November 22, 2005
DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy
Drug Enforcement Administration
2401 Jefferson Davis Highway
Alexandria, VA 22301
Dear Administrator Tandy:
I am writing today to urge the DEA to license a privately-funded medical marijuana production facility, thus ending the government monopoly on the supply of marijuana legal for FDA and DEA-approved research. This would allow more controlled medical research using cannabis plants. When in a controlled laboratory facility, any agricultural product should be fair game for research and experimentation.
Over four years ago, Prof. Lyle Craker, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sought permission from DEA to grow cannabis for privately-funded medicinal research. As a controlled substance, the DEA has discretion to grant permission to grow the cannabis plant. The licensing of this facility would provide privately-funded sponsors of FDA-approved research the necessary opportunity to conduct studies with a strain of cannabis of their own choosing, with immediate access to that strain for all FDA-approved studies and for possible prescription use.
Scientific research on agricultural products should not be influenced by politics. If the test subject in question were dandelions, there would be no controversy here. The fact that some choose to abuse the cannabis plant illegally is immaterial. The use of controlled substances for legitimate research purposes is well-established, and has yielded a number of miracle medicines widely available to patients and doctors. This case should be no different. It’s in the public interest to end the government monopoly on marijuana legal for research.
President, Americans for Tax Reform