Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 19 submissions in the queue.
posted by cmn32480 on Friday August 12 2016, @01:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the legalize-it dept.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has once again rejected attempts to reschedule cannabis and allow medical cannabis federally:

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg says the decision is rooted in science. Rosenberg gave "enormous weight" to conclusions by the Food and Drug Administration that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," and by some measures, it remains highly vulnerable to abuse as the most commonly used illicit drug across the nation.

"This decision isn't based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine," he said, "and it's not." Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, alongside heroin and LSD, while other, highly addictive substances including oxycodone and methamphetamine are regulated differently under Schedule II of the law. But marijuana's designation has nothing to do with danger, Rosenberg said.

The Post article notes:

In the words of a 2015 Brookings Institution report, a move to Schedule II "would signal to the medical community that [the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health] are ready to take medical marijuana research seriously, and help overcome a government-sponsored chilling effect on research that manifests in direct and indirect ways."

However, the DEA will expand the number of locations federally licensed to grow cannabis for research from the current total of... 1: the University of Mississippi.

Related: Compassionate Investigational New Drug program


Original Submission

Related Stories

4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm 55 comments

Past articles: 20152016

What's up, Soylenteers? I've got to write another one of these? #420TooMainstream.

Legalization Status

Timeline of cannabis laws in the United States
Timeline of cannabis law

Since this time last year, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical cannabis, Illinois decriminalized it, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis. An attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in Arizona narrowly failed.

29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, although restrictions vary widely from state to state.

Germany's medical cannabis law was approved in January and came into effect in March. Poland has also legalized medical cannabis, and Georgia's Supreme Court has ruled that imprisonment for possession of small amounts of cannabis is unconstitutional.

Recently: West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana

🍁 Cannada: Not So Fast 🍁

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled (archive) legislation (archive) that would make Canada the first major Western country to legalize recreational cannabis (the only country to legalize it to date is Uruguay, although implementation has taken years), dealing a serious blow to the crumbling United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, the Liberal Party of Canada intends to wait more than a year to act on its campaign promise, during which time Canadians can still face prosecution for possession of the drug:

True to form, this government has written down a series of talking points, in this case, trying to make it sound like it's cracking down on pot rather than legalizing it. And Justin Trudeau's ministers are sticking to the messaging from party central like a child reciting Dr. Seuss.

Not once in that As It Happens interview did [Justice Minister Jody] Wilson-Raybould explain why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly (see the Liberal party's website statement) for another year. Instead, literally every second time she opened her mouth, she re-spouted the line about "strictly regulating and restricting access." Off asked eight questions. Four times, Wilson-Raybould robotically reverted to the same phrase.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a parliamentary lifer who mastered the art of repetitive dronetalk sometime back in the last millennium, was out peddling more or less the same line, but with an added warning: Not only will the government continue to criminalize Canadians for what it considers a trifling offence, enforcement will be vigorous. "Existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected," Goodale declared. "This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all." Why the government cannot simply decide to invoke prosecutorial and police discretion, and cease enforcing the cannabis laws it considers unjust, was not explained. Why that would necessarily be a "free for all" also went unexplained.

The Liberal Party of Canada has taken pains to remind everyone that the Conservative Party will "do everything they can to stop real change and protect a failed status quo". Unfortunately, they did not get the memo that "marijuana" is a term with racist origins.

Make like a tree and legalize it, Cannadia... Cannibinoidia.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Backtrack to April 20th, 2016. Bernie Sanders still seemingly had a shot at becoming the President of the United States. Sanders, as well as Hillary Clinton (though begrudgingly), supported decriminalization of cannabis, medical use, and the continuation of states making decisions about recreational use. The #2 Republican candidate Ted Cruz also had a "let the states sort it out" stance.

One contender stood out, and he went on to become the @POTUS to #MAGA. The widely predicted "third term" was prevented, and that outcome may greatly affect a burgeoning semi-legal cannabis industry. One recent casualty are Amsterdam-style "cannabis clubs" (think: brewpubs). Colorado's legislature has backed off on a bill that would have allowed on-site consumption of cannabis at dispensaries due to the uncertain future of federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

Trump's position on cannabis has been ill-defined, although he supports medical use and has indicated that states should handle the issue. But the same can't be said of his Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions. Here are some quotes about the drug from Mr. Sessions:

I thought those guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot. [Source. Context: Sessions later testified that the comment was a joke.]

We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger.

I think one of [President Obama's] great failures, it's obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana... It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started 'Just Say No.

You can't have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink... It is different... It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.

Good people don't smoke marijuana.

Cannabis advocates are becoming increasingly paranoid about the federal government's stance towards the states (and a certain District) that have legalized cannabis. And this is following an Obama administration that was criticized for conducting raids in states with legalization. It is too early to tell how the Trump administration will choose to deal with cannabis, but there are signs that harsher policies and greater enforcement could be coming:

On Wednesday, [April 5th,] Jeff Sessions directed Justice Department lawyers to evaluate marijuana enforcement policy and send him recommendations. And some state officials are worried. This week the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington wrote the attorney general. They asked Sessions and the new Treasury secretary to consult with them before making any changes to regulations or enforcement.

At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said recently that the president is sympathetic to people who use marijuana for medical reasons. He pointed out that Congress has acted to bar the Justice Department from using federal money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs. But Spicer took a harsh view of recreational marijuana. "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we need to be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by," Spicer said.

Really, Spicer? Recreational cannabis use shouldn't be encouraged during an opioid addiction crisis? Read on.

Politics nexus unavailable for comment.

The Opioid Crisis Drags On (it's relevant)

Heroin use has become more dangerous as dealers have increasingly added other substances that massively increase potency without affecting the size of a dose significantly. Carfentanil, which is used as an elephant tranquilizer, has led to hundreds of deaths over very short timespans. It is impossible for the average user to predict the potency and potential danger of street heroin. While there have been international responses to these compounds, new chemical analogues are being created all the time:

Chinese labs producing the synthetic opiates play hide-and-seek with authorities. On their websites, they list fake addresses in derelict shopping centers or shuttered factories, and use third-party sales agents to conduct transactions that are hard to trace. The drugs themselves are easy to find with a Google search and to buy with a few mouse clicks. A recent check found more than a dozen Chinese sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other derivatives, often labeled as "research chemicals," for sale through direct mail shipments to the United States. On one website, carfentanil goes for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.

The cat-and-mouse game extends to chemistry, as the makers tinker with fentanyl itself. Minor modifications like adding an oxygen atom or shifting a methyl group can be enough to create whole new entities that are no longer on the list of sanctioned compounds. Carfentanil itself was, until recently, unregulated in China.

