Vol. 2, Number 6
June 1, 2010
cheryl riley, editor & writer
Gradi Jordan, writer
Who's Who
What's New
Contact Us
AAMC California
AAMC El Dorado County CA
AAMC Idaho
AAMC Kansas
AAMC Oregon
AAMC Washington

Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis - by c.a. riley

The largest coalition in the history of drug policy reform, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC), was formed immediately following the U.S. Court of Appeals 2002 denial of Jon Gettman’s 1995 petition to remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

The CRC was created to represent—at local, state, and federal levels—the interests of medical cannabis patients and their advocates. It is an alliance of organizations, patients, and others advocating the removal of cannabis. Collaborators include:

  • The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis
  • Americans for Safe Access
  • California NORML
  • The Drug Policy Forum of Texas
  • Jon Gettman (see article below)
  • High Times magazine
  • Iowans for Medical Marijuana
  • The Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center
  • The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • The Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative
  • Patients Out of Time
On October 9, 2002, the Coalition filed a new petition with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) calling once again for the rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule I. A major goal of the petition is to reduce unnecessary suffering and restore dignity to the lives of chronically affected and terminally ill patients.

Written by Jon Gettman, Franjo Grotenherman, and Gero Leson, this latest petition contains a detailed summary of medical and scientific findings in the late 1990s supportive of the medicinal properties of cannabis, and would provide medical access to cannabis under current U.S. law.

On April 3, 2003 the DEA formally accepted the new petition for filing. Provisions of the Controlled Substance Act require the referral of such petitions to the Department of Health and Human Services for thorough scientific and medical scrutiny.

At this writing the CRC petition remains under review by HHS.

Who's Who in Medical Cannabis - Jon B. Gettman - by c.a. riley

Medical cannabis advocate, Jon B. Gettman, first formally petitioned the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to remove cannabis and cannabinoids from Schedules I and II of the Controlled Substance Act in 1995, on grounds that the substance lacks the potential for abuse.

The DEA decided six years later that there was insufficient evidence to necessitate the change and denied Gettman’s petition.

Not to be deterred, Gettman organized the group, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC), and, on October 9, 2002 again petitioned, focusing on accepted medicinal value rather than relative harm. He still wondered whether, if removed from Schedule I, cannabis might be regulated as:

  • A Schedule III or IV prescription drug
  • A Schedule V over-the-counter substance; or
  • Whether it should be eliminated from the Schedules altogether and regulated as alcohol and tobacco are.
On April 3, 2003, the DEA formally accepted the proposal seeking federal recognition of the therapeutic qualities of cannabis, reclassification, and creation of a legal infrastructure for the production and distribution of medical cannabis. The DEA’s acceptance of the proposal is tacit acknowledgement of its merit.

By law, the DEA must forward for review to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) all petitions seeking to reschedule drugs. In July, 2004 DEA referred the petition to HHS where review remains in progress.

Jon Gettman is a former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML) and now writes the longstanding “Cannabis Column” for High Times magazine wherein he tracks the progress of this latest petition, filed in collaboration with High Times. By September 2009, Gettman’s column had reported on the petition’s progress in more than fifty issues.

In his 1999 speech, Science and the End of Marijuana Prohibition, delivered at the 12th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform, Gettman pointed out that under the Controlled Substances Act, the scientists at HHS are the key decision-makers on marijuana policy because their scientific and medical findings are binding on the DEA. He went on to suggest that drug policy reformers should use the petitioning process to "cross-examine under oath and penalty of perjury every HHS official and scientist who claims that marijuana use is as dangerous as the use of cocaine or heroin.” This would strike one as a very valid proposal; needless to say, however, there isn’t much likelihood of it ever being acted upon.

Among Bob Gettman’s publications is his 2006 report, published in the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform, Marijuana Production in the United States, wherein he estimated the fiscal value of the U.S. marijuana crop and discovered—not unexpectedly—that cannabis exceeds the combined values of corn and wheat, making it the nation’s largest cash crop. Gettman then calls for the legalization and regulation of an estimated $35.8 billion cannabis industry.

