Medical Marijuana

Anti-Pot Activist Concedes That Rescheduling Marijuana Would Facilitate Medical Research

"Schedule II is absolutely easier to research," says Kevin Sabet.

|

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control

At last week's Senate hearing on cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive component of marijuana that shows promise as a treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy, John Ingram, a child neurologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, testified that marijuana's status as a Schedule I drug, the most restrictive category of the Controlled Substances Act, is a significant barrier to CBD research. As a physician who is developing a study of CBD as a treatment for epilepsy, Ingram ought to know. But anti-pot activist Kevin Sabet, who opposes moving marijuana to a lower schedule, testified that such a change "is not going to make the difference for research." As Johnny Green notes on The Weed Blog, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) challenged Sabet on that point, and Sabet retreated (emphasis added):

Booker: What is the difference between Schedule I and Schedule II in your mind?

Sabet: Well, it's actually a very technical difference and a very minor difference, and it's not going to make the difference for research, and I'll tell you why. Because, first of all, Schedule II products—

Booker: I'm going to interrupt you. A lot to do, little time. Dr. Ingram just said it makes a big difference. His ability to access Schedule II drugs— Dr. Ingram, is that true? [There's a] difference between being able to access Schedule II drugs for research vs. Schedule I?

Ingram: Well, we already have Schedule II. We have it as part of our practice.

Booker: So with that, I've heard testimony from a doctor, a researcher, that says Schedule II is easier to access.

Sabet: Schedule II is absolutely easier to research, but the issue is [that] it doesn't solve the problem that you want of getting the drugs to folks now, and it does not allow you to prescribe it….

Booker: Clearly, Schedule II is easier to access. Clearly, you can do research on it….

Sabet: It's a small difference.

Booker: Why are you resisting that difference then?

Sabet: Because we should spend our time doing things that will help families now and help researchers now, which are the things that I mentioned [ending the government's marijuana monopoly, reducing or eliminating the DEA's registration requirements for researchers who handle CBD, and establishing research programs through which patients can obtain CBD before it is approved by the FDA]. It's a red herring by the legalization movement, who wrote the CARERS Act [Booker's bill, which among other things would reschedule marijuana to facilitate research].

Booker: Sir, excuse me. Clearly, it's optics that you're concerned with. Clearly, this makes a difference….The downside of this is not that families will be hurt. You're just saying that they won't be helped enough.

More on the practical implications of rescheduling marijuana here.

[Thanks to Marc Sandhaus for the tip.]

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.

23 responses to “Anti-Pot Activist Concedes That Rescheduling Marijuana Would Facilitate Medical Research

  1. *Refer Madness

    Simply refer a friend to subscribe to Reason magazine and earn 25% your next reefer order at the Reason Dispensary or the Matt Welch Compassion Center.

    Your choice. Refer for reefer.

    Sorry, I haven’t had coffee.

  2. *Refer Madness

    Simply refer a friend to subscribe to Reason magazine and earn 25% your next reefer order at the Reason Dispensary or the Matt Welch Compassion Center.

    Your choice. Refer for reefer.

    Sorry, I haven’t had coffee.

  3. Is it safe?

    1. You’re a cigarette

  4. The way I’m reading it, it doesn’t seem like Sabet is an anti-pot activist.

    FTA:Sabet: Because we should spend our time doing things that will help families now and help researchers now, which are the things that I mentioned [ending the government’s marijuana monopoly, reducing or eliminating the DEA’s registration requirements for researchers who handle CBD, and establishing research programs through which patients can obtain CBD before it is approved by the FDA].

  5. Alt alt-text: “Don’t bogart that joint!”

  6. Sen. Cory Booker: “I’m still tripping!”

    Evidently not on MJ.

  7. We need a Schedule 0, since Schedule I doesn’t go far enough.

    Anything on Schedule 0 is so dangerous, we need to ban its discussion or debate. Anyone asking to research it is clearly a danger to society.

    1. Stop giving them ideas!

    2. Wouldn’t that mean they’d have to gag the legislators who enacted it, as soon as it was in effect?

  8. Move over ass sex and Mexicans, Pot is #1 !

    1. I’ve heard ass sex is a gateway drug.

      1. yes, to skullfucking

        1. Is there a 12 step program for that?

  9. Since we’ve apparently moved on to the second leg of the Reason stool of liberty (hang in there, Mexicans), how about a blast from the past? Ladies and gentlemen, your first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics:

    “Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy”[17][18]

    “Two Negros took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the influence of hemp. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis.”[18][19]

    There’s more:

    “An entire family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home, they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an axe he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze? He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crimes. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said that he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called ‘muggles,’ a childish name for marijuana.”[15]

    This is your government on drugs.

  10. Sabet was laughing, Booker was pissed. Whatever other bullshit Booker is doing in the Senate that I don’t know about, he seems to have been a surprise on this and sentencing reform I believe.

  11. I love it when someone says a difference is so small as to not matter, why are you wasting so much time and effort trying to change it?

    The answer is always to turn it around: if the difference is so small and inconsequential, why do you resist it so strenuously?

  12. I think just the idea that the government is trying to control a plant tells you everything you need to know about the stupidity of government.

  13. Kevin Sabet is a prohibitionist Stooge.

  14. Now, if you start legalizing drugs, what are all those unemployed drug warriors going to do? Why are you advocating for making obviously mentally challenged people poor? Why do you hate the handicapped? The drug war is a jobs program for people predisposed to telling other people what to do. And shooting them if they don’t comply. You can’t have those warriors running the streets without a mission, why, it’d be …ummmm… anarchy! That’s why we have all these regulations and schedules and such – to save us from anarchy!

  15. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  16. Kevin Sabet – why do you hate the natural right to control one’s own body?

    Well, why do you?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.