Why These Federal Agencies Should Be Abolished 

 

By Dr. Mercola

The use of marijuana for medical purposes is now legal in 25 states and, as of 
this writing, two additional states (Arkansas and Florida) have pending 
legislation or ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana 
<http://articles.mercola.com/medical-marijuana-uses.aspx> .1 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn1>
   

Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and the District of Columbia have also 
legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults, while 16 states have 
decriminalized certain marijuana possession offenses.2 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn2>
 

According to estimates, between 85 and 95 percent of Americans are in favor of 
medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent support complete legalization of 
marijuana. And, contrary to what you might think, doctors overwhelmingly agree. 

A 2013 survey found a majority of physicians — 76 percent — approve of the use 
of medical marijuana.3 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn3>
  CNN’s chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta also made a 
highly publicized reversal on his marijuana 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/08/medical-marijuana.aspx>
  stance after the production of his two-part series “Weed,” which aired in 
2014.4 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn4>
  

Despite this trend, many families are still unable, legally or otherwise, to 
obtain this herbal treatment. Families with a sick child are being forced to 
split up, just so that one parent can live in a place where medical cannabis 
can be legally obtained in order to help their child.

A major part of the problem lies at the federal level, where marijuana is 
classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance5 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn5>
  — a category reserved for the most addictive and dangerous of drugs, 
including heroin and LSD.

Marijuana Does Not Meet Criteria for Schedule 1 Controlled Substances 

According to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, Schedule 1 drugs are defined 
as those having a "high potential for abuse" and "no acceptable medical use in 
treatment." Research to date shows that marijuana meets neither of these 
criteria. For example, studies have shown medical cannabis:

*        Stimulates appetite in AIDS patients

*        Reduces neuropathic pain and spasticity in patients with multiple 
sclerosis (MS) 

*        Treats chronic pain 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/22/chronic-pain-treatment.aspx>
 

*        Reduces (and in some cases eliminates) epileptic seizures 

*        In Israel, doctors use marijuana to treat cancer, epilepsy, 
Parkinson’s disease 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/20/pesticide-exposure-parkinsons-disease.aspx>
 , Tourette’s syndrome and many other conditions

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has spent the last five years 
deliberating whether it should reclassify marijuana to a Schedule 2 substance — 
a class that includes both cocaine and methamphetamines; dangerous drugs that 
nonetheless have some accepted medicinal use.

DEA Rejects Petition to Lower Classification of Marijuana

Earlier this month, the agency delivered its verdict: Marijuana will remain a 
Schedule 1 substance. As reported by Newsweek:6 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn6>
 

“The decision is the DEA's response to a 2011 petition by two former state 
governors who had urged federal agencies to reclassify marijuana as a drug with 
accepted medical uses.

In a letter to the petitioners, the DEA said it had asked the Department of 
Health and Human Services [HHS] for a scientific and medical evaluation of the 
issue.

‘HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted 
medical use in the United States and lacks an acceptable level of safety for 
use even under medical supervision,’ the letter said.”

This really challenges logic on many fronts. For starters, in October 2003, the 
HHS actually obtained a patent for marijuana as a “neural protectant,” claiming 
it can protect your brain against stroke 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/10/3-foods-that-can-trigger-a-stroke.aspx>
  and trauma.7 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn7>
 

How can the HHS own a patent for the medical use of marijuana on the one hand, 
while concluding that “marijuana has no accepted medical use … and lacks an 
acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision” on the other?

DEA and HHS Should Be Abolished

With this decision, the DEA and HHS have completely lost all credibility, 
proving they will act AGAINST the public good if it means protecting corporate 
interests. The hypocrisy is so blatant it’s infuriating.

Because who actually benefits from marijuana being a banned? Primarily drug 
companies, privatized prisons — which make millions of dollars from 
incarcerating non-violent marijuana users — and law enforcement, including 
police and prison guard unions.8 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn8>
 , 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn9>
 9

In 2011 alone, 850,000 people in the U.S. were arrested for marijuana-related 
crimes.10 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn10>
  As noted by Opensecrets.org:11 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn11>
 

“The revenue from waging the war on drugs has become a significant source of 
financial support for local law enforcement. 