2016 saw the addition of kratom to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S. Advocates for the tree leaf drug, which was formerly classified as a supplement, believe that its painkiller effects and low risk factors make it a useful replacement for the oft-deadly opioids that millions of Americans are addicted to. Kratom users have treated their pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms using the formerly "legal high". The DEA has refused to acknowledge this application and points out the "skyrocketing" number of calls to the Poison Control Center regarding kratom in recent years. One skeptic of kratom, Dr. Josh Bloom of the American Council on Science and Health, has looked at the same evidence and concluded that the trail of bodies left by substances like fentanyl and the scarce number of deaths (perhaps wrongly) attributed to kratom make it clear that the substance is the better "poison". He also notes that:

The number of calls to poison control centers is not reliable for determining how many poisonings actually occurred. It is a crude approximation at best.

Much like kratom, medical cannabis has been touted as a solution to the opioid crisis. States with legalized medical cannabis have seen a reduction in reported instances of opioid dependence [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.006] [DX] So it is puzzling that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would use opioids as a bludgeon against cannabis legalization while AG Sessions expresses astonishment over the suggestion of using cannabis as a "cure" for the opioid crisis.

Bonus: Here's a video (2m14s) of a woman getting administered Narcan/naloxone. Here's an alternate video (2m39s) in which a man who overdosed on heroin is able to sit up in about a minute after being administered naloxone.

⚚ The Slow March for Science ⚕

While the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to reclassify cannabis from its current Schedule I status, citing the supposedly rigorous conclusions reached by the Food and Drug Administration, it will allow more than one institution to grow cannabis for research purposes, ending the monopoly held by the University of Mississippi. However, the Schedule I status of cannabis remains an impediment to further research:

[...] DEA's decision not to reschedule marijuana presents a Catch-22. By ruling that there is not enough evidence of "currently accepted medical use"—a key distinction between the highly restrictive Schedule I classification and the less restrictive Schedule II—the administration essentially makes it harder to gather such evidence.

"They're setting a standard that can't be met," says David Bradford, a health economist at the University of Georgia, Athens. "That level of proof is never going to be forthcoming in the current environment because it requires doing a really extensive clinical trial series, and given that a pharmaceutical company can't patent whole plant marijuana, it's in no company's interest to do that."

Schedule I status presents obstacles for clinical researchers because of restrictions on how the drugs must be stored and handled, Bradford says. Perhaps more significant, that listing may evoke skittishness at funding agencies and on the institutional review boards that must sign off on research involving human subjects.

Researchers have disparaged the quality and potency as well as the appearance and odor of the University of Mississippi's cannabis products:

"It doesn't resemble cannabis. It doesn't smell like cannabis," Sisley told PBS NewsHour last week.

Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist marijuana news site, agrees. "That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis," he said. Browne should know: He's reviewed dozens of strains professionally and is running a sophisticated marijuana growing competition called the Grow-Off.

"In two decades of smoking weed, I've never seen anything that looks like that," Browne said. "People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on."

Research on cannabinoids and psychedelics is proceeding, slowly. One study published yesterday (74 years after the first LSD trip) came to an astounding conclusion: Psychedelics can induce a "heightened state of consciousness":

Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, were found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to a study into the effects of the drugs. The shift in brain activity accompanied a host of peculiar sensations that the participants said ranged from floating and finding inner peace, to distortions in time and a conviction that the self was disintegrating.

[...] What we find is that under each of these psychedelic compounds, this specific measure of global conscious level goes up, so it moves in the other direction. The neural activity becomes more unpredictable," said Anil Seth, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Sussex. "Until now, we've only ever seen decreases compared to the baseline of the normal waking state."

Inconceivable!

Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep46421) (DX)

♯ Ending on High Notes ♯

Vape Naysh, y'all!

9th Circ. Tells DOJ to Back Off in Medical Pot States 65 comments

Courthouse News Service reports:

The Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Justice Department is barred from using federal funds to prosecute individuals in states where medical marijuana is legal and the individuals are in compliance with state law.

Federal prosecutors in California and Washington state indicted a number of individuals under the Controlled Substances Act on a range of offenses related to the growing and distribution of marijuana plants.

The defendants moved to dismiss the indictments, arguing that an appropriations bill passed by Congress in 2014 and renewed in 2015 and 2016 explicitly bars the Justice Department from using federal funds to interfere with states that have legalized medical marijuana.

The story goes on to characterize the legal battle and the reasoning behind the ruling. Basically that ruling boils down to the fact that the state laws apply in this case, and the funding laws passed by congress seem to be only a bit player in this ruling.

Writing for the three-judge panel, O'Scannlain said that Congress' appropriations bill expressly prohibits the Justice Department from spending money to keep 40 states — including California and Washington — the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico from implementing their own medical marijuana laws. And federal criminal defendants may fight the use of those funds, he said.

The panel appeared to go further than just enforcing the "No Federal Funds" use by stating:

"By officially permitting certain conduct, state law provides for non-prosecution of individuals who engage in such conduct. If the federal government prosecutes such individuals, it has prevented the state from giving practical effect to its law providing for non-prosecution of individuals who engage in the permitted conduct."

That seems as close as you can come to a "States Rights" line of reasoning and still be welcome in liberal circles. The decision is reportedly being carefully scrutinized in the other circuit, and I would expect to see the government seek another venue.


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough

Mark All as Read

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday August 12 2016, @01:11PM

    by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 12 2016, @01:11PM (#386993) Journal

    Remember that article yesterday about TSA seizing cash?

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @01:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @01:20PM (#387000)

      They even admit so themselves

      But marijuana's designation has nothing to do with danger, Rosenberg said.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Friday August 12 2016, @02:01PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday August 12 2016, @02:01PM (#387017) Journal

      DEA rather than TSA (although they are also known to steal). I was going to submit them as one article but decided to do them separately instead.

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Friday August 12 2016, @09:34PM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Friday August 12 2016, @09:34PM (#387185) Journal

      Yeah its profit...but not like you think, its big pharma profit they are truly worried about. A recent study was published showing the effect on big pharma of medical pot.....40% fewer anti-anxiety meds pushed, 70% less anti- nausea meds pushed and a whopping 1750%! fewer pain pills pushed by your friendly big pharma dealers....err i mean doctors.

      And THAT is why they pulled this shit, just as the FDA just shut down pretty much every vape shop in the USA (hope you got a good Chinese supplier!) by making them pay several million a vape device and a couple million a flavor (no more house juices, that alone puts most shops out of business) to get them approved while giving a pass to the shitty ones that catch on fire owned by big tobacco companies because the FDA wants people to go back to smoking, because of the big fat checks they take from big tobacco.

      Its almost hilarious, the USSA government has become so corrupted its become bizzaro, "People should take drugs that have all kinds of bad side effects, it am good for business" "People should smoke, lots of nasty cancer causing things in those but they am good for business!"...I swear its getting to the point the fucking Chinese government is a better model to emulate as at least they are honest in their corrupt cronyism.

