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Tag: Schedule 1

DEA Chief: ‘Marijuana Is Not Medicine,’ Despite Evidence Suggesting It Is

marijuana-istockBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DEA Acting chief Chuck Rosenberg said Thursday that “marijuana is not medicine,” despite new evidence that suggests that cannabis has medicinal benefits.

“If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome,” he said, speaking at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “I will be the last person to stand in the way of that. … But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”

Although many states have approved the use of medicinal marijuana, the drug remains illegal federally because it’s classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act.

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the country needs to research the medicinal benefits of marijuana.

“Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent,” he said. “But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk.”

DEA Backs Off Kratom Ban – for Now – After Mounting Public Pressure

Kratom pill, via Wikipedia.

Kratom pill, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Under mounting public pressure, the DEA has delayed the ban on Kratom, a Southeast Asian tree leaf that is said to be helpful for pain relief and heroin abuse.

The DEA had planned to name the herb as an illegal Schedule 1 substance, which would have placed it in the same category as heroin.

Despite the delay, Kratom sellers and users and some lawmakers are worried the ban will still happen, KTVU reports.

Owner of Twisted Thistle Apothicaire in Berkeley said Kratom is very popular and effective.

“We didn’t get into this business for Kratom. Kratom found us,” said owner Ethan Franc.

The DEA claims Kratom is addictive and has hallucinogenic properties and therefore should be banned.

DEA’s Intention to Ban Kratom Spurs Outrage in Petition to White House

Kratom pill, via Wikipedia.

Kratom pill, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s plan to ban kratom, a natural substance that is abused and can be dangerous, has spurred outrage from people who say it is an effective treatment, including for people addicted to opioids.

More than 100,000 people signed a petition to urge President Obama to intervene in the DEA’s fight against kratom, the Huffington Post reports. 

“Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” reads the petition. “This is not true for Kratom, it has been shown numerous times in reports from users to help recovering Opiate addicts, treat pain, combat depression and anxiety, and much more.”

The DEA insists kratom should be banned to “avoid an imminent hazard to public safety.”

Supporters of kratom criticized the DEA for failing to ask for public comment.

“Rather than have an emergency scheduling, why not host a summit meeting with all of the groups and organizations and investors that are out there selling this product and say, ‘Hey, these are our concerns. If you don’t clean this up this is what we’re going to do’?” Susan Ash, founder of the American Kratom Association, a nonprofit that supports kratom consumers, told The Huffington Post last week. “Why not go to the sources that they’re having the problems with?”

Huffington Post wrote:

Kratom is made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a Southeast Asian tree related to coffee, and has been consumed in Asia for millennia, typically as a tea or powder. The herb contains alkaloids that appear to activate opioid receptors in the brain and reduce pain. Although most opioids have sedative qualities, low to moderate doses of kratom serve as a mild stimulant.

Portland Press Herald: Ban on Medical Marijuana Hurts Legitimate Patients

marijuana-istockBy Editorial Board
Portland Press Herald

A recent decision upholding the federal ban on medical cannabis was a letdown in Maine and the 24 other states where the drug can be prescribed to ease the symptoms of illness.

But the Aug. 11 announcement also offered reason for a more optimistic prognosis: The Drug Enforcement Administration is removing a major roadblock to medical studies of marijuana and advancing long-stalled efforts to research the plant’s value as a medication.

For 46 years, marijuana (along with heroin and LSD) has been a Schedule I drug, with no known medical benefits and “a high potential for abuse.” So when the DEA announced in April that it would soon decide whether to reclassify cannabis, there was widespread hope that the government was rethinking its long-held stance on the drug.

The production, distribution and consumption of marijuana all remain illegal under federal law – a fact that keeps medical cannabis patients and state-licensed suppliers in limbo.

Maine families have had to establish residency in Colorado in order to obtain the cannabis extract that helps their children’s epilepsy. Why? Because that particular strain, Charlotte’s Web, is grown in Colorado. And if parents can’t find something that works at home, they don’t have the option of crossing state lines to get it somewhere else.

Under federal law, that’s drug trafficking, even if they’re transporting strains like Charlotte’s Web that are low in THC, the chemical compound that’s the source of the high.

To read more click here. 

Post-Dispatch: DEA’s Failure to Reclassify Marijuana Tantamount to ‘Reefer Madness’

marijuana-istockBy Editorial Board
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Drug Enforcement Administration officials must be smoking something if they actually believe that heroin and marijuana deserve to be listed in the same category as controlled substances posing extreme dangers to public health. The two aren’t even in the same drug universe.