Federal and state funding of the drug war — as well as the property police 
forces seize as a part of drug raids — have become significant financial 
supplements to local forces’ budgets … 

One of the largest for-profit prison companies, Corrections Corporation of 
America, even stated in a regulatory filing that keeping the drug war alive is 
essential to its success as a business: 

‘[A]ny changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances … could affect 
the number of persons arrested, convicted and sentenced, thereby potentially 
reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.’”

Current Scheduling of Marijuana Ignores Scientific Evidence

As noted by Carl L. Hart, Ph.D.,12 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn12>
  a researcher of behavioral and neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive 
drugs and the department chair of the psychology department at Columbia 
University:13 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn13>
 

“[T]herapeutic benefits … have compelled citizens to vote repeatedly over the 
past two decades to legalize medical marijuana at the state level … And yet 
Federal law still technically forbids the use of medical marijuana …  

As a scientist and educator, I am worried that we have lost credibility … with 
those seeking treatments for a variety of medical conditions because our 
current scheduling of marijuana ignores the scientific and medical evidence.

When we make decisions based on factors other than the available empirical 
evidence, we are less than objective, which means we are no longer acting as 
scientists.”

Hart also points out that the glaring inconsistencies between the Federal law 
and so many other state initiatives — not to mention mounting scientific 
evidence demonstrating the medical benefits of cannabis — really undermines 
peoples’ trust in federal agencies.

I strongly concur, especially as it relates to the DEA, which really seems more 
interested in protecting the profits of prisons and drug companies than 
anything else.

DEA Vows to Make Marijuana Research Easier 

In response to rising demand from scientists, the DEA has agreed to loosen 
restrictions around the growing of marijuana for research purposes. In April 
2014, 161 scientists were registered to study marijuana. As of March 2016, 
there were 244.

At present, the University of Mississippi is the only federally legal grower of 
cannabis, and researchers who want to study the herb must jump through a number 
of bureaucratic hoops in order to receive approval from the HHS, the U.S. Food 
and Drug Administration (FDA) and the DEA.

The DEA has agreed to raise the amount of marijuana it will allow to be grown 
for research purposes. It will also allow other facilities to grow marijuana 
for research. Many other time-consuming and costly hurdles will remain, 
however.14 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn14>
 , 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn15>
 15

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical 
Center, has pushed for looser restrictions on marijuana research. He told STAT 
News:16 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn16>
 

“The main holdup for researchers is the scheduling, not the ability to obtain 
the product, which is a secondary issue. This change is a positive one, but 
will do relatively little to advance our scientific understanding.”

Indeed, while all Schedule 1 drugs must gain FDA approval, researchers studying 
marijuana must undergo additional review processes by both the HHS and the 
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that no other drug must go through.17 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn17>
 

Moreover, there’s no deadline for the HHS/NIDA review, and no formal appeals 
process should the study be rejected. As a result, marijuana research is easily 
stifled, delayed or prevented altogether. 

Synthetic Pot Drugs Approved While Marijuana Remains Banned

Ironically, while acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg states that “no drug product 
made from marijuana has yet been shown to be safe and effective,” he admits 
that two synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) medicines — Marinol and Cesamer 
— have recently received FDA approval for sale as, you guessed it, patented 
drugs.

Rosenberg took over as acting director of the DEA in May 2015, taking over the 
role after scandals drove out Michele Leonhart.18 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn18>
  Leonhart was harshly criticized for opposing the legalization of marijuana, 
yet Rosenberg is following in the exact same footsteps.19 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn19>
 

Earlier this year, Rosenberg even referred to the concept of medical marijuana 
as “a joke.” Somehow, I don’t think the manufacturers of these synthetic THC 
drugs would agree with him. In fact, the very approval of these drugs should be 
sufficient to prove marijuana has medical applications. Why else would they be 
approved for the treatment of nausea? These synthetic THC drugs are listed as 
Schedule 3 and 2 respectively, meaning they have acknowledged medicinal value.