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday August 13 2016, @04:16AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 13 2016, @04:16AM (#387373) Journal

        Yeah its profit...but not like you think, its big pharma profit they are truly worried about. A recent study was published

        Your line of reasoning went off the rails right there with that word Recent.
        The ink has hardly dried on that study, it certainly hasn't been validated, and it COULD NOT have affected any legislation.

        Its a nice theory, but the timing is all wrong.

        The question we should be asking is why is Enforcement in a position to decide what is and what is not against the law?
        Why do the even get a vote?

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Monday August 15 2016, @04:13AM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Monday August 15 2016, @04:13AM (#388092) Journal

          The study is NOT the point, it is simply to show why its being pushed. if you want to know the WHO is pulling the strings you merely have to look at the three biggest lobbying groups against pot...big pharma, the private prison industry, and the police unions...the three groups that make the most from illegal pot.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Taibhsear on Friday August 12 2016, @01:35PM

    by Taibhsear (1464) on Friday August 12 2016, @01:35PM (#387004)

    marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,"

    False. (and it takes 2 seconds to google for proof)

    "This decision isn't based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine," he said, "and it's not."

    Again, false, and if that WERE the reason for marijuana's ban then why are homeopathic remedies still allowed to be sold? Why aren't people put in jail for using other ineffective medicines and folk remedies? We all know the real reasons. Enough with the bullshit and lies already.

    Full disclaimer: I do not smoke and if it were legal I still would not smoke.

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Francis on Friday August 12 2016, @02:31PM

      by Francis (5544) on Friday August 12 2016, @02:31PM (#387025)

      Well, no, there is no currently accepted use for marijuana in the US at the present. Because it's another federal agency that sets those rules. Whether or not there are any acceptable uses for marijuana is beside the point as the FDA hasn't found any yet. And they haven't found any yet in large part because they haven't really done any research on the matter.

      Also, homeopathic remedies aren't effective, but they are generally safe. The main risk there is withholding effective treatment. Which is the same as marijuana, but since there is an actual effective ingredient there's a possibility of some sort of interaction.

      Bottom line here is that we need more research to make appropriate changes to our drug policy. Allowing a bunch of stoners to throw a hissy fit isn't a replacement for proper research studies.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Friday August 12 2016, @02:34PM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday August 12 2016, @02:34PM (#387026) Journal

        Allowing a bunch of stoners to throw a hissy fit isn't a replacement for proper research studies.

        In the words of a 2015 Brookings Institution report, a move to Schedule II "would signal to the medical community that [the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health] are ready to take medical marijuana research seriously, and help overcome a government-sponsored chilling effect on research that manifests in direct and indirect ways."

        --
        [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Whoever on Friday August 12 2016, @02:48PM

        by Whoever (4524) on Friday August 12 2016, @02:48PM (#387038)

        Bottom line here is that we need more research to make appropriate changes to our drug policy. Allowing a bunch of stoners to throw a hissy fit isn't a replacement for proper research studies.

        Like studies that show lower rates of opioid abuse in states that allow medical marijuana [norml.org]? Let's not forget that the federal government has done much to suppress research on medical uses of marijuana, so calls for more research are a little disingenuous.

        That should be a clear indication of how wrong the current classification is. Limited legalization of marijuana results in reduced abuse of abuse of much more dangerous drugs. What it also shows is that the current classification of marijuana is based on politics, not science.

        Before you make assumptions about me: I have never taken any illegal drug.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 12 2016, @02:58PM

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday August 12 2016, @02:58PM (#387042) Journal

          Before you make assumptions about me: I have never taken any illegal drug.

          There's no such thing as an illegal drug!

          This post may or may not be a shitpost.

          --
          [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday August 12 2016, @03:43PM

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 12 2016, @03:43PM (#387060) Journal

          Let's not forget that the federal government has done much to suppress research on medical uses of marijuana, so calls for more research are a little disingenuous.

          Indeed. I don't think many people realize that the criminalization of marijuana at the federal level was mostly the work of the overbearing Harry Anslinger [wikipedia.org], who deliberately sought to distort public perception, medical studies, and just about anything that stood in his way in his quest against "the reefer." After J. Edgar Hoover, Anslinger probably deserves a prize as being one of the most overbearing thugs at the head of a government agency during the expansion of federal government power in the mid-1900s.

          As the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics [wikipedia.org] (then part of the Treasury Department), for some reason he chose marijuana as the way to "make his name" for the new bureau. (He had been involved in stings under alcohol prohibition, but with alcohol prohibition repealed, he needed a "new problem to solve," and he went after marijuana. Previously, he had not considered marijuana use to be a significant issue.) There are some conspiracy theories that say this all was driven by wealthy folks pressuring him and others in the government, e.g., paper producers who were worried that hemp fiber might become a cheap new competitor, clothing manufacturers, etc. I don't put a lot of stock in all that, though maybe it had some influence.

          Anyhow, back to the medical stuff -- it's really crazy if you look at the history of how this stuff became criminalized. Back then, the federal government didn't yet have authority under the enumerated powers to regulate drugs (hence the Constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol), so they instead sought to tax drugs and use other methods to suppress their use. Anslinger's first attack was with the organization of the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act [wikipedia.org] of 1934. (For those unfamiliar with earlier Constitutional history, "uniform acts" were Congressional acts passed with the intent of establishing consistent policies across all states -- the federal government couldn't force adoption, but the hope was that all the state legislatures would pass the same laws.)

          But the Uniform Act was a disaster. Only 9 states actually adopted it. People really didn't care about marijuana. It was not a major issue. And despite the fact the American Medical Association repeatedly recommended further study in the drafting of the legislation, the Uniform Act was passed without any scientific findings whatsoever. (In fact, at one point in the drafting process, the AMA recommended that marijuana be downgraded from the list of "habit forming drugs," due to lack of evidence.)

          So, Anslinger was stuck -- states didn't adopt the Uniform Act, and the AMA didn't seem to think marijuana was a problem. So he decided to make his case to the public in the form of completely bogus propaganda -- William Randolph Hearst (the newspaper mogul who was a big supporter of Anslinger) waged a huge media campaign implying that marijuana was this gateway drug to perdition, creating addicts who would commit murder, rape, and sometimes die of overdose. All of this was completely unsubstantiated in the scientific literature. (The campy film Reefer Madness [wikipedia.org] is a classic example of similar propaganda created by this hysteria.) A lot of this propaganda was fundamentally racist, implying that blacks and hispanics who used marijuana would do things like rape white people and spread STDs.

          In the wake of this hysteria, Anslinger lobbied hard for the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 [wikipedia.org] to beef up federal regulations specifically on the drug. Once again, physicians were not consulted, and in fact the legislative counsel for the AMA said that many doctors were caught off-guard by this bill (which had been drafted without the AMA), since the term "marijuana" (or "marihuana" as in the title of the act) was not yet common, and many doctors didn't even realize that cannabis was being targeted.

