Drug Policy

DEA Still Erroneously Citing the AMA on Medical Marijuana

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On Tuesday I noted that the Drug Enforcement Administration, apparently in response to an emailing campaign organized by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), had removed from one of its webpages the claim that "the American Medical Association recommends that marijuana remain a Schedule I controlled substance." That statement is no longer correct, since the AMA last week approved a resolution saying marijuana's Schedule I status, which makes it unavailable for medical use under federal law, should be re-examined. But LEAP points out that another DEA webpage still says the AMA "has urged that marijuana remain a prohibited, Schedule I drug." Go here to bug the DEA about continuing to misinform the public on this subject.

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  1. Write “Mary Jane =/= Schedule I -Signed, AMA” on the end of a battering ram and start busting in DEA doors with it until they change their website.

  2. How long did it take the former Soviet Union to remove all the old hammer-and-sickle imagery from official signage?

  3. Words fail me trying to describe how evil that organization is.

  4. These are the same people who claim heroin has no medical use. This, despite the fact that heroin (and codeine, too) is a pro-drug, or a drug that only works by being broken down into another drug. That drug heroin (and codeine) breaks down into is morphine. Heroin’s chemistry simply allows it to pass through the BBB much more effectively than morphine in its normal state.

    If heroin has no medicinal use, neither should morphine or codeine. Because they all metabolize into the exact same drug. That such patent bullshit is allowed to stand is sickening.

    I hate the bitterness and anger this kind of thing brings up in me. It’s all I can do not to wish these DEA goons’ family members come down with brutal, painful cancers that require the use of large doses of powerful narcotics, so they can witness firsthand the effects of their policies.

  5. heroin (and codeine, too) is a pro-drug

    No, it isn’t. Radiotracer experiments comparing heroin and morphine have shown differences, and have shown activity for monoacetylmorphine. Also, I vaguely remember there being some differences in their ability to release histamine (allergic reaction), with morphine being worse.

  6. Just one of many of the DEA’s erroneous bullet points:

    “Users can become dependent on marijuana to the point they must seek treatment to stop abusing it. In 1999, more than 200,000 Americans entered substance abuse treatment primarily for marijuana abuse and dependence.”
    ——-

    I wonder how many of those 200,000 weren’t seeking to please a judge or their employer.

    1. One more:

      “Consider also that drug use, including marijuana, contributes to crime. A large percentage of those arrested for crimes test positive for marijuana. Nationwide, 40 percent of adult males tested positive for marijuana at the time of their arrest.”

      —–

      I’ve been arrested a few times for alcohol related things, DUI included, and not even once, was I drug tested.

      It is nice to see the DEA put it in writing that the majority of criminals don’t smoke marijuana.

      1. 40 percent of adult males test positive to THC at time of arrest?

        Wonder what percent of them were being arrested for simple possession of cannabis?

        Dr Jane

    2. From my experience, all.

  7. Baked Penguin and Daksya you are both kind of correct…

    Heroin is just morphine with two acetyl groups added (diacetyl-morphine). This makes it cross the blood brain barrier much more effectively, and also greatly reduces the histamine response associated with morphine.

    Heroin is about 3 times as potent by weight as morphine (the effect of 10mg heroin = ~30mg morphine).

    Heroin is broken down (largely by your liver) into monacetylmorphine, which then breaks down into morphine. Within about 20 hours all heroin has turned into morphine, but by then all subjective effects of the dose have worn off. (Heroin has a half life in the body of ~8 hours).

    Heroin most definitely has medicinal uses, and is still prescribed in some countries, including the UK. In medical use nowadays it is not called Heroin (Bayer’s old trade name) but Diacetylmorphine.

    Heroin was widely used in medicine here in Australia until the mid 50s when our government caved into US pressure and outlawed it. Practitioners in pain management and obstetrics complained loudly at the time, because heroin is so much safer than morphine and is tolerated by many more patients. (Morphine kills a certain percentage of people through allergic reaction- this is why Bayer promoted Heroin in the first place- it is a stronger safer medicine than morphine).

    To the subject of this post- the scientific literature demonstrating the medicinal potential of cannabinoids is now overwhelming. Just don’t expect the DEA, NIDA, or DFAF to admit it quite yet…

    Dr Jane.

  8. I remember interviewing a state politico a couple years ago when my state was contemplating a medical MJ bil; the guy insisted that marijuana has no medicinal value, and furthermore there’s no need to smoke it because you could get a prescription for Marinol in pill form. So I asked him, if marijuana has no medicinal value, from whence does Marinol’s medical value come? He mumbled a bit but never really answered.

    1. Further differences:

      1. Marinol is pure THC, which has effects distinctive from this range of cannabinoids found in marijuana.

      2. Ingesting THC is a different and often more “drugged” experience than inhaling vaporized cannabinoids. Ingested THC metabolizes into a different compound than smoked THC.

      3. Ingested THC takes a long time to work, compared to inhaled cannabinoids which work almost instantly.

  9. Dr. Jane, thank you for your informative reply, and corrections to my post.

    Heroin was widely used in medicine here in Australia until the mid 50s when our government caved into US pressure and outlawed it. Practitioners in pain management and obstetrics complained loudly at the time, because heroin is so much safer than morphine and is tolerated by many more patients. (Morphine kills a certain percentage of people through allergic reaction)…

    This kind of gives the game away against the drug warriors. They really don’t care about human lives whatsoever; they care about enforcing their morality on others.

    This becomes obvious with their policies on marijuana, and their total refusal to accept that cannabinoids have medicinal potential. Given the accumulating weight of scientific evidence, it’s almost a 21st century re-creation of Pope Urban VIII vs. Galileo Galilei.

    1. They care about enforcing morality, but will make an exception if corporate bedmates are involved.

      The example that comes to mind is methamphetamines. If they were as serious about abuse as they are about protecting profits, there would be no pseudoephedrine sold across counters, period.

      It is funny to hear people talk about changing the status quo when it comes to immigration without first noting a serious need for drug reform that would be necessary to make the transition peaceful.

      I guess enforcing morality is worth any price to some, no matter how dear and bloody.

  10. So I asked him, if marijuana has no medicinal value, from whence does Marinol’s medical value come? He mumbled a bit but never really answered.

    He’s a politician. He assumed a reporter was there to take dictation, sans critical thinking/ logic.

  11. Does anybody have a serious argument that we a serious country? Does it bother anyone else to distraction that stupidity is the prevailing attribute of nearly all societies on earth?

  12. Heroin is much better for ennui than morphine.

  13. Wow, amazing. Seems the DEA goes right up there with the TSA and the FDA as the countries most useless agencies!

    RT
    http://www.ultimate-privacy.br.tc

  14. My name is Fernando and according to my doctors I was dying from a disease called Cadasil which destroys the small veins in the brain and either kills you or you just become some new IDIOT in the mix (I would go insane)now my Doctor prescribed Medical Marijuana to me but of course since it is still illegal here in New York I had to find my own way. Since than I have yet to have a brain attack and have actually started growing parts of the brain back. It is now 3 years and I can speak and walk when just a few years ago I could not walk. LEGALIZE IT OR I SHALL BE VISITING THE JAIL VERY SOON AND POSSIBLY DIE FROM A BRAIN ATTACK.

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