A Crack in the Government's Marijuana Monopoly

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and the American Civil Liberties Union, which are trying to break the government's monopoly on marijuana used in medical research, have more on yesterday's favorable decision by a DEA administrative law judge. Judge Mary Ellen Bittner recommended approval of a MAPS-sponsored application from University of Massachusetts at Amherst plant scientist Lyle Craker to privately produce marijuana for research. She based her decision on her findings "that granting Respondent's application would not be inconsistent with the Single Convention [on Narcotics], that there would be minimal risk of diversion of marijuana resulting from Respondent's registration, that there is currently an inadequate supply of marijuana available for research purposes, that competition in the provision of marijuana for such purposes is inadequate, and that Respondent has complied with applicable laws and has never been convicted of any violation of any law pertaining to controlled substances." If DEA Administrator Karen Tandy follows Bittner's recommendation (a big if), Craker can begin growing cannabis—the only Schedule I substance that can be legally produced for research only by the government—as part of MAPS' effort to get FDA approval for marijuana as a medicine.

Here are my 2003 article on Craker's petition, background documents from the case, and Bittner's decision.

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  • ||

    I don't understand why a crack in the government marijuana monopoly gets punished more than a cocaine in the monopoly. OK, fine, but at least I started the comments.

  • ||

    "that granting Respondent's application would not be inconsistent with the Single Convention [on Narcotics], that there would be minimal risk of diversion of marijuana resulting from Respondent's registration, that there is currently an inadequate supply of marijuana available for research purposes, that competition in the provision of marijuana for such purposes is inadequate, and that Respondent has complied with applicable laws and has never been convicted of any violation of any law pertaining to controlled substances."


    All of those provisions that I understand apply to me, too.
    There is minimal risk of diversion of marijuana if they let me grow it - I won't sell it. I'll keep it all for me, if that's what they want.
    I definitely have an inadequate supply for my, uh, "research."
    The competition to provide me with a supply is woefully inadequate. I'm 33 years old. I don't know that many dealers anymore.
    I am complying with the applicable laws (I'm not holding), and I have never been convicted of any violation of any law pertaining to controlled substances.

    I assume the other provisions don't really matter since I don't understand them. Should I call the local ACLU to help me out?

  • ||

    Threadjack:

    Hey Joe, Iran's still trying to "stabilize" things. Why can't Bush just see that?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=JPKY4R41A1KIBQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/02/13/wiran13.xml

  • ||

    Dave, WTF?
    No joe here.
    Are you going to each comment thread and posting this inanity?

  • ||

    Uh, no, Dave. The Iranians haven't been trying to stablize Iraq since 2003. I think you may be laboring under a misapprehension.

    Now let's look at that linky.

  • ||

    My God, the Austrians are arming insurgents!

  • ||

    Dave:

    Is "threadjack" your way of telling us that your package stuff is smallish and that you enjoy auto-erotic activity? Very German of you to put all that into one word.

  • ||

    Damned Austrians. Still carrying a grudge from the Big One, I see.

  • Adam||

    Surely the Dem congress, led by Barack Jesus Hussein "All that is Just and Right with the World" Obama and the lovely and talented Speaker Pelosi (a medical marijuana friend from way back), will set this injustice straight even if Karen Tandy doesn't.

    Or not.

  • ||

    Even when I thought it was the Bears, I knew it was the Austrians.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Tandy is a ballbag and certainly won't follow this recommendation.

    She'll say something about the end of the world and tighten the government's growth policy.

  • ||

    Silly people. Joints are for Feds.

    We couldn't possibly let anyone independently research the stuff. If we did, they might find it has some use and make the 30+ year prohibition against it look like the criminally cruel, illogical, and stupid crusade its been.

    And besides, if it ever became legal, you'd deprive the DEA the fun and pleasure of storming cancer patient's homes with SWAT teams, and then what would they do?

    Will no one think of the SWAT teams?

  • ||

    highnumber: SSSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!! You're giving away the strategy!!!!

  • Single Issue Voter||

    30+ year prohibition?
    is that for research MJ ?

    Feds outlawed the weed 70 years ago this year-
    some regard it as FDRs greatest accomplishment.

  • Tbone||

    Crikey, I didn't know DEA has their own judges. An unnecessary position in an unnecessary agency.

  • Robert||

    Agencies have their own administrative law judges. See the Administrative Procedures Act and similar state laws.

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