          Subsequently, the LaGuardia Comittee [wikipedia.org] headed by the well-known New York mayor actually examined the existing science of the time. It concluded (in 1944!) that there was no evidence of marijuana being a gateway drug to worse narcotics nor that it caused the kind of addiction noted in other drugs. As in the 1930s, Anslinger's response was a report largely based on racism, noting that blacks who smoked the reefer apparently got upset about military segregation.

          Marijuana was put on Schedule I with the new Controlled Substances Act in 1970, whose passage followed soon after the overturning of the 1937 act in Leary v. United States [wikipedia.org]. The federal government obviously wanted to send a strong message on marijuana in replacing the old legislation (and also given the level of marijuana use among "hippies" and such at the time, who also could then be conveniently arrested if they created trouble as political dissidents), so it was placed on Schedule I, in accordance with the level of threat Anslinger had recommended decades before.

          Bottom line: The war on marijuana played a pivotal role in the establishment of federal drug policy, though it was never based substantively on medical evidence. Moving it out of Schedule I would require effectively admitting that the foundation of federal drug policy was basically created on a bunch of lies and propaganda -- not the mention the issue of what to do with the literally millions of people who have been arrested (and sometimes put in jail) over marijuana-related crimes. The ACLU estimates that half of all drug arrests in the US are related to marijuana. ANY weakness in marijuana policy would have MASSIVE implications.

          This has never been much about medical evidence.

          [Personal disclosure: I have NO interest in using marijuana or any other currently illegal drug.]

          • (Score: 1) by cmdrklarg on Friday August 12 2016, @06:13PM

            by cmdrklarg (5048) on Friday August 12 2016, @06:13PM (#387113)
            Considering the multitude of people profiting mightily from The War On Freedom^H^H^H Drugs, I am not at all surprised. What would surprise me is if they would actually act upon this injustice.
            --
            THE SOFTWARE, IT NO WORKY!
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @06:36PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @06:36PM (#387118)

            > After J. Edgar Hoover, Anslinger probably deserves a prize as being one of the most overbearing thugs at the head of a government agency during the expansion of federal government power in the mid-1900s.

            Pretty sure Allen "Operation Sunrise" Dulles deserves a shoutout here too.

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday August 12 2016, @11:31PM

            by Thexalon (636) on Friday August 12 2016, @11:31PM (#387246) Homepage

            Or, to summarize: Some powerful men in government decided to boost their own careers by locking up non-white men and occasionally annoying left-wing types by the millions (and conveniently legalizing discrimination against them for life) and declaring it was all for their health. That's all the War on Drugs has ever been.

            --
            In Capitalist America, ads view you!
          • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Saturday August 13 2016, @02:07AM

            by Whoever (4524) on Saturday August 13 2016, @02:07AM (#387316)

            I am still puzzled about how it took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, but the Controlled Substances Act merely required approval by Congress and the President.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Friday August 12 2016, @04:14PM

        by sjames (2882) on Friday August 12 2016, @04:14PM (#387069) Journal

        The FDA is pointedly looking away from the massive body of existing evidence. They are not interested in evidence, they are only interested in having their boots licked.

        I firmly believe regulation of food and drugs is necessary, just not by the FDA. That organization needs to be chopped up for firewood and replaced by a new body that will stay on mission.

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday August 12 2016, @06:14PM

          by HiThere (866) on Friday August 12 2016, @06:14PM (#387114)

          The "Chopped up and replaced" is a reasonable solution, but expecting an agency to "stay on mission" isn't reasonable. The only agencies that exhibit "staying on mission" are those that do not become centers of power. If they do, the controlling positions will be acquired by someone who desires to exercise power for the purpose of exercising power, with the official mission secondary if it's considered at all as anything other than a justifier.

          Note: If the FDA had no other power than granting an approval sticker, it would probably have done a much better job of "staying on mission". This is because it's only power then would be it's reputation, so nobody primarily interested in power would have found it attractive. (The approval sticker cannot be a requirement to allow sale, or this becomes invalid.)

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday August 12 2016, @07:12PM

            by sjames (2882) on Friday August 12 2016, @07:12PM (#387132) Journal

            Understood that agencies will tend over time to go off mission. That just means it's time to replace them. Fully agreed about restricting whatever would replace the FDA to approval stickers, though I would also allow warning stickers based of doubtful efficacy or actual danger to health. The FTC is better suited to making sure the product contents and purity match the label. That would make the drift take longer and cause less harm.

        • (Score: 1) by lgw on Friday August 12 2016, @09:24PM

          by lgw (2836) on Friday August 12 2016, @09:24PM (#387177)

          I feel exactly the same way about the EPA, for the same reason. Sure, the new ones will be just as bad in 50 years, but at least sanity will return for 30+ years.

          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday August 12 2016, @09:43PM

            by sjames (2882) on Friday August 12 2016, @09:43PM (#387190) Journal

            I would say government agencies fall under Twain's advice: “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday August 12 2016, @04:30PM

        by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 12 2016, @04:30PM (#387077) Journal

        I, for one, will be throwing a hissy fit at the ballot box this year and every year until cannabis is legal for recreational activity. As long as the D team seriously intends to explore the pathway towards legalization, they're worth voting for as far as I care. (May even yet have a change of heart and rethink my views about lizard people, but I remain a mammal supremacist for now.) This news does give me some pause, however. General advice to any reader who shares my sentiment is to remember to head over to NORML and check out how they rate your congress critters (can't give link since this is one site I do not go to at work). There are some R team who deserve a vote to further legalization and some D team that need to be voted out already (looking at Wasserman-Schultz at the moment, for a whole constellation of reasons including her position on the topic at hand).

        Many (most?) people are immune to information (yeah, guilty as charged on certain things), which is a big reason I'm a libertarian. I don't think all the links in the world to the new research that's overturning the decades of cargo cult “science” would convince you that the federal bureaucracy is objectively wrong here, but libertarianism offers a convenient way to simply agree to disagree with various people about various things. Authoritarianism takes that possibility off the table.

        Now, if you want a plant to ban, there's that jimson weed (datura) that AC was going on about a while back. Go ahead and ban that, seize the assets of anybody who has some, and exterminate it where it's found in the wild. Maybe it could be used for research into disassociative fugue? Robotripping is a better idea. I suppose I can't help myself at least giving yet another data point to underscore the absolute hypocrisy of the FDA and DEA, but take a gander over here [erowid.org]. It's not scheduled and is legal in all but a handful of states and the UK. I skimmed through the FAQ here [erowid.org] and perhaps I'm too harsh on datura based on the experience reports I've read (also on Erowid). I haven't experienced a hallucination I wasn't aware was simply a vivid daydream, but datura can apparently do that and can also make it impossible to tell the difference between waking reality and dreaming. That sounds fucking dangerous to me! (I would like to find an experienced lucid dreamer's take on that, though.)

