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Sun Oct 14, 2012, 12:14 AM

Oct. 16th: New Hearing on Rescheduling of Cannabis


For the first time in 20 (!!) years, a federal court will hear evidence regarding the medical use of cannabis and be asked to change the DEA's current insistence that cannabis has no medical value.

Powerful Court Quietly Takes Marijuana Case That Could Shatter Federal Prohibition Laws

Specifically, ASA, a California-based patient-advocacy group, is trying to get the Drug Enforcement Administration to move marijuana out of Schedule I, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970s category for drugs with “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and no “accepted level of safety for use under medical supervision.” Heroin, LSD, and PCP are also in Schedule I. Cocaine, methamphetamine and OxyContin are in Schedule II, legal for medical use but strongly restricted.

Two previous attempts to get the DEA to reschedule marijuana failed, but advocates believe there is enough new evidence to convince the courts. “There’s simply more science now,” says ASA chief counsel Joseph D. Elford. Since 2000, says Igor Grant of the University of California at San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, the center has done six studies that showed “efficacy for marijuana over a placebo” in relieving pain caused by peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage).

This current attempt began in 2002, when a coalition of medical-marijuana and legalization advocates filed a petition with the DEA. It contended that cannabis “has an accepted medical use in the United States, is safe for use under medical supervision, has an abuse potential lower than Schedule I or II drugs, and has a dependence liability that is also lower than Schedule I or II drugs.” It requested that marijuana be moved to Schedule III (Vicodin, acetaminophen with codeine), Schedule IV (Valium, Xanax), or Schedule V (codeine cough syrup).

“Based on evidence currently available, the Schedule I classification is not tenable,” Grant wrote in the 2012 issue of the Open Neurology Journal . “It is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking. It is true cannabis has some abuse potential, but its profile more closely resembles drugs in Schedule III.”

read the article!

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 12:22 AM

1. This is very good news. Cannabis is certainly at least as helpful as other Schedule II drugs.

The article is good, but actually doesn't hold out much hope that cannabis will be reclassified.

I am hopeful, however.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 12:53 AM

3. Quite a few people think the "tipping point" has come

And this issue isn't going to go away.

The longer the federal govt obstructs states from enacting laws their citizens choose, based upon a DEA version of creationism, the less people respect the law.

The article provided a history.

I have no idea what the court might be thinking, but some judges have also written personal editorials in favor of rescheduling.

We'll find out after the 16th.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 12:53 AM

2. Most informative! I did not know what the Schedule II, III, IV, or V drugs were.

This is probably gonna be a tough one to win. The winds are not yet completely at our backs on this one, I don't think. HOWEVER, I think this could eventually go toward more liberalization. My husband and I were just talking about this and I read the article to him and he thinks it may happen within our lifetimes. He's in his early 60s and I'm in my late 50s.

I do think, though, that there's a gradual mellowing we are going to see as our kids' generation starts to mature and then take over. Our two kids are in their early 20s. And my husband and I were just talking about how - we don't know ANYBODY their age who has a hangup about gays, for example. I said I thought that while this marijuana prohibition might not start loosening soon, I thought the first serious change and improvement in ridiculous attitudes and positions and policies would be toward gays. And I do. I think as our kids' generation ages, the prejudice against gays is gonna start melting away. Seriously, they in that age group just do not understand what all the fuss is about, here. Neither of us knows anybody their age who thinks gays are something terrible or that gays are going to Hell or something.

It's because they all know gay people. They know gay peers, fellow students, elders, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and relatives of all of the above. It's no big deal to them. Every one of them, and everyone else we know in our own age groups - knows at least one person who came out, either a friend or relative or somebody else in their general orbit. As our 23-year-old daughter likes to say in a dry, bored, mildly-annoyed tone of voice - "no one cares." The same, I think, holds true with mixed-race families and mixed-culture families. Immigration too. Eventually, more open-mindedness starts to out-number the closed-mindedness as the older generation, set in its ways and reluctant to change, starts to die off.

I don't know how soon the stringent marijuana restrictions will relax along with other attitudes and obsolete taboos. But then again, I can't think of anybody in that younger-age pool I just described above who doesn't smoke it at least occasionally, either. Perhaps it's inevitable, too? Eventually? Maybe?

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Response to calimary (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:17 AM

6. Ahnuld decriminalised ahead of the legalization vote in CA

Some say he was trying to undermine the legalization vote - others say he was trying to court the libertarian and left in the state. Maybe he was just doing the right thing b/c he was leaving office.

Four states have already requested reclassification of cannabis so they can enact their state laws.

Did you see these?

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 12:54 AM

4. It was almost miraculous how quickly it worked for my


chronic back/neck problem arising (presumably) out of a skiing injury over 30 years ago that I knew I would eventually pay for. It took exactly two days (evening brownie plus 3 hits on a j) for me to ask myself, "WHAT back/neck problem??" - and I had been plagued by it for over 13 years.

And when I ran out of cannabis oil for my brownies temporarily, it came right back. Doesn't cure it, but makes it not an issue for me. And it's a nerve pain. So when DEA says it has no medical use they are completely full of bull manure IMHO.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:06 AM

5. Govt. Sponsored Study Destroys DEA classification


While numerous prior studies have shown marijuana’s usefulness for a host of medical conditions, none have ever gone directly at the DEA’s placement of marijuana atop the schedule of controlled substances. This study, sponsored by the State of California and conducted at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, does precisely that, driving a stake into the heart of America’s continued war on marijuana users by calling the Schedule I placement simply “not accurate” and “not tenable.”

Reacting to the study, Paul Armentano, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told Raw Story that the study clearly proves U.S. drug policy “is neither based upon nor guided by science.”

“In fact, it is hostile to science,” he said. “And despite the Obama Administration’s well publicized 2009 memo stating, ‘Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration,’ there is little to no evidence indicating that the federal government’s ‘See no evil; hear no evil’ approach to cannabis policy is not changing any time soon.”

Schedule I is supposedly reserved for the most inebriating substances that the DEA believes have no medical value, including LSD, ecstasy, peyote and heroin.* As the DEA describes it: “Drugs listed in schedule I have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and, therefore, may not be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use. In contrast, drugs listed in schedules II-V have some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use.”

Even if evidence gained after the initial ten-year-old petition is not allowed, evidence exists from research in the U.S. since the 1970s, the DEA's own judge recommended rescheduling but was overturned by the DEA head at the time - and Bayer/GS Pharma wants to be able to market Sativex in the U.S. and will either have to have special exemption, as with Marinol, or face the backlash that they are given special treatment.

That two former Bush Jr. Drug Enforcers are now lobbyists for Sativex should tell you the ultimate issue behind this prohibition. $$ for rich, prison for the poor.

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