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April M. Short at Alternet writes How Congress and the DEA Have Thwarted Official Research on Pot for 40 Years:
Ever wonder why, despite millions of personal anecdotes about pot's healing effects, there is a stark lack of government-approved, clinical studies to back up that human experience? The research gap is no accident. Cannabis is the only illicit substance with an extra set of governmental requirements specifically intended to prevent independent study.

While medical marijuana patients in nearly half of the states swear by the herb’s medicinal properties, prohibitionists can conveniently point their fingers at that lack of scientific evidence whenever cornered by a pro-legalization argument. Stacks of research have affirmed the extraordinary potentials of the cannabis plant, but none received the official approval of the U.S. government.

Hiding behind these outdated prerequisites, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has effectively blocked government approval of all independent scientific studies on pot for four decades. Created in the '70s as part of Richard Nixon's Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Prevention Act of 1970, the DEA, a policing agency tasked with enforcing national drug laws, has the authority to decide how each drug is restricted under the law and whether/where it is produced. This has allowed the DEA to restrict the production of cannabis allowed for federal research to the point of near non-existence.

In a new report titled “ The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science,” the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance teamed up with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to point out the many ways in which the law enforcement agency stifles science.

“This concerns me greatly as someone who has studied marijuana and given thousands of doses of the drug,” said psychiatry professor Carl Hart during a June 11 teleconference about the DEA report.  

Hart pointed out the existence of government-funded studies showing “some potential for marijuana” to help people with serious illnesses, for example HIV and AIDS. “The notion that the DEA is has not acknowledged this and thought about reconsidering the scheduling of marijuana just seems to be against the scientific evidence,” he said. “It seems to be against what we’re trying to do in terms of having a society that relies on empirical evidence to base our decisions.”


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 20122009:

It's one of the neat things about the Reconstruction Amendments that's sometimes overlooked -- not only do the 13th through 15th Amendments outlaw slavery and involuntary servitude, guarantee the privileges or immunities of all citizens of the United States as well as their right to due process and equal protection -- but the Amendments also expressly authorize Congress to enact further legislation enforcing these provisions.

Among this legislation is the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which finally outlawed various discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States.  Moreover, the Act in its Section 5 created federal oversight of local elections administration, requiring that those states which had a history of discriminatory voting practices ("covered jurisdictions") couldn't make any changes that affected voting -- couldn't even move the location of a polling place -- without getting "preclearance" from the United States Department of Justice.  The idea was, basically, "we're not going to let you have one bad law struck down only to see you try again the next day with some new scheme to screw minority voters -- so before you change anything, see us."  That list of covered jurisdictions is here, and not only includes many Southern states but also most of New York City, isolated parts of Michigan and South Dakota, and even some California counties (among other locations).



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Comment Preferences

  •  Semantic Landmine of the Day (10+ / 0-)

    Remember when you could call children, "little terrorists," and people would laugh because snark was still in vogue? 9/11 took care of that. The word terror, featured in a million movie trailers and responsible for selling more tickets than any other, has become anathema in any sense outside of the pejorative.
    That's evolution, folks.

    Free Will is the only moral law.

    by franklyn on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:02:37 PM PDT

  •  1,039,521 registered users on dKos now. (13+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    Helenukc1815
    Claude751
    Annabella9937nds1
    Micahsld61
    Waltraudxq38
    Ludwig Redux
    James9752ntz7
    Shannon1909z
    DavidgzThomas2132 (user #1,039,520: spammer)
    ethanvuz2084


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #1,039,000: dslmn (gun lover)
    #1,039,100: chrissyd
    #1,039,200: Toneykf (already banned)
    #1,039,300: Shaunarkc (already banned)
    #1,039,400: Gabriele2406i (already banned)
    #1,039,500: xmWadeServinom23

    We've added 610 more users in the last 24 hours.  There's definitely been a recent increase in spammers in the last couple weeks, and it seems to be getting even faster now.  This is getting a bit insane.


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, for Michael Bradley, here's Daniel Powter's "Bad Day".

  •  Just as there is little research on pot's (7+ / 0-)

    benefits, there's little research on it's detrimental effects.  Those detrimental effects can be negated if people simply ingest it in edible form.  I have emphysema thanks in most part to 30 years of smoking pot.  Please, please, please, either vaporize or eat it.  Otherwise, there's a lot of tar going down your lungs.
     

