Congress Ask DEA to Stop Obstructing MMJ Research

Congress Ask DEA to Stop Obstructing MMJ Research
Posted by CN Staff on September 18, 2007 at 14:36:24 PT
For Immediate Release
Source: ACLU 
Washington, D.C. -- A letter signed by 45 members of the U.S. House of Representatives will be delivered today to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) demanding an end to the obstruction of scientific research aimed at developing marijuana as a legal prescription medicine.The bipartisan letter, co-sponsored by Reps. John Olver (D-MA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), urges DEA Administrator Karen Tandy to follow the February 2007 ruling of Department of Justice-appointed administrative law judge Mary Ellen Bittner, which found that it would be “in the public interest” for the DEA to grant a license to University of Massachusetts professor Lyle Craker to cultivate research-grade marijuana to be used in Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved studies. Judge Bittner’s ruling is non-binding and DEA has no deadline to decide whether to accept or reject it.
"For the DEA, delay is victory. For patients, delay may be the difference between life and death," said Allen Hopper, Litigation Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Drug Law Reform Project, which has represented Craker since 2005. "It is encouraging to see growing political will to overcome DEA's inappropriate elevation of drug war politics over science and the public good."Earlier this summer, DEA's handling of Craker's application was the subject of intense congressional scrutiny. During a hearing before the U.S House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) asked DEA Deputy Administrator Joseph T. Rannazzisi a series of questions about the case, expressed disapproval at DEA's delay, and insisted that the agency commit to make a decision before the end of President Bush's term.“The DEA is ignoring the vast scientific evidence that clearly shows medicinal use of marijuana benefits patients who are extremely ill,” said Congressman Nadler today. “When it comes to providing the best treatment options to sick Americans, we should trust doctors and medical researchers and not federal bureaucrats.”Professor Craker submitted his initial application to DEA in June 2001. Craker plans to establish the nation’s first privately funded facility for the production of research-grade marijuana. Craker would cultivate research material for use by other scientists in clinical trials to determine whether marijuana meets FDA standards for medical safety and efficacy. Despite strong interest, FDA trials have yet to be conducted. Since 1968, the federal government's National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has maintained a monopoly on the supply of research marijuana and uses that monopoly to obstruct legitimate, privately funded research. Judge Bittner found that NIDA has repeatedly refused to supply marijuana for FDA-approved studies that aim to develop marijuana as a prescription medicine.In contrast, all other controlled substances, including LSD, heroin and MDMA (Ecstasy), are available to researchers from multiple private manufacturers. NIDA's marijuana monopoly persists despite the fact that federal law requires adequate competition in the production of Schedule I drugs, such as marijuana, to ensure an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legal research. DEA protects NIDA's monopoly by refusing to license other suppliers, such as Professor Craker, according to the ACLU."Patients, scientists, and researchers are caught in a Catch-22," said Professor Craker, who is the director of the Medicinal Plant Program in the Department of Plant, Insect and Soil Sciences at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. "DEA continues to arrest patients on the basis that marijuana is not approved by FDA, while simultaneously obstructing the very research that would be required for FDA to approve marijuana as a medicine."In addition to Congress, a broad array of organizations has also written to DEA in support of Craker's application. These organizations include the National Association for Public Health Policy, the National Lawyers Guild, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Lymphoma Foundation of America, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and several religious denominations such as the United Methodist Church and the U.S. Presbyterian Church. In addition, Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Edward Kennedy have previously written to DEA in support of Craker's application.Craker’s applications for regulatory approval, legal efforts, and proposed facility are sponsored by MAPS, a non-profit pharmaceutical company that plans to design, fund, and obtain government approval for the clinical trials necessary to determine whether marijuana meets FDA requirements for medical safety and efficacy. MAPS teamed with Craker after NIDA refused to supply marijuana to two of its FDA-approved protocols."Scientific evaluations of medical marijuana are needed now more than ever," said Rick Doblin, Ph.D., the founder and president of MAPS, whose Harvard dissertation evaluated potential regulatory mechanisms for marijuana if it gains FDA approval. "Why is DEA going to such lengths to stop Professor Craker? DEA knows that if FDA has the opportunity to evaluate marijuana, it would likely approve it for medical use."Today’s U.S. House of Representatives’ letter can be found online at: background on the case can be found at: and Complete Title: Members of Congress Ask DEA to Stop Obstructing Medical Marijuana Research Source: ACLU (NY)Published: September 18, 2007Copyright: 2007 ACLUContact: media aclu.orgWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:ACLU Congressional Scrutiny of DEA Reaches Fever Pitch Press DEA To Let Them Grow Marijuana Research Should Not Be Hampered
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Comment #46 posted by whig on September 21, 2007 at 17:15:03 PT
If you wait for conditions to improve before acting, you will never act. If you act, you create the conditions that you require to create change. We can end cannabis prohibition.
