DEA Silent On Cannabis Rescheduling, Prompting National Outrage
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 07/26/2016 in Medical Marijuana News
The beginning of 2016 got off to an exciting start for the medical marijuana community, as word leaked out that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had circulated a letter to a number of representatives in Congress, addressing their inquiry regarding the re-scheduling of cannabis, as per the Controlled Substances Act — the letter indicated that, the DEA would officially announce their decision, by the end of the first half of 2016, but since then the DEA has been silent on the issue of cannabis rescheduling, and now, it’s prompting national outrage.
Since word got out, medical marijuana patients, doctors, caregivers, dispensaries, and providers alike, have waited patiently for summer to finally arrive, bringing with it a change that would legalize the medical use of marijuana by qualified patients. But as we get ready to enter the month of August, there has still been no word from the DEA — leaving many to now demand Congressional action.
But, why would the DEA have indicated that they would make this long overdue and long awaited, announcement — after all their deadline was self-imposed!
Cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, based on the understanding that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical treatment use, in the U.S.” With all the medical basis that already exists as a result of research programs in other countries with legalized medical marijuana, like Israel, and the research that is starting to trickle in as a result of the 25 U.S. states that have chosen to override federal law, permitting the use of marijuana by qualified patients; there is already factual and scientific proof, that cannabis unequivocally, most definitely, does provide medical benefit.
So what is the federal government waiting for?
The cannabis community has long been pushing for the de-scheduling of marijuana to allow for it use in a medical capacity, and also very importantly, to allow the medical community the legal opportunity to really start researching and medically studying marijuana, that will ultimately provide relief to millions of American’s, nationwide.
So why is the DEA dragging its feet, and withholding holding the federal powers needed to undo this great injustice? Because the DEA currently hold a monopoly on ALL cannabis research in the U.S.
Since the late 70’s, only the University of Mississippi has had the permission to cultivate cannabis for medical research. However, anytime the DEA is asked about expanding the permissions for cannabis research, “The Single Convention Treaty” is cited — however, the Single Convention itself, specifies that the DEA should “hold” a monopoly on these dangerous and deadly drugs.
In a letter written to Congresspersons, on April 04, 2016, the DEA stated that,
“Under the Single Convention… the United States Government must, among other things, maintain a monopoly on the distribution of cannabis material for medical research… any additional growers would likewise have to be acting under the direct control of the United States Government.”
INSYS Therapeutics, a beneficiary of this current system, urged the DEA to maintain their Monopoly on cultivation, writing in a letter that , “The DEA has never approved a manufacturer in the United States to grow and cultivate narcotic raw materials. All narcotic raw materials for manufacturing of important pain medicines must be imported from countries with experience and technology in cultivating the plant material.”
Despite the fact that, the U.S. does indeed have the capability, and technology to harvest the raw materials, of any drug, including cannabis — which they already do at University of Mississippi.
What is next for medical marijuana?
It is safe to assume that the Congresspersons are going to give the DEA more time to respond, however, if the DEA fails to respond, Congress will be left no choice but to make a move. With polls showing that the large majority of Americans are in favor of cannabis legalization, rejecting the excuses that held prohibition together, the federal powers are obligated to listen to the will of their people, which is why it is important for all cannabis users — medical and recreational, alike — to call their Congressperson, and strongly urge them to take the first step, by legalizing medical marijuana, on a national and federal scale.