        A fun one politically is nutmeg (not a fun experience imo but some people swear by it). Most of us would probably throw a hissy fit if that were illegal with cries of “they can take my pumpkin pie from my cold, dead hands!“ Yet, eat enough of it at once and its psychoactive effects last somewhere around 72 hours. (Do not do this unless you have at least 4 consecutive days with absolutely no responsibilities.)

        I also thought it was interesting that at one point everybody was having shit fits over yet another plant called salvia divinorum [wikipedia.org] and it was getting banned all over the place with people freaking the fuck out that it was turning their children to drugs and Satan and teenage rebellion and rock and roll probably too. (Gateway drug theory just will not die!) Salvia's length of experience is roughly 20 minutes tops but I never personally had any kind of reliable success with it (either immune or was doing it wrong).

        There. Two plants that are illegal, cannabis and salvia, despite being harmless and having durations measured in hours and minutes respectively alongside two plants that are legal, nutmeg and datura, but have durations measured in days and can cause other potentially dangerous side effects such as dehydration with both and an inability to tell the difference between dreams and reality with datura. I don't know how any thinking person can be capable of failing to see the problem here, but I suppose I wouldn't be surprised if, in my exuberance, I inadvertently convince somebody that nutmeg must be banned.

        As far as I go, I do just wanna get high. I would never be able to quantify exactly how it improves my life or why nothing else can do (or why psychologists and doctors can't fit me neatly into a diagnostic code or three). You'd need to have walked miles in my shoes to even begin to understand why or the underpinnings of my crazy.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Friday August 12 2016, @04:35PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Friday August 12 2016, @04:35PM (#387081)

        > Also, homeopathic remedies aren't effective, but they are generally safe.

        Homeopathic remedies are extremely effective for treating people suffering from dehydration. Drinking pure water is exactly what those people need. And it is a safe. :-)

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by driven on Friday August 12 2016, @04:24PM

      by driven (6295) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 12 2016, @04:24PM (#387075)

      Sounds like a straw man anyway. Why does marijuana need to be a safe and effective _medicine_ to be legal? Is alcohol a safe and effective medicine? No, and it can be misused just like pot.
      Enough with the false fronts.. let's hear the real reasons it is still not legal. The truth may or may not be pretty, but you can't have a proper dialog without facts. Presenting lies as your reasoning is counterproductive and undermines your own authority. (I'm speaking of the Obama administration quoted in the summary)

      I have my own opinions on marijuana use as I've known several people who smoke it and while I personally suspect it could have some long term effects (again, so can alcohol), I would never call it "dangerous". It's a fact that it does relax people, and I know and have heard of exactly zero people who have died of it.

      Maybe we'd have fewer radicals if people had something legal and easily accessible that they could "unplug" from reality for awhile with.

      Just my 2 cents..

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday August 12 2016, @04:46PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Friday August 12 2016, @04:46PM (#387087)

      Even if you were to accept as true that

      marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,"

      the same could be said for other things. Tobacco. Alcoholic beverages.

      Those two things alone are responsible for either higher rates of lung cancer, which we all have to ultimately pay to treat; or DUI's and other crimes like physical or sexual assaults.

      I would point out that there are people who drink responsibly. And there are smokers who are considerate of others -- yes, really!

      So if tobacco and alcohol are allowed to be legal, why not marijuana? Let's at least be consistent. We allow other drugs which do not have a medical use, and do cause known harms. And we regulate their use to various extents. (no smoking on planes, drinking and driving, etc)

      And as you point out, there is a significant question about whether marijuana does have some use as a treatment for some conditions for some people?

      (disclaimer: I neither drink alcohol nor smoke, although that seems irrelevant to the point.)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:39PM (#387144)

        Those two things alone are responsible for either [...] or DUI's and other crimes like physical or sexual assaults.

        No. You can't blame a drug for the foolish actions of the person. A drug isn't a sentient being that controls someone. If an individual chooses to take a drug and then makes bad decisions while under its influence, that is entirely their responsibility.

        It is placing the blame on the drug itself that causes people to want to continue the drug war, at least when it comes to the war on certain drugs. You're not pro-freedom just because you support legalizing marijuana; you have to support completely ending the drug war.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday August 12 2016, @07:46PM

          by DannyB (5839) on Friday August 12 2016, @07:46PM (#387147)

          Yes, you are correct. I should not blame either drug. In particular alcohol.

          Clearly, there are people who can drink and not do bad things as a result. While some other people seem predisposed to bad things happening when they drink.

          Wouldn't it work the same way for marijuana? Some people wouldn't cause any problems for other people. And a different group of people would cause problems?

          It seems like whatever argument can be made to keep alcohol legal is an argument to make marijuana legal. And conversely, arguments to keep marijuana illegal are arguments to make alcohol illegal. And the 'no medical use' argument could be used to make cigarettes and other tobacco products illegal. Why does the government think it can have it both ways.

      • (Score: 1) by lgw on Friday August 12 2016, @09:27PM

        by lgw (2836) on Friday August 12 2016, @09:27PM (#387180)

        higher rates of lung cancer, which we all have to ultimately pay to treat;

        Everyone dies from something, and lung cancer is an averagely-expensive way to die. There's no added cost there.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jdavidb on Friday August 12 2016, @01:42PM

    by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 12 2016, @01:42PM (#387011) Homepage Journal

    The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws

    So, no we can't?

    --
    ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @02:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @02:06PM (#387018)

      If Trump jumped on this and said he'd legalize MJ he'd win the election. If Cliton did the same I wouldn't believe it.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 12 2016, @02:09PM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday August 12 2016, @02:09PM (#387019) Journal

        Clinton: "I'm cool! I smoke the devil's lettuce like the cool kids do!"

        --
        [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @02:26PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @02:26PM (#387022)

          She never would've had to deal with Bill having his whistle wet by interns!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @03:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @03:17PM (#387052)

          "I put it to my lips and I did inhale"

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @06:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @06:09PM (#387109)

        Here's what the D team platform has to say about it:

        Because of conflicting federal and state laws concerning marijuana, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of “Schedule 1" federal controlled substances and to appropriately regulate it, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization. We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize it or provide access to medical marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty.

        Clinton herself is… evolving. It's what she does. She evolves. It's a double-edged sword. Who knows if her final form is Bernie Sanders or what.

        Cons: She takes whatever positions are politically expedient. She has no moral compass or principles.

        Pros: We can drag her by her feet, and she knows her shit.