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Comment #45 posted by FoM on September 21, 2007 at 09:47:20 PT
I guess I look at it the way I did back in the 70s when reforming marijuana laws was moving ahead. I thought after the cocaine issue happened and Carter was turned off I knew that we wouldn't see change for years. I thought when the Woodstock generation gets clout the laws will change. There are a lot of us and we are going to change things I hope.
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Comment #44 posted by Commonsense on September 21, 2007 at 09:27:03 PT
I'm not that worried about Social Security either. It is a real problem that won't be fixed by printing more money, but we'll figure it out. The problem is that we will get to the point where more money is being paid out of the system than is being paid in. We won't get to that point for quite some time, but the debate about how we're going to fix the problem will heat up considerably in the coming years. One of the things that might have to happen is that we will have to take money out of general tax revenues to keep the program solvent, and certainly Congress will no longer be able to raid the Social Security surplus like they've done in the past, so the money situation is likely to be tighter for the federal government. I do not think marijuana legalization is ever going to happen in economic good times, or at least not for a long time. I think the more likely scenario is that it happens in a time when our economy is tanking and the government is hurting for money. Look at alcohol Prohibition. The Great Depression killed that. We were desperately looking for ways to boost the economy and generate tax revenues. Prohibition went on the chopping block because people were angry about the fact that it wasn't working at all, that the government was blowing lots of money in their vain attempt to stop the alcohol industry, and that all the money being made from alcohol sales was going to organized crime rather than to law abiding citizens who could really use it. A lot of the people who had been for Prohibition changed their minds, and the remaining voices in opposition to legal alcoholic beverage production and sales were drowned out.I don't have a crystal ball. I'm just guessing at all this obviously, but I think I'm right. Look at medical marijuana. The polls show that as many as 80% of the population think that medical marijuana should be legal, yet it's still not legal in most states and the certainly not in the eyes of the federal government. One of the problems is that there really isn't any consensus on how medical marijuana should be regulated. This 80% isn't speaking with one voice, and when push comes to shove a lot of the people who are for it would not support a system of regulation put forth by people they do not agree with. They won't vote for an initiative legalizing medical marijuana if they don't like the system the initiative will create. It may be that about 40% of our voting population wants to see marijuana legalized but there really isn't a strong consensus on how we'd do it if we could. As we can see from the poll numbers, there really isn't even a lot of strong conviction that it should be legalized among the 40% or so who want it legal. A whole lot of this 40% only somewhat agree that it ought to be legal. Nearly 60% say it ought to remain illegal, and 45% lean strongly in that direction. Even if we get fifty some odd percent to agree that it should be legal, we've still got a heck of a fight on our hands. It's not going to happen unless conditions are right. Conditions aren't right for legalizing marijuana right now. We do seem to be experiencing an economic downturn. We've just had a year where we had a negative savings balance. People in this country as a whole spent more than they earned and we haven't seen a negaitve savings balance like this since the Great Depression. The problem is though that our politicians are still too wimpy on legalizing marijuana or on even doing anything that might be construed as being "pro marijuana." I think there are 435 or so in Congress and only 45 of them signed this letter. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment had a pretty weak showing too. I don't believe for a second that so few of our politicians are for medical marijuana. I think a lot of them in their heart of hearts think we ought to legalize it but they wouldn't dare go public with that. They're too afraid. The religious right/ultra right wing conservative funk is still upon us, although it's waning, and the older voters, the ones who actually vote, are still predominately strongly anti marijuana. I hate to keep harping on this same point, but we cannot discount the importance of older voters in this equation. A politician can capture all of the younger vote, but if he alienates older voters he will not win. You ought to see our jury pools where I live. They get these people straight from the list of registered voters in our counties. In most places they use things like lists of licensed drivers and that sort of thing to pull the jury pool from, but they don't use anything but the voter registration lists in my area. When I look out at the 75 or so in the courtroom who will report for jury duty, it looks like Heaven's waiting room out there, a bunch of teetering old silver haired people. It's not that we have a high ratio of old people to young people in our area, it's just that old people are a lot more likely to register to vote than younger people. They are also a lot more