More on the Marijuana Monopoly


Two years after University of Massachusetts plant scientist Lyle Craker asked the Drug Enforcement Administration for permission to grow pot, the DEA has acknowledged the application in the Federal Register. Craker, who is working with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, wants to establish a private source of marijuana for research and possible drug development to compete with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, currently the only legal source in the U.S. The listing in the Federal Register may indicate that Craker, after two years of DEA foot dragging, will at least get a hearing before an administrative law judge.

NEXT: Two Snaps Up and a Rewind

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I dont really understand the fascination with medical marijuana that drug law reformers have. Legalization of medical marijuana is not the ultimate goal, and undermines credibility for the movement.

  2. Full decriminalization of marijuana is obviously the ultimate goal and I don’t see many drug reformers denying it. However, considering the long term propaganda campaign stigmatizing the effects of marijuana as being bad, reformers have to take baby steps demonstrating the potential benefits. I, personally, have seen enough benefits of marijuana as medicine and therefore am convinced. In addition, my past use is evidence (for me at least) that there is nothing to fear with moderate recreational use except for law enforcement.

  3. Phill, I think the idea is to force the government to acknowledge that marijuana is not the gateway to self destruction and that it does offer some benefits. To get the government, and the public, to change from a reflexive “Just Say No” to a reasoned “Is It Right For Me?” attitude seems like a step in the right direction.

  4. This whole medical marijuana movement is strikingly similiar to methadone matienance. In both circumstances we are talking doctors dealing with an economic problem of a black market, which has absolutely nothing to do with healing and everything to do with doctors as agents of the state. The regulation of methadone, LAAM and opiates in general should give us aforetaste of the reformers ultimate ends.

  5. I tend to view medicinal marijuana as a related, but separate issue, from the wholesale legalization of drugs. I support both, but I consider them separate issues.

    Medicinal marijuana is a compassion issue and a rights issue. I lump it in with other cases where sick people are prevented by the government from getting medicine that they believe will improve their quality of life. It’s in the same category as the FDA’s mindbogglingly slow approval process and the DEA’s crackdown on doctors who prescribe a lot of opioid painkillers. It violates the basic rights of human beings to pursue happiness to tell people that their lives have to be miserable because of some public policy goal. It’s simply cruel, and no nation that calls itself civilized should have laws that are that cruel.

    Marijuana (and other drug) legalization is a liberty issue. Consenting adults should have the right to put whatever they want into their bodies, and unless they pose a danger to someone else, it’s no one else’s business.

    I think that medicinal marijuana should be legalized no matter what people think about the liberty issues involved in wholesale legalization. It’s not a means to an end. It’s an end in and of itself, albeit one that we could also reach by pursuing legalization, which is also a worthy goal. But since I think that’s unlikely to happen, I’ll pursue compassionate use, because I don’t think cancer patients should have to wait around for the government to legalize dope for everyone before they can get relief.

  6. Medical Marijuana is a matter of priorities — the sick and dying get taken off the drug war battle field before the yuppie professional smoker/ college student, etc. We’ve also seen this with concentrating on minorities and the poor from the drug reform community — they are more vulnerable and should be taken off as well — the final battle field will be the ‘respectable user’ so called…


  7. Great point M, and it appears that the Ashcroft DOJ and Walters has aimed the big guns directly at the sick and dying, in effect, preventing them from departing the battle field.

    In related matters, interesting how Republicans in the house voted down HB2799 where most democrats supported it. Arguably, rebublicans once again have limited states rights concerning medical MJ. Arguably in the sense that the federal gov’t feels it has a stake in protecting Americans from the evils of drug use.

  8. How exactly does being on the right side of a slam dunk issue with massive public support (about 70% in favor, I believe) undermine our credibility?

    Making the prohibitionists arrest frail grandmothers in wheelchairs undermines their credibility, not ours.

  9. Joe, John Walters thinks we the people have no idea of the dangers that marijuana presents to the user. Therefore, the credibility lies within ourselves, in essence, do we trust what we are doing and have we no shame?!?

  10. To reiterate M, it’s easy as hell for my to get all the pot I want as the able-bodied scofflaw that I am. It’s not easy for my brother who has cerebral palsy and is quadrapalegic.

    But I share sentiment with Phil – especially considering so many MMJ supporters are also into all that chi and chakra new age crapalapadingdong.

  11. doesn’t the gov’t also grow poppies for their morphine supply? and why legalize (or decriminalize, whichever you prefer) just pot? why not all the other illegal drugs out there? the stats say it all, it’s a growth market! marijuana: the gateway drug to much harder stuff 😀

  12. My whole point is that we dont need doctors in charge to make lifestyle choices for us, I dont believe you are sick if you use illegal drugs, and you shouldnt have to be sick in order to have access to them. If reformers were really concerned about changing the law they would simply argue against coerced and government financed drug treatment, which is a non-treatment for a non-illness if there was one. I see coerced drug treatment as assault and battery. Eliminate drug treatment and enforce the laws on the books and prohibition would collapse on its own. I am shocked that so few economists have criticized methadone and coerced drug treatment.

  13. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/20/2004 10:22:31
    You know what’s interesting about Washington? It’s the kind of place where second-guessing has become second nature.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.