As DEA Clings To Reefer Madness Past For Drug Laws For Citizens, They Have Also Opened The Door For Big Pharma

DEA Sends Mixed Signals Over Weed–Throwing A Huge Bone To Big Pharma To Monetize It

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Of all the disappointments and broken promises of the Obama era–failing to promote single-payer health care, failure to end the Wars in Iraq and Afganistan, failure at closing Guantanamo (within his first year!), failure to rein in Wall Street, failure to protect the environment from fracking–perhaps the Administration’s failure to take a clear stance on the legalization of marijuana has been among the most tragic.


Early on, remember, when states like California, Oregon and Colorado were experimenting with medical marijuana, and then legal recreational use, the Administration stood by for a long time while the DEA continued to raid and harass people producing and selling weed that was legal under state law.

Eventually the Administration reined in the drug warriors, but only tepidly, and never coming out and directly supporting legal weed.

And now a final sour note to cap off a flaccid and ineffective administration when it comes to the legalization of a plant that has tremendous medical benefits as the DEA has announced that marijuana will remain a Schedule I drug, meaning it is classified as being just as dangerous as heroin and LSD, and means they see it as having “…no currently accepted medical treatment use,” despite the fact that 78 percent of physicians worldwide support medical marijuana use.

Many articles have bemoaned this move, but there is perhaps something a bit more nefarious at work here besides hoary old drug warriors continuing to fight failed wars like Japanese soldiers stranded on remote islands decades after World War II had ended.

That’s because the DEA not only ruled that marijuana–the plant–falls under this restriction. However, the agency quietly opened the door for more research to be conducted, creating a “…clear legal pathway” for pharmaceutical companies to engage in cannabis-specific “drug product development.” This will make applications available for other entities like universities and pharmaceutical companies to grow and cultivate their own marijuana, and use it to develop drugs and treatments.

And at first blush, this seems like a welcome move–until you consider the ramifications of the dichotomy they have created: legal pot growing from a plant in your kitchen window, no; legally pot-derived medicine created in a lab and sold by Big Pharma for a hefty profit, yes.

The agency clearly has an agenda with commercial product development at the forefront.

“[U]nder the new approach, should the state of scientific knowledge advance in the future such that a marijuana-derived drug is shown to be safe and effective for medical use, pharmaceutical firms will have a legal means of producing such drugs in the United States,” read an agency notice published in the Federal Register.

Again, if you use it as a plant that grows out of the ground, that is illegal to the tune of Schedule I. But if you buy a product produced in a lab by a big pharmaceutical company that is derived from the same chemicals, that is A-Ok.

This is clearly an egregious and corrupt sop to the forces of big money and Big Pharma that flies in the face of medical knowledge as well as logic.

If there is a government agency remaining that is actually working for the good of the American people, uncorrupted by the influence of money, please turn out the lights on your way out.

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