likely to actually get down to the polls and vote on election day. And, they are by and large anti-marijuana in the worst way. They don't get it. Hardly any of these people born before the Baby Boom have smoked it and most of them don't have friends who have smoked it. They've only heard about so and so's wayward son "who got on that stuff and ruined his life." Never mind that so and so's son was a pill popping alcoholic meth head too. They think marijuana totally fries people's brains. That's probably why Bill Clinton said he never inhaled. He wanted to come off cool to the MTV crowd but he didn't want the older crowd who is so afraid of marijuana to think he'd fried his brain. Politicians, always telling us what they think we want to hear, giving a little bone to the "less important" demographics while making every effort not to alienate those in the more important demographics. In the coming years the percentage of people who want to see marijuana legalized will likely continue to grow, hopefully by at least the nearly one point or so a year we've seen in the last couple of decades. Attitudes on marijuana in the older voting demographic will likely change a lot as we see more and more Baby Boomers joining their ranks. Politicians, who are also increasingly people from generations not so afraid of marijuana, will be far less afraid of coming across as anything other than staunchly anti marijuana. Conditions for legalizing marijuana will improve and probably at some point when the economy isn't doing well and the government is hurting for money those championing regulation and taxation of marijuana will gain traction and it will actually happen.  
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Comment #43 posted by FoM on September 20, 2007 at 15:52:39 PT
This might seem overly simplistic but I don't worry about having enough money to handle the boomers when they retire because they'll just print more money like they did for the banking industry to prop up the stock market. It's like a credit card with no limits. 
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Comment #42 posted by FoM on September 20, 2007 at 15:39:14 PT
I do think the Democrats will be more open to medical marijuana. I don't believe either Party is into the drug war as far as reform goes. There are too many problems with people on drugs (Britney Spears as an example) but cannabis is different and most people are starting to see that. Since they changed the laws in my state back in the 70s we don't have problems like in some areas. I don't know any adult that has been seriously hassled by the police for possession of under 100 grams. It's a good beginning.
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Comment #41 posted by Commonsense on September 20, 2007 at 15:12:41 PT
I agree that Democrats will be better, but don't think these guys are your friends. Democrats have been almost as bad as Republicans in the "war on marijuana." Even during the Reagan years when we saw an enormous amount of escalation in the war on drugs in general, a huge increase in our incarceration rate and total number of people in prison, Democrats were right there tripping over each other to see who could be tougher on drugs. They controlled Congress during the Reagan years, and during the first part of the Clinton years. They passed all the obnoxious laws. Democrats do tend to be a little bit better on marijuana issues, but mostly they're just telling people what they think people want to hear, without saying or doing anything that offends their wider voting base. Don't count on them working any wonders for you because they'll just string you along when it comes to marijuana issues.What Democrats may do is stop the attack on states that have legal medical marijuana. All the Democrat presidential hopefuls have said they'll do this, whether they'll keep their word or not remains to be seen. The problem is that the numbers just aren't there to make marijuana issues worth the effort and the risk involved in bringing them to the forefront. The vast majority of politicians are afraid of coming across as "pro marijuana." The fact is that most Americans still believe that marijuana should be illegal. That's changing, but still the majority want it to remain illegal and a lot of these people have really strong convictions about that. In 2003 Zogby did a poll where 41% of the people came out in favor of legalizing marijuana and treating it much like we treat alcohol today. That was a big deal because it showed support for legalizing marijuana is growing. But the numbers said more than that when you took a closer look at them.  Zogby published a breakdown of the numbers where you could see that only 23.5% strongly agree with legalization, but 45.3% strongly disagreed with it. Of those that agreed that marijuana should be legalized, 17.4%, nearly half, only somewhat agreed. Only 11.4% only somewhat disagreed with marijuana being legal compared to the 45.3% who were strongly opposed.As you should be able to tell from my posts, I look at a lot of statistics. I do that partly because it's interesting to me, but I have to do it anyway as part of my job. I am a criminal defense attorney and I have to pick juries. The juries in the state where I practice do more than just make the guilty/not guilty determination, they also decide what kind of sentence a defendant will get if they convict him. They don't go by any sort of sentencing guidelines they just get a range of years to give people. A lot of my clients have charges that carry anywhere from 