Releaf Magazine
5Oct/160

U.S. Drug Czar Admits Government Didn’t Want Cannabis Known As Medicine

ryan_botticelli5_metU.S. Drug Czar Admits Government Didn’t Want Marijuana Considered Medicine

Merry Jane - By. Mike Adams - 10/03/2016

While it has long since been considered somewhat of a conspiracy theory that the federal government is purposely preventing marijuana from being researched for its therapeutic benefits, a recent interview with the Obama Administration’s “drug czar” reveals that the people’s paranoia is very real.

Last week, Politico’s Dan Diamond conducted an interview with Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, to discuss drug addiction at great length.

It was not until Monday, however, when the story began to pique our interest.

That’s when Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, uncovered a snippet of audio from the conversation alluding that old Uncle Sam has been holding back pot-related studies for years in order to prevent marijuana from being categorized as medicine.

“It’s a somewhat fair criticism that the government hasn’t wholly supported research to really investigate what’s the potential therapeutic value,” Botticelli said during the interview.

While the nation’s leading official on drug policy did go on to say that the Obama Administration has taken a number of leaps in recent years to improve the availability of research, his comments will undoubtedly crawl under the skin of cannabis reformers who have suspected the government all along for doing everything in its power to keep the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant in the dark.

This news comes just days after it was discovered by ATTN:, through a letter obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that the FDA does not exactly agree with the DEA’s decision to keep marijuana restricted under the confines of a Schedule I classification.

The letter, penned by acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, suggests the Department of Justice should consider reevaluating “the legal and regulatory framework” it uses to prevent marijuana research.

“[National Institute on Drug Abuse] points out that another potential area for review is the legal and regulatory framework applied to (1) the assessment of abuse liability for substances in Schedule 1 (including the comparative standard used to assess the relative risk of abuse) and (2) the assessment of currently accepted medical use for drugs that have not been approved by FDA,” the letter reads.

“While potentially daunting (depending on its nature and scope), re-evaluation of the legal and regulatory framework by DOJ/DEA and [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] could identify ways to encourage appropriate scientific research into the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana and its constituents,” it continues.

It seems while the DEA was busy blaming the FDA back in August for its decision to deny a petition to reschedule marijuana, it failed to mention that the health agency was essentially forced to make this move because of the eight factors the DEA has outlined for making this determination.  Ultimately, Ostroff does not seem to believe marijuana should be lumped in with drugs like heroin, but the FDA was still required to say the cannabis plant has no medicinal value based on the DEA’s "inflexible" guidelines.

Marijuana reformers hope the FDA’s letter is a sign of a promising future for scope of the nation's marijuana laws.

"This document highlights the great value in FOIA for marijuana journalists and activists,” Angell told MERRY JANE. “Now we know that FDA has been pushing DEA behind the scenes to loosen research restrictions like the Mississippi monopoly and the unneeded PHS review. Thankfully the Obama administration agreed and made those changes a reality. Hopefully they'll also pursue a separate scheduling determination for CBD and listen to what FDA said about how the criteria for determining scheduling might be too restrictive."

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2Jun/110

Drug Czar says report is misguided…..

Major panel: Drug war failed; legalize marijuana

The US gov keeps their blinders on.....-UA

JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Wednesday, June 1, 2011 seattlepi.com

According to a commission that includes former heads of state, a former U.N. secretary-general and a business mogul.

A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper will be released Thursday.

"Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won," the report said.

The 19-member commission includes former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former U.S. official George P. Schultz, who held cabinet posts under U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Others include former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, U.K. business mogul Richard Branson and the current prime minister of Greece.

Instead of punishing users who the report says "do no harm to others," the commission argues that governments should end criminalization of drug use, experiment with legal models that would undermine organized crime syndicates and offer health and treatment services for drug-users in need.

The commission called for drug policies based on methods empirically proven to reduce crime, lead to better health and promote economic and social development.

The commission is especially critical of the United States, which its members say must lead changing its anti-drug policies from being guided by anti-crime approaches to ones rooted in healthcare and human rights.

"We hope this country (the U.S.) at least starts to think there are alternatives," former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria told The Associated Press by phone. "We don't see the U.S. evolving in a way that is complatible with our (countries') long-term interests."

The office of White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said the report was misguided.

"Drug addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated. Making drugs more available — as this report suggests — will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe," Office of National Drug Control Policy spokesman Rafael Lemaitre said.

That office cites statistics showing declines in U.S. drug use compared to 30 years ago, along with a more recent 46 percent drop in current cocaine use among young adults over the last five years.

The report cited U.N. estimates that opiate use increased 34.5 percent worldwide and cocaine 27 percent from 1998 to 2008, while the use of cannabis, or marijuana, was up 8.5 percent.

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