MAPS Members, Supporters, and Friends,
The top media outlets across the country are taking notice of MAPS’ historic legal triumph over the DEA. This is an important milestone in MAPS’ effort to guide marijuana through the FDA drug approval process, but more must be done before we can claim victory.
Following last week’s 87-page Opinion and Recommended Ruling by a DEA administrative law judge in support of Professor Lyle Craker’s application for his proposed MAPS-sponsored marijuana production facility, news of the Judge’s rebuke of NIDA’s illegal marijuana monopoly appeared in literally hundreds of media outlets around the country, such as the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News, Boston Globe, and many others.
One of the best quotes comes from an editorial in the Chicago Tribune that says, “If the government is so sure that marijuana has no medical value, it should welcome this sort of research. If it refuses to facilitate such studies, it must fear knowing the truth.”
The message is getting out: it is not in the public interest for the DEA to mix politics with science and medicine. Like research into stem cells and the morning-after pill, this is another example of vested interests smothering legitimate scientific advancement. And just like with stem cells and the morning-after pill, triumph depends on the diligence of non-profit organizations and the commitment of those who fund their efforts.
To spread news of the recent ruling, MAPS has created this special podcast, summarizing the background of the case and the implications of last week’s momentous, but non-binding, decision from DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner.
The big challenge before us is to generate enough pressure on the DEA to accept the Judge’s recommendation. This is the final and most important step in the arduous journey to create a high-quality supply of marijuana available for use in FDA-approved studies.
Since the Judge’s decision is non-binding, MAPS must coordinate another Congressional lobbying campaign after the DEA’s lawyers file their objections on March 26. Our aim is to generate sufficient pressure on the DEA to accept the Judge’s recommendation by granting Prof. Craker a Schedule One license. Already, 38 members of Congress, Senators Kerry and Kennedy, the United Methodist Church, and numerous medical and public health organizations have written letter asking the DEA to accept Prof. Craker’s application.
This is a good start, but it is not enough. To have the best shot of succeeding, we must spend $50,000 on an intense effort to convince the DEA that they have more to lose by denying this application than by granting it. We currently do not have the resources necessary to do what is necessary. Will you help?
Prof. Craker’s case is the focal point of the struggle to bring medical marijuana before the FDA, to actually determine once and for all whether it meets FDA’s standards for safety and efficacy. If you want to win, please consider making a special financial contribution to MAPS today at www.maps.org/donate.
Here’s a few of the articles and op-eds that we’ve archived on MAPS in the Media over the past couple weeks:
Truth and Medical Marijuana
Judge: Let prof grow medicinal marijuana
San Francisco Chronicle:
Judge sides with botanist on pot supply
McClatchey News’ newswire article, which was carried in The Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury-News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and others:
Judge rules government supply of marijuana is inadequate
St. Petersburg Times:
DEA stymies science
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal:
Ole Miss may get competition in growing marijuana
Marijuana Research a New Field at UMass?
Bay Area Reporter:
Judge tells DEA to issue license to grow pot for research
Reefer Madness: Judge Supports Bid to Grow Research Pot
It’s becoming clearer every day that FDA-approved scientific evaluations of marijuana’s safety and efficacy are urgently needed. For example, the federal government has continued its costly and destructive raids on locally-sanctioned medical marijuana providers even in states that have approved medical use with a doctors prescription. Scientists, doctors, and patients are in a catch-22 because the Supreme Court insisted in Gonzales v. Raich that they to go to the FDA, but the DEA, NIDA and the federal government have systematically obstructed their ability to perform FDA-approved research.
With your help, we will escape this Orwellian trap.
Help make ground-breaking marijuana research a reality by making a generous gift to support MAPS’ work today at www.maps.org/donate.
Jag Davies, MAPS Director of Communications