10 years to life in prison (not for pot crimes but with those the range of punishment is still broad), so obviously I need to try to get rid of jurors I think will lean toward giving my clients the max. Statistics, poll numbers, etc., while they are not by any means the end all and be all in jury selection, are an important tools that help people in my profession decide what sort of people we'll try to get on our juries, and those we'll try to keep off. They also help us in coming up with angles of attack, giving us a better idea about how well various arguments, mitigating factors, etc., will play with juries. That, and I'm using these numbers and other things to try to guess what a jury would do when I'm trying to work out plea deals. Almost all cases will be resolved that way and what I'm trying to do in negotiating a plea deal is get a lot better deal than I think a jury would give my client. I want a "substantial plea discount." As we all know, politicians also look at these numbers. Politics these days especially at the national level is all about poll numbers, focus groups, etc. The politicians are telling us what they think we want to hear, and they go to great lengths to try to determine what it is exactly that we want to hear. They want to push the big issues if they can, those that people seem to be most concerned about. Marijuana is not such a big issue. It's nowhere near the same league as something like Social Security issues for instance. Not only that, but it is still somewhat of a political hot potato. It can burn a politician. Just look at how many people are still strongly opposed to legalization. They far outnumber those with strong convictions about legalizing marijuana. This is kind of a side battle between the "hell no's" and the "maybe so's" and the "hell no's" are the much more powerful force. Among this very large minority of 45.3% of Americans who strongly oppose legalization are the types who will "swiftboat" a politician in a heartbeat. They're just looking for ammunition to use in their attempts to embarrass and destroy the credibility and electability of politicians they oppose. That's why only 45 out of four hundred and some odd congressmen would sign this letter demanding that the DEA allow this research. That's why most of the people who signed this letter were older than Baby Boomers, because they've been in office a long time already, they feel like their seats are secure and they are nearing retirement anyway so they don't have to be so afraid of the "hell no" voters and fellow politicians. It will be better for those of us who would like to see the DEA back off of state sanctioned medical marijuana a Democrat is elected president and the Democrats keep their majority Congress and the Senate in the next election. I don't see a whole lot else changing though during that four year period. I look at 2012 as being a lot bigger election year for marijuana issues. That could be a year when marijuana initiatives do very well and we start seeing politicians changing their tune a little about marijuana. Support for legalizing marijuana will probably continue to grow, and that will be evident in the poll numbers politicians look at. Also though, 2012 is going to be the year that we really see talk about Baby Boomers retiring heating up. The first Boomers born in 1946 will hit 65 in 2001. They'll hit their full retirement age for Social Security purposes in 2012 when they turn 66. I haven't looked at it in a while but I think the average retirement age is around 63 now, and anyone who wants to retire early and start collecting Social Security retirement benefits can start doing so at age 62 although their monthly check will be less than if they wait till their full retirement age which is 66 for those born between 1946 and 1953 I believe. This is really going to play into the Social Security debate. By 2030 we'll have over 70 million retired folks, about twice as many as we had in 2000. Social Security is a pay as you go program. There really isn't a Social Security "trust fund" to speak of, so all this money coming out of our checks for Social Security is getting paid right back out to people collecting Social Security benefits and the time is coming when less money will be paid into the system than is being paid out. More and more as the years go on the debate about how we are going to take care of all these retired folks will heat up. Government will have to look for ways to cut expenditures and generate new tax revenue and people are going to look at things like ending the war on marijuana as a way to kill two birds with one stone in that regard. And no doubt seeing Baby Boomers retiring is going to have an effect on the psyche of politicians who today pay so much attention to older voters because they're the ones who actually get out there and register and vote. Before they knew that older voters tended to have strong negative opinions about marijuana and marijuana smokers. As time goes on they'll have to rethink that notion as they witness older voters born in the 20's and 30's dying off and being replaced with voters born later who are far less afraid of marijuana because a whole lot of them have actually smoked it themselves and some still smoke it. If Democrats win the president's office in 2008 and hold onto their majorities in the House and Senate, medical marijuana ought to fair pretty well in the next four years. If they call the DEA off, we might see a few other states get medical marijuana. Most of the big voter initiative pushes for marijuana are going