DEA Files Prehearing Statement in the DEA Administrative Law Judge Hearing

DEA files its prehearing statement in the DEA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. The ALJ hearing is taking place because of a lawsuit that Prof. Lyle Craker, Director, Medicinal Plant Program, Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, has filed against DEA for refusing to grant him a license for a MAPS-sponsored facility to produce marijuana exclusively for federally-approved research. In DEA’s initial “Order to Show Cause” explaining its rationale for rejecting Prof. Craker’s application (see entry for Dec. 10, 2004), DEA claimed that it would be against the public interest for it to approve the license and that, in any case, US international treaty obligations prevented DEA from issuing the license. Surprisingly, the prehearing statement speaks only to the issue of public interest and says nothing about DEA’s international treaty claims. Could it be that DEA realizes it has a weak case on that point? Prof. Craker has until April 22 to file his prehearing statement. Then the ALJ will schedule a conference to meet with lawyers for both parties to discuss the case and set the date for the formal hearing itself.