  •  Good night. (6+ / 0-)

    Today's diary: From opposite banks of the River of Life

    According to some conservative Christians, it was Satan walking in America when a transgender priest preached at the National Cathedral.

  •  Oh man, if you had... (4+ / 0-)

    respect for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), you'll have a lot less respect for him after seeing tonight's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

    Hint: unregulated dietary supplements that can kill people

  •  Without pot being illegal the DEA collapses (8+ / 0-)

    Why?

    Because to get pot in most states is to shop the black market. That black market needs those pot smokers for regular income and is responsible for establishing supply routes and distributions systems that hard drugs ride the coat tails of.

    Without pot hard drugs would only be found in large urban areas because that is the only economically sensible way of doing it.

    Thus the DEA would lose not only all the pot busts, but there would be no longer easy busts of harder drug dealers because they won't be everywhere anymore.

    I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:28:10 PM PDT

  •  But nuns giving out cocaine is OK. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Santa Susanna Kid

    Any hospital, including small, Catholic ones, can give cocaine to patients in the cocktail of drugs given to the patients to make them feel relaxed and pain-free, but the hospitals can't give out marijuana?  It's crazy.

  •  Pot is a non-partisan problem ... (3+ / 0-)

    as soon as RJReynolds wants to sell Mary Js at the Get 'n Go, whom ever is in power (Ds or Rs) will make it happen. That's the American way.

    •  Yes that's pretty much it. (5+ / 0-)

      Big Pharma is not going to allow pot until THEY control it. They are working on a pill, but personally I don't like to ingest pot. The DEA and the PIC combined with the Pharma guys make a very tough lobby in DC. I am actually amazed with the progress over the last few years, hope it keeps on truckin.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:00:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  marinol was for years a government approved (3+ / 0-)

        synthetic mj in a pill. but how do you keep it down if you're too nauseous to tolerate it? for years, there were @ 7 or 8 patients receiving government grade A joints to smoke but it was always limited to those spare few. supposedly it was top shelf weed. the suppression of mj has ever been a fraudulent hypocrisy perpetrated in evil intent or holier than braindead ignorance.

        decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

        by renzo capetti on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:44:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually that's not true (5+ / 0-)

      The FDA already vetted big pharma's Sativex but the DEA blocked it because it is made from herbal cannabis extracts. The DEA didn't block Marinol which is synthetic THC produced from sesame seed oil. The DEA is the problem and the cure is removing the DEA completely from any control over the scheduling process and the legal supply of herbal cannabis used for scientific testing. Personally, I vote for disbanding the DEA completely.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:27:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their name says enforcement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RMForbes

        Enforcement implies they act on laws decided by others. Not make the laws.

        I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 11:31:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, but whatever Big Pharma wants, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III, RMForbes

          the DEA and the FDA always enforces in their favor. Big Pharma and Big AG control those two entities, and thus, the laws...SSK

          "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards UID 194838

          by Santa Susanna Kid on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:00:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes and no (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JeffW

            Both these federal agencies have been captured by corporate interests but the DEA primarily acts on their own self interests. If the prohibition against the cannabis genus of plants ended it would automatically cut the operational budget of the DEA by about 60% and the DEA understands what this would do to their stature in the federal government. The DEA has been making decisions based upon what is good for the DEA over all else for decades.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:28:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  With a draw, Germany & the US advance. (5+ / 0-)

    I suggest they gather at mid-pitch, have some beers and Brazilian brauts, maybe play a little hacky-sack for 90 minutes.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)
    This message will self-destruct upon arrival in the NSA archives in Utah.

    by MTmofo on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:54:27 PM PDT

    •  Was good to watch soccer all day. Got away from (4+ / 0-)

      politics, and didn't miss this site here either. I even got into all that "analysis" afterwards with Alexi Lalas, et. al. and all the kibitizing, and moaning about "what if," etc.
      Enjoyed all of it. Astounded by the interest this time in the World Cup. Judging by the crowds all over and the enthusiasm, I think it'll be bigger than ever.

      I passed by a popular sports bar near where I live called "Legends" and it was jammed and jumping and noisy. Unbelievable. Even more than any Olympics.