to be in presidential election years though because those are the only elections where we see an even remotely decent voter turnout from the younger demographic. A greater per capita percentage of the older age demographics will vote on presidential election years, but where you see the biggest disparity in voter turnout across the age demographics is in the years where we aren't electing a president. The 60 and over crowd will outvote the 30 and under crowd by something like a two to one margin in off year elections, so that's why we don't see as many marijuana initiatives in off year elections. We might see more state legislatures passing medical marijuana laws before the 2012 election year. Increasingly they’re going to hear even from older voters that sick people ought to be able to use marijuana if it helps them get by, and they’ll hear this at the same time as they see Baby Boomers aging and filling the ranks of elderly voters they depend on to get re-elected. This will be all good for those who use marijuana for medical reasons and it won’t exactly hurt the rest of us who would like to see marijuana legalized even for nonmedical purposes.We might also see some more states removing some of the criminal penalties, making such that people won't have to show up for court on a simple possession charge, and maybe a reduction in collateral damages like the driver's license suspension those who are convicted of possession get in my state and so many others. Still though I think we are a ways off yet from seeing marijuana being regulated similar to the way alcohol is now. The 2012, 2016, and 2020 elections are all going to be important for marijuana issues. Maybe we'll see it legalized before 2020, maybe it will take longer, but in the intervening years I think there is a good chance we'll see a lot of positive changes taking place. Sorry about the long disjointed post. Since I started it this morning I’ve been to court twice, had a zillion phone calls and several people coming in to see me.  I did plead a 60 year old lady on a possession charge this afternoon. The two young prosecutors at the table seemed shocked at her age. They’re pretty new to the office, but they’re going to see a lot more older people in trouble for marijuana the longer they are in that job. The older one of the two, the city attorney who is probably in his mid thirties, remarked about how the world is changing. He’s running for state senator next year. If he wins in a few more years he might go for a national office. After seeing cases like these he’ll be far less likely to believe that all the older voters he has to worry about are anti-marijuana. This is happening all over America. People are seeing that the world is changing with respect to attitudes on marijuana. Politicians will catch on and adjust the way they handle marijuana issues. Next year maybe sixty Congressmen would sign a letter like the one that is the subject of this thread rather than just forty five. In a few more years maybe the majority would do it. Things are going to change and we are going to like a lot of the changes we see that have to do with marijuana policy in this country.Does anyone know if there are any big marijuana initiatives in the works for the ‘08 election?
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Comment #40 posted by John Tyler on September 19, 2007 at 18:43:08 PT
listen up DEA
The DEA had better pay attention to the wishes of Congress. OK, it’s just forty-five legislators who signed this letter this time, but this is still a very big deal. How many letters like this have they gotten from Congress before? The DEA would be very foolish not to take notice of the changes coming. 
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Comment #39 posted by Had Enough on September 19, 2007 at 17:53:53 PT
Sounds like we are in tune…with the rest of our brothers and sisters…****runruff – handstands & cartwheels…****The Who - Getting in Tune
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on September 19, 2007 at 17:29:18 PT
I read that earlier today and I smiled. Can I say it sounds about right? LOL!
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Comment #37 posted by dankhank on September 19, 2007 at 17:17:07 PT
a reprise of Had Enough's link ... sorry's something good as a way to make up ... :-) liberals are smarter than conservatives ... :-)
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Comment #36 posted by FoM on September 19, 2007 at 16:56:19 PT
What is the youtube link? 
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Comment #35 posted by Dankhank on September 19, 2007 at 16:55:04 PT
criminy ...
thanks Had Enough ...
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Comment #34 posted by Dankhank on September 19, 2007 at 16:53:51 PT
gotta ...
read better and spell better ... "come"good one Commonsense ...
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Comment #33 posted by Dankhank on September 19, 2007 at 16:50:21 PT
Time has conme today ...
for those who have the bandwith ...enjoy ... minutes ...
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on September 19, 2007 at 16:08:39 PT
Related Article from
Members of Congress Calls for Marijuana Medical Use Testing***By Regina Sass September 19, 2007The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has received a letter from 45 members of the House of Representatives. The letter urges the agency to stop obstructing the scientific research that is looking into the possibility of using marijuana as a legal prescription medication.
