On September 19, a letter signed by 45 members of the U.S. House of Representatives will be delivered to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Karen Tandy urging her agency to license UMass-Amherst professor Lyle Craker to establish the nation’s first privately funded research-grade marijuana production facility. This letter demonstrates to DEA that there is a growing political will to end the federal government’s monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can be used in FDA-approved research.
The bipartisan letter (pdf), co-sponsored by Reps. John Olver (D-MA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), urges DEA to follow Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner’s February, 2007 ruling in favor of Prof. Craker. The law judge’s ruling is non-binding and DEA has no deadline to decide whether to accept or reject it.
Craker’s applications for regulatory approval, legal efforts, and proposed facility are sponsored by MAPS, which plans to design, fund, and obtain government approval for the clinical trials necessary to determine whether marijuana meets FDA requirements for medical safety and efficacy.