiction).

    If judicial corruption is removed, those international treaties have no national effect here.

    Law abuse does not send the right message to children (or anyone else).

    If oppressive enough, it literally ruins a nation that (despite being violently established via a revolution tragically ironically against British law abuse) refuses to primarily address that logically worst form of abuse (due to its mainly broad scope of damage done).

    The only logical (so realistic) way to prevent law abuse is to have a concrete (so fair, so just) barrier to legislative entry. Logically speaking, that inevitably requires firmly judicially implementing the aforementioned definition of liberty, backed by the need for conclusive (not suggestive) science verifying harm in use (not just abuse, or “heavy use”).

    Because of the serious risk of law abuse, law is not a proper basis to define risk.

    Defining risk by law also can never be reconciled with an unalienable right to liberty.

    Risk must become and remain purely an educational issue, while law solely addresses conclusively proven harm.

    Then responsible entertainers (i.e. educators understanding entertainment is needed for learning interest) can finally properly leverage the Information Age to logically bring forth the Education Age — one that best entertainingly ensures every lifestyle runs into sound wisdom to prevent any form of abuse.

  13. Pingback: Right to Power | Spirit Wave Journal

  14. CJ says:

    The DEA needs to add a D to the end of their acronym and then go the way of ESPN and WWE whereby the acronym stands for nothing, it’ll just speak for itself… DEAD

  15. CJ says:

    Oh, I read the comment someone made about the DEA and how it basically can say “because I said so” and push its weight around, not having to answer to anybody. Im a little confused about it and definitely not being sarcastic whatsoever, just genuinely confused and interested in discussion.

    Im just wondering about that. I think it must be correct what youve said about the DEA not answering to the State Dept. and everything… and I think, especially in the hey day of the Reagans… and perhaps, unfortunately, maybe again one day under a pro drug war regime, but in everything I’ve read in recent years, the DEA has been reprimanded, slapped around in the press, and humiliated publicly multiple times, in various forums… And if the congress is afraid of them, I think that congress and various other bodies essentially humiliated Michele Leonhart into leaving. I think the DEA was so used to things being the way you say that they’ve tried to just continue that modus operandi ignorant that, thank God, the groups, people, and organizations the DEA was always so used to just going along with it, suddenly started asking intelligent questions to themselves about this and then when the DEA came to bully them and get their way, they got slapped in the face and embarassed on MSNBC, CNN the front page of popular US newspapers etc.

    • Tony Aroma says:

      My point exactly. All those things have happened to the DEA – scandals, reprimands, humiliations – yet marijuana is still schedule 1. The DEA is bullet proof.

  16. Fappy the Dolphin says:

    @ Jean I am laughing out loud over the hippie at the evil satan Adolf Trump rally. I haven’t laughed so hard since my buddy A.J. fired up a party blunt while we were watching a cannabis documentary on the teevee and said…I might even smoke cannabis if it was legal.
    Sadly we live in one of the terribly awful 8 states that will never legalize nature’s own healing herb.

  17. Mouth says:

    The DEA’s bad for business. Without the War on Drugs, we wouldn’t have fought drug money funded terrorists and insurgents after 9/11 and had we not had the War on Terror, the 2008 Recession from the housing bubble collapse would not have been so hard. When we waste our taxes on DEA and Drug War Scum, then other debts cannot be paid. When debts cannot be paid, then A- turns into BBB+ on Wall-Street’s S&P and that’s bad for the economy. Bonds help give stability to Wall Street Stock investors upon a 25 and 75 mix, which is the Gospel of Graham (yes, sometimes it’s 75/25). When truth is realized, I bet bankers support ending the War on Drugs since long term stability is far better for business than long term instability. When states/cities waste so much money on failed policy, then corporations and consumers have to pay more taxes, which makes corporate bonds and stocks riskier and a lot of publicly traded companies benefit others i.e. semi-conductors and Apple etc.

    Let’s face it: Keeping heroin and cocaine illegal is not very good for Google, Ford, YUM Brands or even the golden calf, Berkshire-Hathaway (A and B).

    • SpotOn! says:

      “In hindsight, it is amazing that so many economists and historians were able to look back on prohibition, the Crash and the Depression without noticing the causal links between them–assuming they coexisted by the sheerest of coincidence. Back then the connection between prohibition and the economy was asserted daily and hotly debated.”

    • Servetus says:

      “Prohibition’s supporters were initially surprised by what did not come to pass during the dry era. When the law went into effect, they expected sales of clothing and household goods to skyrocket. Real estate developers and landlords expected rents to rise as saloons closed and neighborhoods improved. Chewing gum, grape juice, and soft drink companies all expected growth. Theater producers expected new crowds as Americans looked for new ways to entertain themselves without alcohol. None of it came to pass.

      Instead, the unintended consequences proved to be a decline in amusement and entertainment industries across the board. Restaurants failed, as they could no longer make a profit without legal liquor sales. Theater revenues declined rather than increase, and few of the other economic benefits that had been predicted came to pass.