The letter was signed by members of both parties and is co sponsored by Representatives John Olver, D-MA and Dana Rohrabacher ,R-CA. They urged the DEA Administrator Karen Tandy to follow a ruling of administrative law judge Mary Ellen Bittner, who was appointed by the Department of Justice, that was handed down in February of this year. The ruling states that ti would be in the public interest for the DEA to grant a license to a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lyle Craker, for the purpose of growing research grade marijuana. The drug would be used in studies that would be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The judge's ruling is non binding and there is no deadline for the DEA to make its decision. Professor Craker first submitted an application to DEA back in June of 2001. He plans to establish facility that would be privately funded for producing research grade marijuana. It would be the first of its kind in the nation. He would grow the marijuana for other scientists to use in clinical trials that would determine once and for all whether or not marijuana meets the standards set by the FDA for both medical safety and efficiency.Earlier in this summer there was a hearing before the U.S House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and at that hearing, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) posed a series of questions to DEA Deputy Administrator Joseph T. Rannazzisi about the case for the professor's application. Congressman Nadler also expressed his disapproval of the DEA's delay and insisted that a decision be made before the end of the current administration. There has been a good deal of interest in using marijuana for research, but no FDA trials have been done. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has been growing research marijuana since 1968, but there has not been any approved private research. In her decision, Judge Bittner found that NIDA has repeatedly refused to supply any marijuana for private FDA-approved studies designed to develop marijuana as a prescription medicine.All other controlled substances such as LSD, heroin and MDMA (Ecstasy), are being made available to researchers from several private manufacturers. Federal law requires that there be adequate competition in the production of Schedule 1 drugs, of which marijuana is one. The purpose of the law is to ensure an adequate as well as an uninterrupted supply of the drugs for legal research The members of Congress are not the only ones who have contacted the DEA to support Professor Craker's application. Among them are the National Association for Public Health Policy, the National Lawyers Guild, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Lymphoma Foundation of America and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. There are also several religious denominations who support the professor such as the United Methodist Church and the U.S. Presbyterian Church. Both Senators from Massachusetts John Kerry and Edward Kennedy. Professor Craker's applications for regulatory approval, legal efforts, and proposed facility have been sponsored by MAPS, which is a non-profit pharmaceutical company. They plan toe design, fund and then obtain government approval for the clinical trials. They teamed up with the professor after NIDA refused to supply them with marijuana for two projects that had already been approved by the FDA.Source: ACLU Copyright: 2007 Associated Content
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Comment #31 posted by Had Enough on September 19, 2007 at 15:58:34 PT
re:#29Thanks for that post.Good analysis.Time has come.Time has come for it to become the “Talk of the Kitchen Table.”Time has come for it to be political suicide for politicians to speak against cannabis.Time has come today, can’t put it off another day…Our tears have come and gone…*********Time has come today - The Chambers Brothers
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on September 19, 2007 at 15:58:16 PT
I believe if we get a good majority of Democrats in power in 08 we will see change way sooner then if we keep a Republican administration. The Democrats are more into social issues and this has always been a social issue in my opinion.
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Comment #29 posted by Commonsense on September 19, 2007 at 15:32:52 PT
Actually, John Campbell is a Republican too. So a whole 3 Republicans signed this letter.What I found interesting about this list is that most of these guys are older politicians, and none of them are freshman Congressmen. Not one of them is under 42 years of age, even though we have around 30 Congressmen under the age of 42. The youngest was Jesse Jackson, Jr., who is 42. He's served 7 terms in Congress. Of those six who signed this letter who were under the age of 50, the person who has been in Congress the shortest amount of time was Langevin, who had only served 4 terms in Congress prior to this term. He's also the second youngest to have signed this letter at 43. These were mostly older politicians who have served several terms who signed this who are not worried about losing their jobs. Surprisingly, about 22% of all in Congress who were born in the 1930's signed this letter. None of those born in the 1920's did. Only 5 of those born in the 1950's signed it. That's only 3.4% of the 147 in Congress who were born in the 1950's. What this tells me is that older politicians who have lots of incumbent mojo and are near retirement anyway are a lot more likely to be the ones who will do something on principle that might be politically unpopular. Younger politicians are afraid to go against the party line. They don't want to do anything that might cause them to lose political capital with their colleagues and they are afraid to do anything that might tick off voters who for the most part are going to be older folks more likely to be afraid of marijuana and therefore strongly against it. As we see these younger politicians taking over the reins, those who are much more likely to have smoked marijuana and know people that smoked it or still smoke it, and as we see the same happen with voters as millions and millions of former or current pot smokers start hitting prime voting years (50's, 60's, early 70's), we'll see a big shift in the public attitude toward marijuana in Congress. They won't be so afraid to do something like sign a simple letter like the one mentioned in the above article. You know a whole lot more of the younger politicians believe the DEA should allow this research, just as a lot of them believe medical marijuana or even just marijuana in general ought to be legal. They're just too afraid to say any of this in public. That's going to change in the not too distant future. 
