Medical Marijuana Research Update: January 2006

Our lawyers learned today that DEA has decided not to hold the final hearing that had been scheduled for January 17, solely in order to cross-examine under oath our rebuttal witness, Al Byrne. Perhaps DEA lawyers read my commentary posted on the MAPS website on December 20, 2005, in which I suggested that it would be wise for them not to call Al as a witness since he would have persuasively testified to the low quality of NIDA marijuana and to the veracity of the picture of the seeds and stems in three NIDA marijuana cigarettes that Prof. ElSohly had foolishly challenged as being somehow not accurate. Probably, DEA lawyers were just trying to intimidate Al into withdrawing his affidavit in order to avoid having to testify under oath inside DEA headquarters. When that failed, they decided to cancel the hearings regardless of my suggestions, which they haven’t taken in other instances anyway. In any case, there will now be no more courtroom drama, only dueling legal briefs. At this point, I guess that the final briefs will be due in several months and that DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner will issue her recommendation to DEA Administrator Karen Tandy in late Spring or early Summer 2006.