'I Can't Understand Why It Isn't Rescheduled'


Medical marijuana activists are trying a new approach to getting the drug reclassified so it can be legally prescribed: a petition that charges the Department of Health and Human Services with violating the Data Quality Act by disseminating erroneous information about cannabis. Among other things, Americans for Safe Access notes HHS is wrong when it asserts that "there have been no studies that have scientifically assessed the efficacy of marijuana for any medical condition." Indeed, David Murray of the Office of National Drug Control Policy tells The Washington Post "it is 'beyond dispute' that marijuana's efficacy has been assessed and potential benefits identified."

But that doesn't mean marijuana has an "accepted medical use"–one of the criteria for putting drugs on Schedule II and thereby making them available by prescription. This requirement is a bit of a Catch 22, since it's hard for a drug to be accepted as a medicine when it's entirely illegal. But even if marijuana nevertheless gained wide acceptance among doctors–which it arguably has, depending upon how you define "wide" and "acceptance"–that wouldn't matter, Murray says, because it's not for doctors to determine what is medically useful; that's the government's job.


NEXT: Metallica, or Spinal Tap?

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 Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It’s so hypocritically interesting to note that THC, when it’s called Marinol and sold by a pharmaceutical company, is a Schedule III drug (even less restrictive than a Schdule II).

  2. …that wouldn’t matter, Murray says, because it’s not for doctors to determine what is medically useful; that’s the government’s job.

    [No fucking comment!]

  3. Regarding Murray’s comment, isn’t it demonstrably false?

    MDMA scheduling history involves a case where the courts decided against the then DEA administrator who said that “accepted medical use” meant FDA approval.

  4. The “drug laws” in this country need a reality check. I hope that comes about sooner rather than later. What worries me is that government agencies and the drug companies will coincide and cooperate in an effort to state that only an “approved (patented?) version of the natural is acceptable, and thus foster another rip-off.

  5. Lawsuits are a good idea.

    In a similar vein, sometimes you hear of appalling cases where some desperately ill cancer patient or muscular dystrophy sufferer or et cetera is arrested and imprisoned for using non-approved drugs to treat his condition. Can’t the cops and DEA members be arrested for practicing medicine without a license?

    (Some other poster first suggested that awhile ago. I’d give credit but I forgot who it was.)

  6. Can’t the cops and DEA members be arrested for practicing medicine without a license?

    Well, no, because the act of arresting someone isn’t considered to be “practicing medicine” anywhere on the Earth. Any definition of “practicing medicine” broad enough to cover that would cover pretty much all human activity. You ate breakfast this morning? That’s health maintenance — sounds like “practicing medicine” to me! That’ll be 10 years and $250,000 for you, missy.

  7. Dan-
    The arrests are based upon the notion that “what you are consuming is NOT medicine, even though you think it is.” I am also wondering about the cops who arrest doctors who, say, prescribe ‘too many’ painkillers. Who but a doctor can say how many is too many?

  8. MJ prohibiton has nothing to do with its efficacy as a drug or anything like that. It was forced through in the thirties by racist southern Congresmen who wanted to use it to control their black populations whom they percieved as the main users. Drug prohibiton, of all kinds, isn’t about health issues it’s about control.

  9. The October print issue of Reason features a great ad (page 23) from Common Sense Drug Policy comparing the 25 year prison sentence of a paraplegic convicted of using “questionable prescriptions” to get painkillers for debilitating back pain with Rush Limbaugh’s treatment for narcotics abuse. The tagline is “Neither Should Be Put In Prison.”

    It’s also on their website: http://www.csdp.org/ads/just4all.htm

  10. Celebrex Lawsuit 2004 December 27 02:21:36
    Celebrex side effects 2004 December 27 02:21:36
    Celebrex death 2004 December 27 02:21:36
    Celebrex danger 2004 December 27 02:21:36
    Celebrex class-action lawsuit and 2004 December 27 02:21:36 of course
    Celebrex attorney and 2004 December 27 02:21:36 of course
    Celebrex lawyer 2004 December 27 02:21:36
    Celebrex stroke and 2004 December 27 02:21:36
    Celebrex recall 2004 December 27 02:21:36
    Celebrex heart attack

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.