      "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

      by Wildthumb on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:00:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The DEA approach reminds me a lot of the RW (5+ / 0-)

    approach to the science of climate change, although the latter has been approved for many NSF research grants and it's only the results that are disputed by the RW. I'm surprised the scientists at NIH tolerate this form of censorship.

    "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

    by RJDixon74135 on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:00:57 PM PDT

  •  The DEA may have thwarted research by... (5+ / 0-)

    ... scientists, but many of us used the scientific method in our own personal research and the results show Maureen Dowd is definitely dead in the head if she can't tell the difference between a Sugar Magnolia and an American Beauty.

    In this reporter's opinion.

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:13:55 PM PDT

    •  Maureen Dowd (6+ / 0-)

      gave away her dead head when she got all upset because Al Gore didn't dress in manly enough colors.

      Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

      by high uintas on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:16:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But that doesn't count! That's just woo woo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justiceputnam, JeffW

      alternative stuff with faeries and elves and magic dust!

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 04:15:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forgot to put a snark announcement on this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW

        Marijuana is a natural substance and it cannot be patented like many other substances, so there is no incentive in our profit driven pharmaceutical culture to really utilize anything that could be cheap, and easy--even if it's effective and less harmful to a body.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 07:08:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the medical field,to a great degree in most areas, (6+ / 0-)

    is well aware of the advantages afforded by marijuana for patients fighting nausea, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, some nervous and emotional disorders; and the holistic nutrition world knows of hemp seeds value, and the environmentalists and new age entrepreneurs ache to grow even non-medical hemp to make shoes, clothes and paper; which would spare alot of trees doncha know.
    hemp history can teach plenty about big business and phony morality, cultural and class and ethnic prejudice and the downright punitive mean spoilsport viciousness which underlies so much public policy and exclusionary vengeance ever eager
    to
    keep
    us
    down.

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:33:59 PM PDT

  •  Was thinking of white supremacists, (3+ / 0-)

    particularly those who, bizarrely, marry a member of a class of people they obsessively fear. Lou Dobbs came to mind, for the first time in years. Haven't heard one syllable from him since I quit watching cable news some eons ago. Is he still around? On second thought, why would I care?

    Sorry to have brought him up.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:55:15 PM PDT

  •  It all comes down to money. (5+ / 0-)

    The DEA / NIDA can't afford for marijuana to become legal. The vast majority of drug offenses are pot offenses. If they made it legal, people like Michelle Lionhart could lose their jobs because drug busts would go WAYYYY down--just think yourselves, how many people do you know who smoke crack, meth or shoot heroin? Personally, I don't know a soul. Then you have the big pharma, private prison industry, bullshit rehab facilities, the alcoholic beverage industry, etc.

    This is something that makes me so mad about Obama and the Dems--they should be WAY out in front of this trying to legalize it.

    In the world of reality, the legalization isn't the big deal it's been made out to be. Despite all their demonization of pot, legalization of it hasn't exactly caused the apocalypse to happen like they screamed it would. Sure there's people who are irresponsible and drive while stoned but most people behave.

    Frankly, I'm sad we still listen to these Nixon fuckheads. They've always been wrong, the war on drugs has done way more harm than good and it's time to end it.

    Just my .02 worth. If I ever write a diary on here, it'll be about this topic because marijuana prohibition, especially how it's been conducted to make it last longer than it should while ruining millions of lives, really enrages me.

    Peace.

  •  Steven Clifford explains the situation in Iraq: (0+ / 0-)

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 11:16:17 PM PDT

  •  Israeel in widespread bombing raids (0+ / 0-)

    against the only force which has dealt defeats to ISIS, the Syrian Army.  The word "byzantine" comes to mind.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:24:19 AM PDT

  •  check out this bear (5+ / 0-)

    I found this on facebook !

    mad bear

  •  Reefer Madness! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenPA, JeffW

    Its become an extension of the perverted protestant work ethic.

    Not only do we not deserve to make a living wage, because you know--someone out there might not have "earned" it. But we don't deserve pot as medicine either.

    Because to legalize medical marijuana, means that somewhere out there, some no good lazy kid might be smoking a fattie just for the fun of it.

    And we can't have none of that now can we!

