Advocates sue over delayed marijuana reclassification petition

Posted by Bryce Crawford on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 4:23 PM

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Today, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis — made up of Americans for Safe Access, Patients Out of Time, and individual medical marijuana patients — filed suit in Washington, D.C. District Court in an attempt to compel the Obama administration to address a nine-year-old petition to reclassify medical marijuana from a Schedule I substance.

A news release says that despite a 2006 formal recommendation for the action from the Department of Health and Human Services, no response was received from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which has the final say on the rescheduling process.

"The federal government's strategy has been delay, delay, delay," says Joe Elford, chief counsel of ASA and lead counsel on the writ, in the release. "It is far past time for the government to answer our rescheduling petition, but unfortunately we've been forced to go to court in order to get resolution."

Cannabis has made several inroads towards reclassification. Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have informally asked the federal government to consider a new Schedule-status; also, the National Cancer Institute recognized cannabis' medicinal benefits earlier in the year when it added the plant to its online database of Complementary Alternative Medicine.

The release says that an answer to the petition is key to any future legal action, as a formal rejection would allow the advocates to challenge in court the government's assertion that marijuana has no medicinal value. (For comparison on the potential timetable, a reclassification petition filed in 1972 was unanswered for 22 years before being formally denied.)

"The Obama administration's refusal to act on this petition is an irresponsible stalling tactic," says Jon Gettman, who filed the rescheduling petition on behalf of the CRC.

Comments (3)

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The Federal government has a reckless disregard for and an obvious hatred of the truth. They twist and bend and distort the poor little truth until it's own mother couldn't recognize it. If the truth were to knock on the front door of a Know Nothing prohibitionist I'd bet dollars to dirt that the Know Nothing would call the police and demand it be arrested for trespassing. There is no doubt that the truth is not a welcome visitor in their homes.

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Posted by Duncan20903 on 05/23/2011 at 4:43 PM

According to this week's report, by the UN as well as Paul Volker (treasure secretary under Bush) the War on Drugs has been a complete and total failure.

Just say "NO" to the War on Drugs.

The global war on drugs has failed with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world, argues a new report to be released Thursday.

Compiled by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes former heads of state, a former U.N. secretary-general and a business mogul, the report calls on governments to end the criminalization of marijuana and other controlled substances.

Read The Report

Findings Of The Global Commission On Drug Policy (PDF)
"Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won," the report said.

The 19-member commission includes former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former U.S. official George P. Schultz, who held cabinet posts under U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Others include former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, U.K. business mogul Richard Branson and the current prime minister of Greece.

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Posted by amcs on 06/11/2011 at 1:32 PM

In 2006, drug overdoses were the leading cause of death in West Virginia for adults under the age of 45.

These rates were the highest in the country.
In 2005, approximately 250,000 West Virginians were using some sort of prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.

In five years (1999-2004), deaths resulting from drug overdose in West Virginia rose 550 percent. This was the largest increase of any state in the country.

Approximately 20 percent of people have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. This figure represents 48 million Americans.

Research indicates that teenagers abuse prescription drugs more than they abuse heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, crack or ecstasy, partly because they see prescriptions as ‘safer’ than other drugs.

Between 1992 and 2003, prescription drug abuse in 12-17 year-olds rose a shocking 212 percent.

The 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
found that from 2006 to 2007, cocaine use among 18-25 year-olds decreased almost 22 percent to 1.7 percent, and methamphetamine use deceased by one third. However, abuse of prescription pain relievers by the same age group rose 12 percent.

In one year, 2006, West Virginians filled an average of 17.2 prescriptions.

http://rockefeller.senate.gov/press/record…

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Posted by amcs on 06/13/2011 at 1:00 PM
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