THC is a subclass of cannabinoids, the general category of active chemical 
compounds found in marijuana. Cannabidiols (CBD) is another subclass.20 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn20>
  Cannabinoids produce biological effects because, just like opiates 
interacting with your opiate receptors, cannabinoids interact with specific 
receptors located in your cell membranes.

The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when particular 
cannabinoids activate their associated receptors, and the effects depend on the 
areas of your body and brain in which they interact. Some cannabinoids are 
psychoactive, whereas others are not. THC is the most psychoactive, the one 
that produces the “high” associated with smoking pot.

Why Are DEA and HHS Ignoring Human Endocannabinoid System?

Cannabinoid receptors can be found on cell membranes throughout your body — in 
fact, scientists now believe they may represent the most widespread receptor 
system in the human body.21 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn21>
  Two receptor types have been identified:

*        CB1: Cannabinoid receptors that are extremely prolific in your brain 
(excluding your brain stem), but also present in your heart, lungs, kidneys, 
liver, pancreas and other parts of your body

*        CB2: Cannabinoid receptors primarily found in your immune system

Your endocannabinoid system is thought to help regulate nearly every 
physiological process and plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis, 
and yet this is not taught in medical school. We’ve shared this important 
system with all vertebrate species and even sea squirts for more than 600 
million years. Science to date suggests that your endocannabinoid system is 
integral to the following biological processes, and chances are we’ve barely 
scratched the surface.22 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn22>
 


✓ Immune function 

✓ Inflammation 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/07/inflammation-triggers-disease-symptoms.aspx>
  (especially tamping it down)

✓ Energy intake and storage


✓ Appetite control and cravings

✓ Nutrient transport

✓ Cellular communication


✓ Emotional balance

✓ Reproduction

✓ Pain sensation


✓ Sleep 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/27/sleep-deprivation-risks.aspx>
 

✓ Bone growth

✓ Memory

Why Big Pharma Hates Pot

Were marijuana decriminalized nationwide, the drug industry clearly would take 
a big hit. Not only would people have access to a far less expensive, more 
effective and natural version of the synthetic CBD and THC drugs currently 
selling at a premium, many would also turn to marijuana to relieve their aches, 
pains, nausea, sleep problems, anxiety, depression and more.

The sad fact is that drug companies are fighting to shut down the legalization 
of marijuana in order to maintain their drug monopoly. For starters, the opioid 
painkiller market would be severely threatened by marijuana legalization. 

Narcotic painkillers have been identified as the new gateway drug to heroin, 
and even government officials have publicly acknowledged that these drugs have 
become the No. 1 drug problem in the U.S., addicting and killing people in 
record numbers. More than 28,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2014 — 
more deaths than any other year on record according to data from the U.S. 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).23 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn23>
 

The number includes deaths from both heroin and prescription opioid pain 
relievers, but the latter accounted for at least half. Yet little is being done 
to curb their use. Instead, agencies like the DEA, FDA and HHS are fighting 
against marijuana! It’s illogical at best. Then again, profit has nothing to do 
with logic, and this is how you know that many federal agencies have ceased 
working for the public good. 

Why Won’t Senate Release Its Opioid Report?

In 2012, as opioid overdoses 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/16/opioid-addiction.aspx>
  continued to rise, two senators — Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley 
(R-Iowa) — began an investigation into financial ties between the drugs’ makers 
and the medical organizations setting guidelines on opioid use. The targets of 
the investigation were Purdue Pharma (maker of Oxycontin), Endo International 
plc (Percocet) and Johnson & Johnson (Duragesic) along with five organizations, 
including the Center for Practical Bioethics and the American Pain Foundation 
(APF).