        I'm not voting for her personally, not yet anyway. 1.) I don't think she has a chance of losing. 2.) I don't believe in voting against or strategic voting, no matter how surreal and ridiculous the other major candidate gets. 3.) If she flip-flops on TPP or tries to sneak its provisions into TTIP/TISA, Western civilization as we know it is frankly doomed once those 3 are in place. (Maybe that's a good thing. I don't want to find out that way, but some things can only be cleansed with fire.) 4.) If she doesn't evolve on legalization and does nothing to really, actually fix Obamacare, I will have wasted my vote.

        As far as voting for the clown the R team picked, if he fully backed legalization with the same fervor as his other beliefs, talked about how prohibition is a bad deal all the time, I can confirm I'd hold my nose, vote for him, and start calling him Mistah J while looking forward to rolling myself a nice fat J that would put a smile even on my face.

        • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:49PM (#387148)

          She only swings with what will give her the most votes, pretty much like every career politician. Trump and perhaps a very few others (but I can't think of any) don't bend over for a vote as much.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @08:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @08:50PM (#387165)

            Trump and perhaps a very few others (but I can't think of any) don't bend over for a vote as much.

            Are you kidding? He's pretty much done a 180 on every position he's ever had in order to run as a Republican.

  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by nitehawk214 on Friday August 12 2016, @02:43PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday August 12 2016, @02:43PM (#387034)

    Cannabis is the same level of illegality as amphetamines and cocaine.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 12 2016, @03:02PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday August 12 2016, @03:02PM (#387044) Journal

      More like LSD is at the same level as heroin.

      Look at almost any of these mainstream media articles about cannabis prohibition. They will mention something along the lines of "marijuana is listed in Schedule I, alongside heroin and LSD."

      Then look at one of my favorite graphs. [economist.com]

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1) by arcz on Friday August 12 2016, @03:28PM

        by arcz (4501) on Friday August 12 2016, @03:28PM (#387057)

        LSD is essentially prohibited because of the danger it poses to society as a whole. It's too easy to poison people with LSD.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 12 2016, @03:31PM

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday August 12 2016, @03:31PM (#387058) Journal

          plz poison me bby

          --
          [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by fustakrakich on Friday August 12 2016, @03:58PM

          by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday August 12 2016, @03:58PM (#387066) Journal

          LSD is not poisonous in any fashion. It can only temporarily upset the chemical balance in the brain. It has no physically harmful side effects and leaves no trace of its consumption (after you get a haircut in about 3 months). It is indeed a harmless substance.

          --
          This convinced me to sign up [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday August 12 2016, @06:46PM

            by HiThere (866) on Friday August 12 2016, @06:46PM (#387120)

            Sorry, even pure LSD is a poison. So is every other drug. Including water...people have died from drinking too much water.

            In all cases it is a matter of dosage. In some cases, e.g. Lead, there is no known safe level...but this doesn't mean that there isn't one, or that it might not even be needed. Look up "Milky White disease" for an example of a previously unsuspected deficiency disease.

            That said, LSD readily hydrolyzes, so it's not a direct social danger the way sugar of lead is.

            --
            Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday August 12 2016, @07:41PM

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday August 12 2016, @07:41PM (#387145)

          LSD is essentially prohibited because people feel that it is okay to use government to force to violate people's fundamental liberties in the name of safety. This is hardly different from the attitude that says that mass surveillance is okay if it stops terrorists, which is false even if it does increase our security by a substantial amount.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @07:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @07:54PM (#387604)

          LSD is essentially prohibited because of the danger it poses to society as a whole.

          Only if you believe hippies and their "Peace and Love~" ideology is dangerous to society as a whole, which many people do.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @03:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @03:03PM (#387045)

      Schedule II... what the fuck does that say that Marijuana is listed as more dangerous than drugs which have potentially immediate and lethal side effects (How often have you heard of someone dying as a direct result of smoking marijuana, short of maybe an asthma attack, which would affect cigarette smokes as well, and yet tobacco is minimally regulated?)

      Another non-drug user here. I can however vouch to know plenty of higher functioning substance abusers, from alcohol and cigs to mariajuana and beyond. I don't agree with it, but I agree even less with the government manipulating us for it or business' own gains over that of its super-majority constituency.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:28PM (#387141)

        I've observed that it can cause shit fits, hypertension, wild mood swings, psychopathic tendencies, and even violent outbursts in conservative and religious non-users.

        More seriously there's been at least one self-inflicted death and one murder related to edibles in Colorado. Alcohol may have been involved in both as well.

        I'd never tried edibles before until I found myself in Colorado and decided to give some baked goods a shot. It's not for me, but some people swear by it.

        But yeah, nobody has ever died from something like cannabis poisoning. Compare to all the cases where somebody's 21st birthday is their last day on Earth.

        One person I know is allergic and can break out in hives. I also know somebody with an allergy to bacon++ (well, pork), and we don't see Bible thumpers using that as a reason to ban pork. And how many millions (thousands?) of people are deathly allergic to peanuts or shellfish?

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by arcz on Friday August 12 2016, @03:15PM

      by arcz (4501) on Friday August 12 2016, @03:15PM (#387050)

      Wrong!

      Amphetamine is schedule II, THC (marijuwana) is schedule I.

      Schedule I = Always illegal
      Schedule II = Legal with a valid prescription with certain restrictions

      Speaking as someone who takes amphetamines for treatment of a common disorder, I can assure you that amphetamine is indeed not as regulated as THC. THC is always illegal for usage under federal law, amphetamine is not.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Ellis D. Tripp on Friday August 12 2016, @04:23PM

        by Ellis D. Tripp (3416) on Friday August 12 2016, @04:23PM (#387074)

        Listed as "dronabinol", and available under the brand name "Marinol"

        Whole plant cannabis is schedule I, in part because it isn't a patentable product for Big Pharma.

        --
        "Society is like stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you end up with a lot of scum on the top!"--Edward Abbey
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @09:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @09:54PM (#387198)

          You can get your THC in a form that doesn't fill your lungs with tar, and the dosing will be far more accurate.

          There is no medical justification for choosing the raw plant. We all know why you want this. You like the coolness factor, or you can't legitimately get a Marinol prescription. You want to have a giant bong at your party. This isn't a valid medical use.

          There might be medical justification for the raw plant if Marinol didn't exist. Well, sorry, Marinol exists.

          • (Score: 2) by Ellis D. Tripp on Saturday August 13 2016, @12:15AM

            by Ellis D. Tripp (3416) on Saturday August 13 2016, @12:15AM (#387276)

            Why whole plant cannabis? At least 3 reasons off the top of my head:

            A major FDA-approved indication for Marinol is as an anti-emetic. Swallowing capsules isn't very useful when you keep throwing them back up.

            You can easily titrate your dosage to get the desired effect when smoking or vaporizing. Not so much when swallowing a pill that takes an hour or more to take effect.

            The synergistic effects of all the OTHER cannabinoids besides THC, such as CBD and THCV, which are NOT present in Marinol.

