The Petition To Reschedule Cannabis
Posted by Al Byrne | July 21 2011 | 4455 views | Comments ↓
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Federal government representatives, especially the political class, like to spout that the US is a country of laws not men. My take is that if we had more real men we would have better laws and representatives.
All this is to say that the DEA and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) leaders have failed. Why else did the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis have to sue the federal government for failure to respond to the Petition to Reschedule Cannabis, which was submitted almost nine years ago.
The question the Petition asked was essentially, Is Cannabis Medicine or Not? Not a tough question.
The Petition, formally submitted to the DEA and the DHHS in October of 2002, has not been answered according to law. DHHS was required to answer the Petition's question about three years ago. The DHHS did not forget because we have reminded them of their failure, they just have not answered. I'll give the present Secretary some slack, she has not been there the whole time, but it's been long enough.
Patients Out of Time is one of the petitioners, led by Jon Gettman, PhD, who is acting with allies but on his own initiative. We submitted about 50,000 pages of peer reviewed cannabis science to support the obvious claim that cannabis is medicine (see www.drugscience.org for more details and the full petition). They have had plenty of time to read it. We have amassed an additional 30,000 pages of data in the meantime. This science is world-wide. Professional federal cannabis naysayers parse this science angle all the time, speaking only of US research which has been not allowed by policy or made to disappear if the science proved positive.
Disappear? At the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School in 1974, researchers at that university found that cannabis killed cancer cells. The federal medical overseers, NIDA, stopped the funding and buried the findings. In 1982, the Institute of Medicine was hired by the federal government to assess the health effects of cannabis. The short answer the report said was that the prohibition was more harmful than the substance itself. The federal government printed only 300 copies of the study. Not enough to provide one to each Senator and Representative. Buried. In 1999, the Director of a similar study, ordered by Drug Czar McCaffrey, told me she was going to release the Institute's, positive as medicine, report on the Internet before reporting to the feds and did so insuring “transparency.”
Cannabis is used as a medicine now in many countries: Canada, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Czechoslovakia, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland to name a few, and of course DC and 16 US states. If cannabis is a medicine in DC and 16 states how can the federal government continue to deny that there is no accepted medical use in the U.S.?
If cannabis is not a medicine it sure has a lot of smart people saying it is. Which makes me wonder if it was smart for the DHHS to say nothing or if it had nothing smart to say. On Monday, May 23, 2011 the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis filed a writ of mandamus, which is the legal way of saying "your time is up—answer the petition." So the ball is in their court once again. Can they make the right decision?
Al Byrne for Patients Out of Time
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Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Article by Al Byrne, on Jul. 21st 2011