Prof. Questions Gov't Monopoly on Marijuana

Prof. Questions Gov't Monopoly on Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on December 12, 2005 at 15:53:51 PT
By Andrew Miga, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Washington, D.C. -- Put this in your pipe and smoke it: A University of Massachusetts professor says the medical marijuana grown by the federal government isn't very good. He wants a permit to cultivate his own pot, saying it will be better for research.Lyle Craker, a horticulturist who heads the school's medicinal plant program, is challenging the government's 36-year-old monopoly on research marijuana. Craker's suit claims government-grown marijuana lacks the potency medical researchers need to make important breakthroughs.
"The government's marijuana just isn't strong enough," said Richard Doblin, a Craker supporter who heads the Massachusetts-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.A hearing before a federal administrative judge at the Drug Enforcement Administration got under way Monday and is expected to last all week.Craker's suit also alleges there isn't enough of the drug freely available for scientists across the country to work with.The DEA contends that permitting other marijuana growers would lead to greater illegal use of the drug. They have also said that international treaties limit the United States to one marijuana production facility.A lab at the University of Mississippi is the government's only marijuana growing facility.DEA attorneys defended the government's marijuana, contending its Mississippi growing center provides adequate quality and quantity for legitimate researchers across the country."Whatever material is needed could be provided under (the) process that is already in place," said Mahmoud ElSohly, a research professor who runs the cultivation program at the school for government agencies, including a 1,200-square-foot "growing room."The government's official stockpile at the facility is about a metric ton, he estimated."We have quite a bit of inventory," ElSohly said.Most of it is stored in bulk in barrels lined with federally approved plastic bags.The most powerful marijuana is stored in a walk-in freezer, part of the facility's storage vault, to maintain its potency.The National Institute on Drug Abuse oversees the Mississippi facility.Craker, who has been fighting the government for four years, did not attend the hearing. Doblin, whose group hopes to fund Craker's marijuana growing, said they have confidence in their case, which has the support of nearly 40 members of Congress, including Massachusetts Sens. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy."How do you defend the government's case against the public interest that there needs to be more research?" said Doblin, whose group aims to expand medical research on psychedelic drugs, including so-called "Ecstasy" or MDMA. Doblin said he believes there is great promise in the use of "vaporized" marijuana as a health aid.There was a moment of levity in the DEA hearing room when ElSohly was explaining how the marijuana is sometimes rolled into cigarette form, asking the judge if she understood what he meant."I have no idea," replied DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner with a smile.Both sides expect that a decision in the case is months away. Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Andrew Miga, Associated PressPublished: December 12, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:MAPS Federal Marijuana Monopoly Challenged To Argue Against Growing of Cannabis Marijuana Research Should Be Legalized
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Comment #8 posted by whig on December 14, 2005 at 05:27:59 PT
Shee-it! Christmas TreeO Christmas TreeHow Lovely Are Your Branches!
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on December 13, 2005 at 10:33:48 PT:
Just kidding!!!!
But thanks for a very good explination concerning the federal hoops one must jump through.
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Comment #6 posted by siege on December 13, 2005 at 07:41:05 PT
good stuff
They keep the "good stuff" in the freezer for Bush and company and give the NIDA's schwag to the patients.
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Comment #5 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on December 13, 2005 at 04:24:44 PT
Re: comment #4
During the press conference which was broadcast on C-Span a few months ago when this process started, Dr. Craker could not simply purchase cannabis on the black market. He's trying to get the FDA to take a serious look at the medical qualities of cannabis, which they will only do if he meets their strict guidelines. One of those guidelines is getting cannabis from an officially federally-approved source. The only way the black market is a "federally approved source" is, obviously, because the laws have given criminals a monopoly on the business, but that's not what the FDA means.The government has a metric ton of cannabis? They keep the "good stuff" in the freezer? Given what we can see of NIDA's schwag, I wonder what qualifies as "good stuff"... or is the stuff pictured on Marihemp actually the good stuff? And how much was Dr. Craker looking to produce? Surely, whatever he grows will be significantly less than a metric ton - if growing it securely for medical purposes increases black market availability, as the gov't claims, then Dr. Craker's garden is much less a threat to "the children" than Dr. El Sohly's. No, rest assured the real threat is that FDA-approved research done with decent quality cannabis is very dangerous to Big Pharm and the prohibition industry in general. 
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on December 13, 2005 at 00:49:46 PT:
Suppies O' plenty.
Dr. Craker should just go onto campass and get what he wants at one of the dorms. I'll bet the students would give him real good deals even. The arrogance of the Neo- American Gestapo is sickening.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 12, 2005 at 22:58:06 PT
News Article from CTK Czech News
Hemp-Based Medicines May Be Legalised in Czech Republic***PRAGUE, Dec 12 (CTK) - Czech patients may soon start using hemp (cannabis)-based medicines as the government plans to include them among legal medical products in an amendment to the law on addictive substances, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) reports today. So far, the substances from cannabis, mainly its major active substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can be applied in research only on the basis of a permit issued by the Health Ministry. Theoretically, they can be used in a special medical treatment in selected cases, but the ministry says that no one has been treated with hemp extracts yet. In a number of countries, cannabis-based medicines are commonly applied for instance to attenuate stomach troubles of patients after chemotherapy, or in the treatment of epilepsy, asthma and indigestion. "With regard to the worldwide rising interest in a possible medical use of hemp, we consider it beneficial to list cannabis among the narcotics that can be used for therapeutical purposes," Vaclav Sebor from the Health Ministry's press section told the paper. If the government-proposed bill is passed, cannabis-based medicines could be prescribed by doctors and their distribution and use would be registered to prevent any abuse. Experts dealing with the prevention and treatment of drug addicts have welcomed the intention to use cannabis products. "It is a positive step as cannabis healing effects have been known for some 1,000 years," Ivan Douda from Drop In centre for drug addicts told the daily. Vera Cerna from the State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) said that no products containing cannabis extracts have been registered for the Czech market as yet, and no producer has applied for such a registration either. Nevertheless, Sebor noted that a foreign product of this kind is being clinically tested in the Czech Republic, but he refused to add any details. He stressed that the approach to marijuana would not change. Its cultivation and smoking will remain unlawful. The proposed legislation will only enable to use cannabis substances for therapeutic purposes in the form of a medical product and for selected diagnoses, Sebor pointed out. The production, storage and prescription of cannabis-based medicines will be subject to a strict regime. They would be released on a special prescription with a blue strip and would not be smoked, but administered in a different way, Sebor said. Both the Health Ministry representatives and drug prevention experts agree that the strict rules will prevent drug addicts from abusing such products. Under the Czech law, only the possession of a very small amount of cannabis for personal use is legal in the Czech Republic. It equals to 0.3 gram of THC in a dried hemp plant that suffice for some 20 marijuana cigarettes, LN says. Copyright: 2005 CTK Czech News Agency
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on December 12, 2005 at 18:07:59 PT
What's So Funny?
There was a moment of levity in the DEA hearing room when ElSohly was explaining how the marijuana is sometimes rolled into cigarette form, asking the judge if she understood what he meant."I have no idea," replied DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner with a smile.What's so funny? Either the judge smokes weed or is a juvenile-minded twit.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 12, 2005 at 15:58:59 PT
Pictures of Government Grown Marijuana
U.S. Government Medical Marijuana Crop. University of Mississippi. Oxford
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