    Some of these idiots make a career out of cutting their noses to spite their face.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 04:14:37 AM PDT

  •  "a society that relies on empirical evidence" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portia Elm

    a-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, that's funny.

    Everything Right is Wrong Again - TMBG (lyrics)

    by GreenPA on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 04:17:56 AM PDT

  •  re "tweet of the day" (0+ / 0-)
    I'm sorry you were offended because you misunderstood me
    is not meant to be an apology.  People need to take responsibility for themselves, and not blame others for the fact that they took something personally, or assume that their interpretation of something is law.  That is actually a prevalent trolling and manipulation technique.  If you don't agree with someone, or they are being a dick, that is what it is.

    PRESENT Shock When everything happens NOW

    by Portia Elm on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 04:37:33 AM PDT

  •  Final "Thanks!" for folks who sent well-wishes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    Our little dog - the ancient little brown dog - had a really bad day the other day. She's doing a bit better now.

    I posted a diary at the time, and added a short video clip from my smart phone taken the next day, showing her moving about.

    Thanks for all the well-wishes for my ancient little brown furkid, folks.

     :)

  •  on marijuana (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    I am being treated for cancer - as a result I am offered all sorts of drugs that normally would be off the menu.

    I can get morphine, codeine, Oxycontin any potency all day long - just call the doc and they phone it in.

    doc offered me THC tabs - for some side effects - to get this prescription filled the doctor has to hand write the prescription - my DH has to drive across town to get the prescription from the doc and hand carry it to the pharmacy - this often takes days and day to pull off mostly because the doc is in a busy practice and my DH has a schedule of his own.  The triage nurse says that they are not allowed to call that drug in.   Go figure

    It is so strange to me I can get oxycontin easily - essentially heroin  - but MJ is treated like it is an addictive drug that has to be made hard to get - maybe it is the state I live in?

  •  Also, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    Nixon's "crime control" administration included the Controlled Substances Act, which  authorized the creation of a National Commission that studied marjiuana.  Short story:  the commission recommended decriminalization, finding few health hazards and comparing recreational m.j. use with recreational alcohol.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Nixon's administration attempted to thwart the commission's report and obviously failed to enact its sound recommendation.

    Yeah, it happened during the 70s.

    Still fighting over this crap now.

  •  MJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    I am a senior with a very serious congenital heart issue.  Ive had open heart surgery, a defib/pacemaker, and have come back from dead.

    I have told every one of my MDs and surgeons I smoke pot, and the worst comment I've received was "thanks for telling me".  My cardiologist's office said there is evidence that pot may be good for me, but stressed that I didn't hear that from them.

    Physicians who support MJ are ostracized in the same manner as professional and military pilots who report unexplainable events and objects in the sky.

    Physicians don't make health policy in the USA, lobbyists do.

  •  War Pigs (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    JeffW

    What is it about War Whores like Richard (Little Dickie) Engel that makes them gravitate towards wars?  His defenders will say he is anti-war and is there for "truth and justice".  I say the man is a show boat, faked his own kidnapping in Syria for media stroking, and gets a rise in his Levis whenever he can grab a first class ticket to war zones, Emmies in his wittle bitty mind.  He provides no true insights, and is a Peter Bergen wannabe-someone who actually has a soul and a mind.

    Boycott WalMart; Boycott Papa Johns; and Boycott BP

    by truthronin on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:48:58 PM PDT

  •  Darrell and Joe (0+ / 0-)

    Darrell, should have gone to prison for multiple car thefts and possession of an unregistered firearm- who pulled the strings??? (Queue Law and Order sound effect)

    Joe Scarborough, rumored to be considering a return to politics.  A 23-year old staff member found dead in his congressional offices, ruled an accident of- wait for it- blunt force trauma.

    Who do these scumbags owe their lives to??

    (Queue Law and Order sound effect)

    Boycott WalMart; Boycott Papa Johns; and Boycott BP

    by truthronin on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:59:01 PM PDT

  •  The Bush Twin (0+ / 0-)

    Hey, now I know Chelsea makes 600K a year, how much does the evil Bush Twin make?  You know?  The twins who did things like make fun of homeless people and vets when they were in the WH.

    Boycott WalMart; Boycott Papa Johns; and Boycott BP

    by truthronin on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 04:25:49 PM PDT

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