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Comment #28 posted by ekim on September 19, 2007 at 10:21:57 PT
here we are in debt uptorwazoo and then this Drug War Is Politics By Other Means: Blackwater Gets Billions to Fight
“Narco-Terorism”. Buying Constituencies for the Drug War. Analysis by
Richard Cowan
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on September 19, 2007 at 08:56:18 PT
Just a Comment
It seems that almost all of the people in this list are Democrats except Ron Paul and Dana Rohrabacher. Maybe we will see change in the not to distant future. I can hope.John W. Olver, Dana Rohrabacher, George Miller, Howard Berman, Ron Paul, Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, Sam Farr, Jim McGovern, Steve Rothman, Maurice Hinchey, Raúl M. Grijalva, Henry A. Waxman, Jerrold Nadler, Lynn Woolsey, Dennis Kucinich, Mazie Hirono, Michael Capuano, Jim Moran, James Oberstar, Barbara Lee, Julia Carson, Robert Wexler Jan Schakowsky, Steve Cohen, Danny Davis, Zoe Lofgren, John Lewis, Fortney Pete Stark, Michael M. Honda, Ed Pastor, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Gary L. Ackerman, Neil Abercrombie, Donald M. Payne, John F. Tierney, Lois Capps, Rosa L. DeLauro, LorettaSanchez, James R. Langevin, John Campbell, David E. Price, Peter A. DeFazio, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Edolphus TownsBGreen thanks again!
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Comment #26 posted by Had Enough on September 19, 2007 at 07:15:39 PT
Holy Drug Wars
Re: #25greenmed100 years from now if the prohibitionists have their way and if the Earth is still able to support life; the Bible will be re-written (again) and include drug wars in the scriptures.
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Comment #25 posted by greenmed on September 19, 2007 at 04:29:23 PT
Cannabis not condemned by Islam
The three religions of the Book, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are not well known for having drug cultures associated with them, so it comes as something as a surprise to learn that Islam, perhaps the most puritanical of the three, has a strong undercurrent of marijuana use throughout its long history."God Loves a Smoker" by Fazile Zahir
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Comment #24 posted by greenmed on September 19, 2007 at 04:25:39 PT
Afghanistan's choice
I purchase several sacks of hashish from farmers up here and then send it to the south to sell to major traffickers," he said."Hashish is mostly smuggled to Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan, and from these countries it is sent to Europe and other parts of the world." The Taliban has its stronghold in the south and controls the bulk of opium smuggled to the west via the same route. If Cannabis and hashish were re-legalized in Afghanistan, it could be brought through Kabul, taxed and "fair-traded" to/with free nations that want it.The farmers would have a good livelihood to feed and clothe their families. The government could take their cut to help the people, and the Taliban would lose their funding as more farmers switch crops.Who could be against such a plan?
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Comment #23 posted by whig on September 19, 2007 at 01:31:15 PT
Marijuana is not a narcotic
"We are committed to getting rid of all types of narcotics in Afghanistan," said ministry spokesman Zalmay Afzali. "We are planning on eradicating marijuana in the provinces."
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Comment #22 posted by aolbites on September 19, 2007 at 01:24:49 PT
OT:a few important people should see these vids
Heres some video that people who don't believe the demolition theory of 911 should see [no commentary just the smoking gun]: Maher, John Kerry, Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Paul, etc etc...And of course all you guys.. if you have the slightest doubt .. that should clear it up..
The Clearest video yet...
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Comment #21 posted by dankhank on September 18, 2007 at 22:14:08 PT
Afgan pot ...
story said: Mohammad Muhsan, another farmer in Charbolak district, explains that the harvested marijuana is divided into two grades: high-quality shirak and lower-quality khaka, or ... in Afghanistan the less fortunate must smoke khaka.damn ...
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Comment #20 posted by BGreen on September 18, 2007 at 21:21:21 PT
Old computer? Foxit is for you
PC Magazine listed Foxit as one of the best free software programs.Here is the brief description they gave:Adobe Acrobat, the ubiquitous software for PDF viewing, can slow older systems to a crawl—or even crash them. Foxit Reader lets you get your PDF goodness without the Adobe bloat. It runs small and swift, either as a standalone app or from within your browser.,1895,2090810,00.aspYou should give it a try, FoM. It will completely uninstall if you have a problem, putting you right back to where you are now. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 21:03:06 PT
Pot is Drug of Choice in Afghanistan
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 19:48:39 PT
Wisconsin Radio Network
Their Medicine's Not Legal Yet
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Comment #17 posted by RevRayGreen on September 18, 2007 at 19:34:14 PT
Thanks for doing the homework
way cool.........makes it easier to pass along :)
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 19:32:29 PT
Thank you. My computer is old and it is working fairly well recently and I don't want to try anything new for fear of problems. I had a configuration problem and I didn't want to call HughesNet and finally I figured out I had a dot where a dot shouldn't have been and now it works ok. I thought my computer was going to quit but it was only a dot. LOL!