      On the whole, the initial economic effects of Prohibition were largely negative. The closing of breweries, distilleries and saloons led to the elimination of thousands of jobs, and in turn thousands more jobs were eliminated for barrel makers, truckers, waiters, and other related trades.

      The unintended economic consequences of Prohibition didn’t stop there. One of the most profound effects of Prohibition was on government tax revenues.”

  18. four legs goood two legs baaad says:

    Doesn’t the war on drugs end when a democrat is in office?
    I thought no one was arrested for cannabis or other drugs when a democrat is in office?
    Why hasn’t Obama legalized in all 50 states and disbanded the DEA?

    • Jean Valjean says:

      We dems are every bit as tough on crime as the other guys….just ask Bill Clinton.

      • Windy says:

        And we libertarians have been telling democrats and republicans since 1971 that their intentions to alter human nature with legislation will NEVER work, but they (both parties) are blind and deaf to the truth, and far too wrapped up in their greed for power over, control of, and getting as much revenue as possible from the people. All they are doing is turning off people with common sense, it should be clear to them by now that they have lost relevance to the people (check out how the majority of voters are now self declaring as “independents”, and how the membership in and votes for the candidates from those parties are fewer every year).

    • NotReally says:

      When Bill Clinton took office in January 1993, the violent crack epidemic of the late 1980s was already subsiding, the prison population—local, state and federal—was about 1.3 million. When Clinton left office, that number had ballooned to over 2 million—giving us the World’s highest rate of incarceration.

      “(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that –
      (A) is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
      (B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;”

      It was Joe Biden (yes our current Democrat VP) who authored this act, wrote those words and then pushed this abhorrent law through Congress. This also created the ONDCP, the position of ‘Drug Czar’ and the mandate to lie with impunity to the citizens of the United States.

      • DdC says:

        Biden and Clinton are Neocon Artists.
        DINO’s – democrat in name only

        Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74

        The ominous part is that this isn’t the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.

        The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research, according to Jack Herer, who reports on the events in his book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies, who set out — unsuccessfully — to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the “high.”

        Thalidomide v Cannabis

        No attrition in research on wasting therapies.

        In January 1997, a thalidomide developer, Celgene, of Warren, New Jersey, announced that the data from its trial in 99 people with AIDS wasting showed a statistically significant weight gain. The company seems to have “jumped the gun,” as one person close to the trial put it. No data were yet available from the trial to justify Celgene’s press release. Today, it is known that even one capsule of thalidomide can cause devastating defects, including the development of flipper-like limbs.


        In 1957, soon after the launching of Contergan (thalidomide) in West Germany, came reports of peripheral neuritis that revealed thalidomide’s toxic effects on the nervous system of the user.

        United Nations Drug Report Disappointing
        According to the report, ecstasy users risk suffering the effects of early decline in mental function and memory, or Alzheimer-type symptoms.

        The report was released just weeks after scientists at Johns Hopkins University retracted their research findings that suggested that a single evening’s use of ecstasy could cause permanent brain damage and Parkinson’s disease. The scientists admitted that they utilized the wrong drug in their studies.


        Johns Hopkins scientists find new error involving vial mislabeled in the first experiment. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have retracted a second study linking the drug Ecstasy to a certain type of brain damage because once again the wrong drug was given to lab animals.

        Two bogus studies as evidence to pass the RAVE Ax that failed 3 times on its own. Then tacked onto the Amber Alert Bill, all while knowing about the bogus studies.

        Three dangerous bills are the RAVE Act (H.R. 718), the CLEAN-UP Act (H.R. 834), and the Illicit Drugs Anti-Proliferation Act (S. 226). While aimed at the very real problem of substance abuse, the bills go too far by punishing business owners for the drug offenses of their customers and threatening to shut down concerts, circuit parties, dance clubs, and other forms of entertainment. Business owners could be jailed for enacting health measures that save lives – such as teaching their staff first-aid. You could even go to jail for 20 years for throwing a party in your own home.

        Drug Czar Manipulating Data in a Report to Congress

        FDA-Approved Medical Marijuana Research Blocked

        Joe Biden’s Ugly History With American Drug Policy

        He was among the primary architects behind the disparity in crack versus powder cocaine sentencing. Up until 2010, when the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was finally done away with,

        In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed off on the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, for which he recently apologized. “I signed a bill that made the problem worse,”

        Biden’s ardent stance on drug crime extends itself well beyond U.S. drug policy. His long-armed foreign policies have wreaked havoc in Central and South America.

        Clinton Asks Supreme Court To Overturn MMJ Ruling

        The Clinton administration wants the Supreme Court to overturn an appellate ruling that would make medical marijuana available to seriously ill patients in Oakland, saying the ruling would flout the will of Congress and undermine federal drug laws.

  19. DdC says:

    It’s a Neocon war. End justifies means. Profit over people. The audience is made up of republicans and democrats donating to their favorite ad agency and media outlet the candidate paid for. The actors are Neoconformists. The Neoconstipated own the theater and the props. High time to spend our ticket money some place else. This is a re-run of a bad movie.

