Only 10 days before the Bush Administration leaves office, the DEA has issued a final ruling denying a license to Prof. Lyle Craker, UMass Amherst, to grow marijuana for MAPS-sponsored medical research. The DEA is responding to a February 12, 2007 recommendation by DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner who found after extensive legal hearings that it would be in the public interest for DEA to issue Prof. Craker a license. The DEA is determined to protect the federal monopoly on the supply of marijuana that is legal for research that is held by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA uses its monopoly to fundamentally obstruct research aimed at developing marijuana into an FDA-approved prescription medicine. For example, Chemic Labs has been seeking without success for over 5 1/2 years to purchase 10 grams of marijuana from NIDA for MAPS and CaNORML-sponsored research into the effectiveness of the Volcano vaporizer as a non-smoking drug delivery device.
We have yet to see the DEA brief, which we have been told is 180 pages. We’ll be formulating a new strategy as quickly as we can to deal with this last minute blow to scientific freedom from the Bush Administration.