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 19:28:50 PT
Thank you. That's what I wanted to see.
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Comment #14 posted by ekim on September 18, 2007 at 19:28:45 PT
mayan that student was holding a copy 
of BBC Greg Plast (sic) yellow book armed madhouseand never droped it.
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on September 18, 2007 at 19:25:57 PT
I also use Foxit Reader
You can get it at It uses less resources than the Adobe reader and it's free.You should give it a try, FoM. You can always uninstall it if you have problems but you might find it really works for you.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on September 18, 2007 at 19:05:58 PT
RevRayGreen #3 & FoM #4
The 45 Members of Congress who signed the letter:	John W. Olver
,	Dana Rohrabacher
,	George Miller
,	Howard Berman
,	Ron Paul
,	Tammy Baldwin
,	Barney Frank
,	Sam Farr
,	Jim McGovern
,	Steve Rothman
,	Maurice Hinchey
,	Raul M. Grijalva
,	Henry A. Waxman
,	Jerrold Nadler
,	Lynn Woolsey
,	Dennis Kucinich
,	Mazie K. Hirono
,	Michael Capuano
,	Jim Moran
,	James Oberstar
,	Barbara Lee
,	Julia Carson
,	Robert Wexler
,	Jan Schakowsky
,	Steve Cohen
,	Danny K. Davis
,	Zoe Lofgren
,	John Lewis
,	Fortney Pete Stark
,	Michael M. Honda
,	Ed Pastor
,	Jesse L. Jackson Jr.
,	Gary L. Ackerman
,	Neil Abercrombie
,	Donald M. Payne
,	John F. Tierney
,	Lois Capps
,	Rosa L. DeLauro
,	Loretta Sanchez
,	James R. Langevin
,	John Campbell
,	David E. Price
,	Peter A. DeFazio
,	Lucille Roybal-Allard
,	Edolphus Towns
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 18:40:18 PT
Thank you for the information.
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Comment #10 posted by ryno35 on September 18, 2007 at 18:33:25 PT
Better pdf reader
If you have issues with adobe pdf reader try foxit pdf reader. It's much lighter weight.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 18:29:01 PT
I un-installed the adobe reader because it was so buggy. 
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Comment #8 posted by Dankhank on September 18, 2007 at 18:24:56 PT
found it after looking a little ...
:-)maybe MPP can generate a plain list, pdf's are cranky ...
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on September 18, 2007 at 18:24:02 PT
I wouldn't expect much from them. They take their marching orders from above, and we've seen lots of blood shed due to the fascist power brokers already. It's time to get the tar & feathers ready because we're not gonna' take it anymore...WHERETHEYLIVE.ORG Launched in Response to Florida Taser Outrage: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...TulsaTruth Confronts Giuliani (video): U.S. Bin Laden Expert: Confession Video “Bogus”: of March From Ground Zero to WTC7 and Wall Street on 9/11/07: Ops - Conspiracy and 9/11: Maher: 9/11 Truthers need professional help, not publicity: WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 18:17:20 PT
Dankhank This One
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Comment #5 posted by Dankhank on September 18, 2007 at 18:11:14 PT
which one ...
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 18, 2007 at 17:19:08 PT
I can't open the pdf file. 
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Comment #3 posted by RevRayGreen on September 18, 2007 at 17:07:44 PT
Anyone have a list
of these 45 ? I can't launch it. TIA
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Comment #2 posted by Storm Crow on September 18, 2007 at 16:49:46 PT
It's called "job security"! 
"DEA continues to arrest patients on the basis that marijuana is not approved by FDA, while simultaneously obstructing the very research that would be required for FDA to approve marijuana as a medicine."
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Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 18, 2007 at 16:10:19 PT
Justice Takes A "Hit" For DEA
In my opinion, one of the underlying reasons Gonzales got fired from the Justice Department was in part due to his refusal to reform the DEA. How many more Attorney Generals will be fired for stupidity? Only time will tell.
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