    Why Do Democrats Defend Nixon’s Drug War?

    When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly . . . [However, now] there’s a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there’s too much freedom. When personal freedom’s being abused, you have to move to limit it.
    — Bill Clinton,
    MTV’s “Enough is Enough,” March 22, 1994

    Let’s see. After 20 years of relentless federal Drug War activity, while the price of world-class marijuana has gone from $60 an ounce to $450, the price of quality cocaine has plummeted from $125 a gram to $30, and 30%-pure heroin has dropped from $700 a
    gram to about $100. Way to go, boys!
    — High Times, April 1995
    DEA Success Update:

    “I want a Goddamn strong statement on marijuana, I mean one that just tears the ass out of them. You know, it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish.”
    – Richard M. Nixon

    Proven :
    Cannabis is a safe medicine by Ian Williams Goddard
    BOSTON, Jan. 30, 1997 (UPI) –

    The U.S. federal government has failed to make public its own 1994 study that undercuts its position that marijuana is carcinogenic – a $2 million study by the National Toxicology Program. The program’s deputy director, John Bucher, says the study “found absolutely no evidence of cancer.” In fact, animals that received THC had fewer cancers. Bucher denies his agency had been pressured to shelve the report, saying the delay in making it public was due to a personnel shortage.

    The Boston Globe reported Thursday (1-30-97) that the study indicates not only that the main ingredient in marijuana, THC, does not cause cancer, but also that it may even protect against malignancies, laboratory tests on animals show.

    The report comes on the heels of an editorial in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that favors the controlled medical use of marijuana, and calls current federal policy “misguided, heavy-handed and inhumane.” The Clinton administration has said that doctors prescribing marijuana could be prosecuted for a federal crime.

    Marijuana has been reported to ease the pain, nausea and vomiting in advanced stages of cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses, but the federal government claims other treatments have been deemed safer than what it calls “a psychoactive, burning carcinogen.”

    However, The Boston Globe says the government’s claim appears to be undercut by its own $2 million study.

    I welcome the emphasis that is now being put on the drug problem. The efforts – to get to the people who are addicted, try to rehabilitate them; if they cannot be rehabilitated, at least to contain them; to educate people, to strongly discourage use of drugs by people who are casual users and first users, to stop this process among the young – all of these things are extremely important.

    But, I have to tell you that it seems to me that the conceptual basis of the current program is flawed and the program is not likely to work. The conceptual base – a criminal-justice approach – is the same that I have worked through before, in the Nixon administration when I was Budget Director and Secretary of the Treasury with jurisdiction over the Customs. We designed a comprehensive program, and we worked hard on it. In the Reagan administration we designed a comprehensive program; we worked very hard on it. Our international efforts were far greater than ever before. You’re looking at a guy whose motorcade was attacked in Bolivia by the drug terrorists, so I’m personally a veteran of this war. What we have before us now is essentially the same program but with more resources ploughed into all of the efforts to enforce and control.

    These efforts wind up creating a market where the price vastly exceeds the cost, With these incentives, demand creates its own supply and a criminal network along with it. It seems to me we’re not really going to get anywhere until we can take the criminality out of the drug business and the incentives for criminality out of it. Frankly, the only way I can think of to accomplish this is to make it possible for addicts to buy drugs at some regulated place at a price that approximates their cost. When you do that you wipe out the criminal incentive, including, I might say, the incentive that the the drug pushers have to go around and get kids addicted, so that they create a market for themselves. They won’t have that incentive because they won’t have that market.

    So I think the conceptual base needs to be thought out in a different way. We need at least to consider and examine forms of controlled legalisation of drugs. I find it very difficult to say that. Sometimes at a reception or cocktail party I advance these views and people head for somebody else. They don’t even want to talk to you. I know that I’m shouting into the breeze here as far as what we’re doing now. But I feel that if somebody doesn’t get up and start talking about this now, the next time around, when we have the next iteration of these programs, it will still be true that everyone is scared to talk about it. No politician wants to say what I have just said, not for a minute.
    — former Secretary of State George P. Shultz,
    Oct. 7, 1990, addressing an alumni gathering at the Stanford Business School where he had returned to the faculty.

    The United States can’t be so fixed on our desire
    to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans . . . .
    — Bill Clinton, March 1, 1993,
    during a press conference in Piscataway, N.J. (Boston Globe, 3/2/93, page 3; and USA Today, 3/11/93

  20. Frank W. says:

    Thanks for this news!

  21. DdC says:

    I agree with Frank, thanks for the news. Now lets prioritize getting him and other political prisoners home.

  22. Salon says:

    “In the coming weeks, some previously-anonymous doctor or drug dealer to Prince might begin making headlines. Remember that the same government prosecuting drug dealers in the name of dead addicts still refuses to give addicts treatment when they demand it. America continues to learn the wrong lessons from these morality plays.”

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