Senate staffers spent a year working on the investigation and subsequent 
report, but its results have not been made public (the report is sealed in the 
Senate Committee on Finance's office).24 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn24>
  Due to changes in position, it’s now Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), current 
chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who 
stand to get the opioid report released.

In 2015, public health advocates requested the release of the findings, noting 
that many of those targeted by the report continue to “promote aggressive 
opioid use and continue to block federal and state interventions that could 
reduce overprescribing.” Still, the report remains sealed. The question is why. 
What did they find that they don’t want anyone to know?

Drug Companies Downplay Addictive Nature of Opioids

The attorney general of New Hampshire, Joseph Foster, is trying to prove five 
drug companies — Actavis, Endo, Janssen, Teva and Purdue Pharma — broke the law 
when they marketed their opioid painkillers. He believes false marketing has 
contributed to rising abuse of illicit drugs like heroin. According to Foster, 
these companies are stifling his investigation and refusing to cooperate with 
the state’s attorneys. In a recent NPR program, Foster said:25 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn25>
 

“If they are continuing to mislead the public, we're going to continue to 
improperly create addicts in our state. Four out of 5 folks who turned to 
heroin were addicted to prescription opiates first.” 

Chicago, two California counties and Mississippi have already filed lawsuits 
against one or more of the same companies currently under investigation in New 
Hampshire. James Boffetti, New Hampshire’s lead attorney on the case told NPR:

“We're in a mess. You know, we have a country that's addicted to opioids that 
move to heroin. So we need to solve this problem, and part of it is we need to 
figure out what the drug companies did, if anything, to create this problem … 
[But] I've yet to receive one piece of paper from any of these drug companies. 
And you've got to ask yourself, why? Why are they fighting so hard?”

DEA Has Impeded and Rejected Science for 40 Years 

Like the drug industry, the DEA has spent decades fighting AGAINST that which 
is right. As noted by Drugpolicy.org:26 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn26>
  “The DEA has existed for more than 40 years but little attention has been 
given to the role the agency has played in fueling mass incarceration, racial 
disparities, the surveillance state and other drug war problems.” It goes into 
further detail in its report, “The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting 
Science.”27 
<http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/15/medical-marijuana-legalization.aspx#_edn27>
  The report highlights the following five case studies:

*        DEA Obstructs Marijuana Rescheduling, Part One 1973-1994 

*        DEA Overrules Administrative Law Judge to Classify MDMA (synthetic 
cannabinoids) as Schedule I, 1985 

*        DEA Obstructs Marijuana Rescheduling: Part Two, 1995-2001 

*        DEA Overrules Administrative Law Judge to Protect Federal Monopoly on 
Marijuana for Research, 2001-2013 

*        DEA Obstructs Marijuana Rescheduling: Part Three, 2002-2013 

According to the report, “These case studies reveal a number of DEA practices 
that work to maintain the existing, scientifically unsupported drug scheduling 
system and to obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules.” 
Failing to act in a timely fashion, overruling DEA administrative law judges 
and creating regulatory Catch-22s are among the agency’s most common tactics.

Unfortunately, with its recent decision to reject the petition to reclassify 
marijuana, it’s apparent that the agency is still playing the same old game. 
Meanwhile, families and individual lives continue to be destroyed by a 
nonsensical drug policy that targets marijuana users — even when the herb is 
used to treat terminal illness for which there are few other safe options. 

It’s hard to understand how federal policy makers can sacrifice the lives of so 
many, including children, to protect corporate profit centers. But that’s what 
they’re doing. 

 

 

EM

On the 49th Parallel          

                 Thé Mulindwas Communication Group
"With Yoweri Museveni, Ssabassajja and Dr. Kiiza Besigye, Uganda is in anarchy"
                    Kuungana Mulindwa Mawasiliano Kikundi
"Pamoja na Yoweri Museveni, Ssabassajja na Dk. Kiiza Besigye, Uganda ni katika 
machafuko" 

 

 

 

 

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