[sixties-l] Fwd: DEA Confirms Grounds To Remove Marijuana From Hard Drugs Schedule

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Fri Aug 04 2000 - 21:51:43 CUT

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    From: Dana Beal <dana@cures-not-wars.org>
    > From Jane S. Derry <derryj@gallatinriver.net>
    >A Press Release from the Law Offices of Michael Kennedy
    >DEA Refers Marijuana Rescheduling Petition to HHS
    >Recent scientific evidence has forced the US Government through its
    >Justice Department agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to
    >commence legally binding procedures that will likely result in the end
    >of marijuana prohibition.
    >On December 19th, DEA formally asked the Department of Health and Human
    >Services to conduct "a scientific and medical evaluation of the
    >available data and provide a scheduling recommendation" for marijuana
    >and other cannabinoid drugs. This DEA request of HHS means that the DEA
    >has for the first time made its own determination that sufficient
    >grounds exist to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled
    >Substances Act (CSA). Schedule I is supposed to be limited to hard drugs
    >with addictive propensities and with no legitimate medical usage.
    >The DEA request was made in response to an administrative petition filed
    >July 10, 1995 by Petitioners Jon Gettman and Trans High Corporation,
    >publisher of High Times Magazine.
    >The Petition presents evidence and argument that marijuana and
    >cannabinoids lack the "high potential for abuse" required for Schedule I
    >and Schedule II drugs under the (CSA).
    >Trans-High Corporation, the publishers of High Times, joined with Mr.
    >Gettman in mid-1995 to provide support for the petition during the
    >administrative rule-making process. Petitioners are represented by the
    >Law Offices of Michael Kennedy, which today released a copy of a letter
    >from DEA notifying petitioners of the HHS referral.
    >Petitioners are represented by the Law Offices of Michael Kennedy in New
    >York City, which today released a copy of the letter from DEA notifying
    >Petitioners of the HHS referral.
    >According to a July 27, 1995, letter from DEA Deputy Administrator
    >Stephen Greene, accepting the Petition for filing:
    >"The DEA shall determine within a reasonable period of time whether
    >there are sufficient grounds to justify removing marijuana . . . from
    >Schedule I . . .(S)hould DEA determine that there are sufficient
    >grounds, then it must request a medical and scientific recommendation
    >from the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services."
    >Thus DEA can request the advice of HHS only after DEA's investigation
    >confirms that sufficient grounds exist to remove marijuana from Schedule
    >I. According to the CSA the findings and recommendations of HHS with
    >regard to scientific and medical matters are binding on DEA. DEA has
    >never before voluntarily referred a marijuana rescheduling petition to
    >HHS for binding review.
    >The Gettman/High times Petition demonstrates that HHS has never produced
    >a finding that marijuana actually has the high potential for abuse
    >similar to heroin or cocaine. A high potential for abuse is required for
    >Schedule I treatment. Further, the legislative history of the CSA
    >indicates that Congress only intended for marijuana to remain in
    >Schedule I or II if such a finding could be produced. This Petition
    >challenges the government to produce such a finding (where none exists)
    >or be legally required to end marijuana prohibition by removing
    >marijuana from Schedule I.
    >Removal of marijuana from Schedule I will require the federal government
    >to sanction legal distribution of marijuana for medical uses, research
    >and prescriptions and adopt a regulatory rather than a prohibitory model
    >for marijuana. The end of prohibition and the advent of regulation will
    >represent a radical change in the legal status of marijuana in the
    >United States.
    >The Petition argues that the discovery of the Cannabinoid Receptor
    >System, which has enabled scientists to explain the cause of marijuana's
    >characteristic effects, and provides a basis for making detailed
    >distinctions among the biological effects of marijuana and other drugs.
    >These distinctions provide the scientific basis for demonstrating that
    >marijuana does not have the same high potential for abuse as other
    >Schedule I or II drugs.
    >DEA reversal of position
    >The DEA to HHS referral represents a historic turn-around for DEA...
    >Gettman first asked DEA to refer marijuana to HHS for the appropriate
    >scientific and medical evaluation back in October of 1994. In March
    >1995, in a letter to Gettman's congressman, DEA claimed that "unless a
    >substance has an accepted medical use in the United States, in can only
    >be placed in Schedule I." By letter dated April 21, 1995, DEA
    >Administrator Thomas Constantine stated that DEA was:
    >"unaware of any new scientific studies of marijuana that would lead us
    >to re-evaluate its classification at this time . . . If Mr. Gettman has
    >access to scientific data concerning marijuana which he wishes to bring
    >to our attention, we will be pleased to consider it, should he care to
    >share the documentation with us."
    >The Gettman/High Times Petition provided the specific scientific
    >documentation that caused the DEA to reverse itself and to acknowledge
    >for the first time ever that a sufficient scientific basis exists for
    >reclassification of marijuana out of Schedule I
    >Jon Gettman served as National Director of the National Organization for
    >the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) from 1986 to 1989, and has provided
    >articles and columns for High Times since 1985. Gettman is currently
    >working on his doctorate in public policy and regional economic
    >development at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
    >Mr. Gettman issued the following statement:
    >"People are sent to jail every day because of mistaken assumptions about
    >the abuse potential of marijuana, assumptions that have never been
    >scientifically proved. DEA's recognition of this is a welcome and
    >important step, and in many respects recognition of the importance of
    >the scientific work of individuals such as Allyn Howlett, William
    >Devane, Miles Herkenham, Leo Hollister, Denise Kandel, Norman Zinberg,
    >Lester Grinspoon and other scientists on whose work my petition rests.
    >But this is also recognition that in many respects marijuana prohibition
    >has been a cruel hoax on the American people. People think marijuana is
    >in Schedule I for scientific reasons, and that these reasons legitimize
    >prohibition, arrests and prison terms. DEA has just acknowledged that
    >there is a lot of scientific knowledge they haven't considered when they
    >justify marijuana's Schedule I status. In other words, DEA has presented
    >a distorted picture of marijuana to government officials and to the
    >public. I hope our petition will contribute to resolving some of the
    >confusion created by these distortions."
    >High Times Magazine, by its Editor in Chief, Peter Gorman, issued the
    >following statement:
    >"High Times is thrilled that the DEA has acknowledged that there was
    >never sufficient reason to place cannabis in Schedule I of the CSA, and
    >proud that the petition originated with Jon Gettman's two part series on
    >"Marijuana and the Brain" which appeared in our pages in March and July
    >1995. We hope that journalists from all media who have covered the War
    >on Drugs will recognize the importance of the DEA's admission regarding
    >the scheduling of cannabis -- which could potentially result in the end
    >of prohibition of this benign and medically helpful herb -- and will
    >report it with the same vigor with which they have reported other DEA
    >findings. High Times looks forward to the results of the Department of
    >Health and human Services' investigation of the scientific and medical
    >data regarding cannabis with great anticipation."

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