For years, the DEA has designated marijuana, along with heroin, ecstasy, LSD and peyote, as Schedule I controlled substances. “Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence,” the DEA says.

That not only ignores reality and makes almost no scientific sense, but in effect ties the hands of researchers looking for ways to expand the legitimate medicinal uses of marijuana. But last week theDEA reaffirmed marijuana’s Schedule I classification, though it made it easier for research facilities to get permission to grow and study it.

Consider what the DEA classifies as Schedule II drugs less threatening than pot: the opioid drug fentanyl, which was behind the death of rock star Prince; cocaine; methamphetamine; and oxycodone — uniformly decried by U.S. officials as contributing to the nation’s opioid and heroin addiction epidemic.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in 2014, 4.176 million people in the U.S. “abused” marijuana. About 3 percent, or 138,000, sought treatment for dependency. That same year, theNational Institutes of Health stated that 215 million Americans older than 18 reported having drunk alcohol, 16.3 million of whom acknowledged having alcohol use disorder. Despite an addiction rate far higher than marijuana, alcohol gets a pass under the DEA’s standards.

Medicinal or recreational marijuana use is legal in 25 states. Alcohol and marijuana are the two most popular recreational intoxicants. The only difference is that any use of marijuana is labeled 100 percent of the time as “abuse” by the DEA, just like shooting up heroin. There’s less science than superstition in this.

Other Stories of Interest

Washington Post: More Research Needed to Reclassify Marijuana

marijuana-istockBy Editorial Board
Washington Post

The Drug Enforcement Administration made headlines last week for sticking to the status quo: The agency declined to change marijuana’s classification under the Controlled Substances Act to a lower, less strictly regulated schedule.

Marijuana sits alongside heroin and LSD in the DEA’s Schedule I category, reserved for the most dangerous substances. Schedule II drugs include narcotics such as methadone and oxycodone that are medically useful but have a high potential for harm. Advocates say the current classification of marijuana makes little sense: They cite studies that show pot can help patients manage pain without any serious risk of abuse. The only problem? The Food and Drug Administration has done studies of its own, and its experts do not agree.

There’s one way to resolve the debate: more research. Until there is substantial evidence that marijuana does more to help than to hurt, the DEA is right not to reschedule the drug. The agency took a step in the right direction by allowing more places to grow marijuana for research on how the drug could treat chronic pain and diseases such as epilepsy.

But even with the rule change, most scientists who want to learn more about marijuana’s effects will find themselves hamstrung. Schedule I drugs are not supposed to have medical benefits, so the rules governing them do not easily allow for clinical trials. That means researchers and the DEA are stuck: The DEA can’t reclassify marijuana unless research proves its effectiveness, but scientists have a hard time doing research unless the DEA reclassifies marijuana.

DEA’s Catch-22 on Marijuana Makes Reclassification Nearly Impossible

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Editorial Board
The Register Guard

The Drug Enforcement Agency has rejected petitions to remove marijuana from its list of Schedule 1 drugs — those with a high potential for abuse, and lacking any recognized medical uses. It’s laughable — and, for those whose lives have been ruined by a small-time marijuana arrest, tragic — that pot should remain in the same category as heroin and LSD. But simultaneously with the DEA’s announcement, the Obama administration said last week it would lift roadblocks to research that could lead to a more rational approach toward marijuana.

The DEA based its decision on the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has not determined that marijuana is “a safe and effective medicine.” One reason the FDA had made no such determination is that the Schedule 1 classification stands in the way of marijuana research. It’s a Catch 22: Marijuana’s status as a drug with no beneficial uses blocks study of uses that might be beneficial.

The Obama administration’s new policy will lift one of the primary barriers to research. Currently, the FDA recognizes only federally approved research studies, and those must obtain marijuana from a federally approved source. Only one such source exists: The University of Mississippi is the sole supplier of marijuana for medical studies. Obtaining marijuana from that source can take years, applications are often denied, and some types of marijuana — including those with high concentrations of one of the drug’s active compounds, THC — are not available. The Obama administration will increase the number of research universities licensed to supply marijuana by a yet-unspecified number.

To read more click here. 

DEA Keeps Marijuana on List of Most Dangerous Drugs But Allows More Research

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Proponents of marijuana legalization were delivered a blow this week when the DEA said there’s “no currently accepted medical use treatment in the United States.”

DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg went further, saying marijuana can lead to abuse and should remain a Schedule 1 drug like heroin and LSD, NPR reports.

“This decision isn’t based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine,” he said, “and it’s not.”

Trouble is, the federal government has only allowed one research institution – the University of Mississippi – examine the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

But the DEA said this week it’s willing to increase the number of institutions that can research the benefits of marijuana.