            --
            "Society is like stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you end up with a lot of scum on the top!"--Edward Abbey
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @05:42AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @05:42AM (#387401)

              If the other compounds (CBD, THCV, etc.) are in fact medically useful, then they can get approved just like THC.

              If faster action or non-swallowing is needed, then an IV version can get approved. Other options are patches, inhalers, and anal suppositories. If it is better, it can get approved.

              You might complain that getting approval is expensive, but the same would apply to getting the raw plant approved. It's absurd to seek approval of the raw plant when it takes no more or less expense to approve the pure chemicals.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @01:24PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @01:24PM (#387480)

                The barriers to approval are political, not scientific.

                There is also no good reason for the plant to be on Schedule 1, even if weed is not a miracle medicine. Let the ATF rather than DEA/FDA regulate it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @03:20AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @03:20AM (#387353)

            >fill your lungs with tar

            Forgot about vaping, huh?

            >There might be medical justification for the raw plant if Marinol didn't exist.

            http://www.theweedblog.com/why-marinol-is-not-as-good-as-real-marijuana/ [theweedblog.com]

      • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Saturday August 13 2016, @04:37AM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Saturday August 13 2016, @04:37AM (#387381)

        You know, I knew at least one of those was going to be schedule Ii, but I was too lazy to look it up. :)

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @07:59PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13 2016, @07:59PM (#387605)

          Both are, as cocaine is also schedule II [wikipedia.org].

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by rts008 on Friday August 12 2016, @02:44PM

    by rts008 (3001) on Friday August 12 2016, @02:44PM (#387035)

    It started with Anslinger's 'war' on Mexicans and African-Americans, and Nixon hit the turbo button (as part of the GOP "Southern Strategy") with his 'War on Drugs' to try to discourage minorities and 'hippies' from participating in politics, as they were seemingly voting Democrat mostly.

    Since then, it's been nothing fact-based, but only FUD about marijuana since the early 1970's.

    Rosenberg can try to make the claim that it's based on 'political science'(and economics of 'for profit' incarceration and court systems) , but it is NOT based on any STEM-based science I'm aware of.
    His only accurate statement was:

    This decision isn't based on danger.

    Everything else he said on the subject is known BS.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Friday August 12 2016, @03:06PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 12 2016, @03:06PM (#387046)

      and Nixon hit the turbo button (as part of the GOP "Southern Strategy") with his 'War on Drugs' to try to discourage minorities and 'hippies' from participating in politics, as they were seemingly voting Democrat mostly.

      And on top of that, Nixon's good buddy Henry Kissinger is Hillary's idol.

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by rts008 on Friday August 12 2016, @06:06PM

        by rts008 (3001) on Friday August 12 2016, @06:06PM (#387106)

        In context of this discussion, so what? What exactly does that opinion have to do with the DEA's decision, or drug laws and policy about marijuana?

        Why you were modded insightful instead of offtopic, troll, or flamebait, is troubling, and an abuse of modpoints, IMO.(and according to the SN moderator's guidelines)

        Go beat your dead horses somewhere else.

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday August 15 2016, @02:41PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 15 2016, @02:41PM (#388193)

          It's entirely relevant, you obvious Hillary shill, because Hillary is most likely to become the next President, so we can expect more of this after her coronation.

          • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Monday August 15 2016, @03:49PM

            by rts008 (3001) on Monday August 15 2016, @03:49PM (#388218)

            LOL! The joke is on you, as I am NOT a Hillary shill. I voted for Bernie.

            I do not like Hillary at all, but I will vote for her to try to prevent Trump from getting in the White House.

    • (Score: 2) by bootsy on Friday August 12 2016, @03:06PM

      by bootsy (3440) on Friday August 12 2016, @03:06PM (#387047)

      I thought the DuPont company vs Henry Ford was also part of the problem. DuPont and the paper mills were worried about paper being made from hemp and Henry Ford wanted to use hemp as part of his car doors.

      It's a massively useful material and needs far less water than cotton.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Friday August 12 2016, @03:07PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday August 12 2016, @03:07PM (#387048) Journal

      From the opening of 4/20: Half-Baked Headline [soylentnews.org]:

      At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @06:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @06:50PM (#387123)

        mod that comment way up, that's the crux of this whole show

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by opinionated_science on Friday August 12 2016, @02:48PM

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Friday August 12 2016, @02:48PM (#387036)

    Every pharmaceutical on the market is the best fit to the worst copy of a natural molecule.

    Why? Because you cannot patent natural molecules , there is a perverse incentive to produce molecules that can *only* be synthesized artificially, with unknown binding effects...

    Ever wondered where the side effects come from? In order for a medication to work it needs to be in a high enough concentration to "bind" where it needs to (quotes since it can of course be allosteric...). And since the molecule is not natural it can stick so many other places than were avoided by 3 billion years of natural selection might require. Oh, and your liver may be need as a substrate so make sure you aren't using it for any other purpose.

    A rational government policy would be to have every molecule legal and pass the liability on the sellers.

    Designing drugs is *hard* - designing effective ones *harder*. We should be looking at the natural molecules first...

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @03:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @03:28PM (#387056)

      We should be looking at the natural molecules first...

      People already have and they still are, but the low-hanging fruit is already taken. Natural products also have the problem of often not being a single molecule, which complicates dosing and manufacture.

      As for side effects, evolution takes advantage of things that work well enough and do not select for something without pressure. Proteins are all made of the same building blocks and structure can be conserved even with divergent sequences, so perfect specificity at incredibly high concentrations (including metabolic break-down products) is not an easy problem to solve.

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday August 12 2016, @04:49PM

        by sjames (2882) on Friday August 12 2016, @04:49PM (#387088) Journal

        The dirty secret is that for drugs with a high therapeutic index, exact dosing is unimportant. As for manufacture, even people who are stoned most of the time manage to 'manufacture' marijuana successfully. That's the problem for the pharmaceutical industry. You can't charge a thousand dollars/script that way.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by fishybell on Friday August 12 2016, @04:56PM

      by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 12 2016, @04:56PM (#387090)

      since the molecule is not natural it can stick so many other places than were avoided by 3 billion years of natural selection might require

      So where's my immunity to snake venom, arsenic, death cap mushrooms, etc? Your post makes the assumption that "natural is always okay," and that's just not true. It's perfectly natural to be eaten by a wolf, killed by a snake, and drown in the ocean. Natural is often the exact opposite of safe: it's survival of the fittest.

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by opinionated_science on Saturday August 13 2016, @06:30PM

        by opinionated_science (4031) on Saturday August 13 2016, @06:30PM (#387573)

        Your post makes the assumption that "natural is always okay,"

        To be clear I did NOT say "natural is safe". I pointed out that the natural molecules have a ~3 billion year adapted biochemical binding/transport/enzymatic/$biology characteristics - sometimes, it is well characterised enough we can make a functional analog. My point is safety is *not* an issue - the ability to patent a molecule IS.

