DEA Attorney Charles Trant submitted DEA’s “exception” to the February 12, 2007 opinion of ALJ Bittner. Trant objected to ALJ Bittner’s recommendation that it would be in the public interest for DEA to give Prof. Lyle Craker a license for a MAPS-sponsored medical marijuana production facility. Lacking much in the way of a good argument, Trant spent lots of time talking about international treaty obligations, and criticizing MAPS President Rick Doblin, at one point comparing him to Pablo Escobar.
A detailed rebuttal is being prepared by Prof. Craker’s legal team, to be submitted to the ALJ’s office by May 4, 2007. A few weeks or so after that, ALJ Bittner will forward her recommendation, along with the dueling legal documents, to DEA for a formal ruling. A coalition of medical marijuana and drug policy reform groups will try to generate pressure on DEA from Congress, seeking Representatives and Senators willing to sign a letter to DEA Administrator Tandy, urging her to accept ALJ Bittner’s recommendation. Unfortunately, DEA has no time limit for when it must issue its final ruling.