        Artificial molecules can have exquisitely precise function evaluated in the "lab", but ultimately the data collected from humans is vastly less precise. The assays used to evaluate pharmacological efficacy are very limited, because it is expensive. There are improving attempts to apply assays to whole cells and tissues, but this is very much research...

        Hence, the same evolution that makes snake venom or mushrooms poisonous, there is the possibility that mutations might exist to survive such compounds - and that's what the data shows.

        Survival of the fittest is often mis-interpreted , largely because when Darwin first published OTOOSANS the focus was explaining the focus record and the mechanism of adaption via descent and retention of beneficial traits.

        "fittest" only means you won the race, after you ran it!!!! - not that it can be predicted in advance. Sure, many things appear to be correlated with reproductive fitness, often to quite extreme limits (see the finches Darwin studied...).

        At the hear of my /rant, is that the movement to have ALL trials published, needs to get some traction - but the comparison with the amount of public funds used for the aggressive criminalisation of something you can grow in your garden is farce.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @07:20PM (#387136)

      Every pharmaceutical on the market is the best fit to the worst copy of a natural molecule.

      I'll trust a man-made concrete bridge over a natural log which falls over a river.

      I'll trust a man-made natural gas, solar, nuclear, or even a (ugh) coal power plant over a natural lightning storm.

      I'll trust a man-made house over a natural cave.

      Why should drugs be any different?

      (Also, as other have noted, spider venom, nightshade, poison oak, and bubonic plague are also all natural and organic.)

    • (Score: 1) by mobydisk on Friday August 12 2016, @07:27PM

      by mobydisk (5472) on Friday August 12 2016, @07:27PM (#387140)

      The basic idea you present is that drugs only exist because drug companies are evil, and every medication on earth has a natural alternative that is safer and more effective. This sums up modern medical pseudo-science very well. It is this kind of stupidity that makes people buy organic foods then wonder why they are sick from pesticides. (FYI: Organic foods have higher levels of pesticides than non-organic foods.) That is why people who decide to drink water from streams get arsenic and lead poisoning. (Hint: Those poisons are natural, and our modern water treatment plants remove it.)

      produce molecules that can *only* be synthesized artificially, with unknown binding effects...

      Actually, it is the other way around. We look into the binding effects of the natural molecule, then use that information to find other molecules that bind in the same or similar ways. In the end, we know more about the binding of the artificial molecules than the natural ones, because we do a lot more testing on them.

      Humans started out using natural medicines. We took things from nature around us. Then we started to ask "Well, I think this tree bark helps with headaches, but it doesn't work all the time, and it takes a lot. Can I make it better?" So we try to concentrate it down, and improve it. But now we would need to chop down a forest for it to work, so we asked "what is in this bark that makes it cure headaches?" 100 years go by, and we discover acetylsalicylic acid is the cause. Well hey, I can create that from exposing fly vomit to ultraviolet light (I made that up - ex: some kinda industrial process). Great, now I have mass-produced Aspirin.

      Ever wondered where the side effects come from?... avoided by 3 billion years of natural selection

      This section is nonsense.

      Natural medicines have side-effects too. Often we engineer drugs in an attempt to reduce the side-effects that the natural medicines. There is nothing special about a "natural" molecule that it will not bind to other receptor sites. Nature didn't naturally select perfect medicines for us.

      A rational government policy would be to have every molecule legal and pass the liability on the sellers.

      That is how things used to be. But we kinda got tired of the population getting poisoned slowly over a period of decades, then requiring dead people to sue defunct corporations. That's not very effective. Instead, we require testing. The big hole here is that we don't require natural molecules to be tested. So people take natural medicines that either don't work, or have worse side-effects than the industrial version.

      Designing drugs is *hard* - designing effective ones *harder*. We should be looking at the natural molecules first...

      That is what we do by definition. Whatever you start with is, obviously, the natural molecule. Then you refine from there. Nifty tidbit: Lots of the natural molecules we start with are the ones our body manufactures for itself!

      • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Friday August 12 2016, @08:22PM

        by opinionated_science (4031) on Friday August 12 2016, @08:22PM (#387162)

        I design pharmaceutical compounds for a profession. We can design anything - we can synthesis much less. Hence, all compounds that make it to market are only optimised from libraries of stuff we *can* make to a) not kill you (quickly) b) do what they say c) be better than something already sold.

        Sure, you can overdose on many and probably ANY natural compounds. But Biology is all carried out at the nanoscale - our bodies do not get 1mM of $COMPOUND by flooding the body. Many processes are exquisitely timed to make ONE copy, for ONE reaction.

        This is, ironically, why cancer is so hard to kill - the cells continually evolve and so unless a drug is %100 effective, the next generation will just promote a mutation to avoid

        If natural molecules were tested the same way as pharms are there might be less of a perverse incentive to "develop and sell whatever we can, for as much as we can". That's fine for a company selling widgets, not so much when your health may depend on it. /rant

  • (Score: 2) by DutchUncle on Friday August 12 2016, @05:04PM

    by DutchUncle (5370) on Friday August 12 2016, @05:04PM (#387091)

    And how to do RESEARCH without moving it to schedule 2? The pure circularity of the reasoning is impressive.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @05:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12 2016, @05:37PM (#387098)

    First Prohibition started with the passage of the 18th Constitutional amendment, supposedly granting Congress the power to pass laws effectively banning alcohol. (It was later repealed via the 21st amendment.)

    Second Prohibition, aka the War on Some Drugs, was "passed" without retracing the amendment process Congress previously required to effectively ban certain drugs.

    What that, Norton vs Shelby County [findlaw.com]? You say little Timmy fell down the well again? No, wait, you say:

    An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.

  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday August 12 2016, @07:04PM

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Friday August 12 2016, @07:04PM (#387128)

    Borderline straight-edger here--I have perhaps 2-3 drinks a year, but touch substance else, legal or illegal. The prohibition on marijuana is pure politics, nothing more. It's helped my sister massively with her depression, another friend's bipolar is entirely under control with it, and all in all it's far less harmful than the completely-legal tobacco and ethyl alcohol. Smoking it is stupid; never ever inhale burning matter, especially not complex organics! But there are surely safer ways like cooking with it, making a tincture, or making a tea.

  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Friday August 12 2016, @07:52PM

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Friday August 12 2016, @07:52PM (#387152)

    "The Emperor Wears no cloths" by Jack Herer

    http://www.jackherer.com/emperor-3/ [jackherer.com]

    A look at the history of Hemp/Cannabis and how it went from a part of American culture and history and changed into a "dangerous drug" by people with political and financial interests in doing so.

    When I first read it 30 years ago it made me do a 180 on the subject. From "Just say No" to Hemp advocate in less than 300 pages.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."