Again from an economic perspective, in another special report for the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform: “Lost Taxes and Other Costs of Marijuana Laws,” Gettman looks at the effects of cannabis prohibition and calculates those costs to taxpayers to be about $42 billion in decreased tax revenues and enforcement costs.

Gettman’s degrees include a BA in Anthropology from the Catholic University of America and an MS in Justice, specializing in drug policy, from American University. He also holds a PhD in public policy and regional economic development from George Mason University.

As well as his work with the CRC and his extensive publishing, Gettman teaches public administration at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He is leader of the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform and writes frequently on the marijuana industry.

Jon B. Gettman is to be very much admired for his exemplary work in cannabis policy reform.

What's New

Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama

Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Connecticut: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Delaware: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB1381

Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
   Marijuana Bill Reaches House

Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB 627

Massachusetts: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HOUSE BILL NO. 1670 - An Act relating to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes
   Cottleville Mayor Don Yarber hopes Missouri legislature passes medical marijuana law

New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.

New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.

North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 478

Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 1393

South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act

Featured Recipe - Better Bud Butter

We’ve received numerous inquiries about just how one goes about making butter for all of these recipes. Well, folks have been making butter from cannabis for as long as I can remember which unfortunately is quite long. In the 60’s butter was not widely used as cannabis was in short supply and many folks smoked the leaves as well as any flowers (bud) they might acquire.

Even before the widespread use of medical cannabis in the 80’s and 90’s, increasing numbers of folks who had access to significant quantities of leaf, began to use basic recipes to make cooking products including butter and oil. All of these basic recipes involved slow and low cooking of dairy butter (or oil) and chopped leaf (in roughly equal proportions) to produce a deep green butter. This butter could be very potent but tastes pretty terrible. The problem is that butter made from the whole leaf will include both the chlorophyll and terpenes (as in turpentine) from the plant.

The use of Cannabis for medical purposes has spurred innovation and variety in Cannabis products. Many patients cannot or will not smoke. Of course there are vaporizers and tincture (the subject of a future recipe) but butter is the easiest to cook with and food products are not only well tolerated but can be very tasty and add much needed nutrition. The better the butter the greater the application is in recipes ranging from baked goods to soups to stews, to a wide variety of sauces.

This author relies on the "experts" for the following butter recipes. There are a few basic principles to good butter:

  1. Use very low heat as to not lower the potency or alter the biochemical characteristics of the Cannabis.
  2. Use high quality sweet unsalted dairy butter.
  3. Use a roughly 50/50 ratio (by weight) of plant product and dairy butter. With potent strains or flowers instead of trim the ratio can be easily changed to 10/1 (butter to plant). The resulting butter will have lighter color and better taste.

Bud Butter and Trim Butter: Manicure and dry flowers and/or bud trimmings. Grind to a powder with an electric coffee grinder. Melt the unsalted dairy butter first in a crock pot set on low. Gradually add the trim or flower powder with constant stirring. Cook in crock pot covered on the lowest setting with frequent stirring for two to four hours. Before the dark green butter cools, pour through a cheese cloth and squeeze into plastic tubs. Once the butter cools you can cover the tubs and place them in the refrigerator to finish cooling.

Potency: Potency of butter can vary tremendously depending upon the strain and which portions of the plant are used. Adding four to six ounces of powdered bud trim to two pounds of dairy butter will produce extremely powerful butter. Adding 2-4 tablespoons of such butter to a recipe that serves 10 means that each portion is receiving approximately 1-3 grams of Cannabis. Cookies and brownies made with this butter can be even stronger. Most of the good cookie recipes call for as much as 16 tablespoons of butter to three dozen cookies. These cookies are strong. Although patient dose requirements for orally delivered Cannabis are 4-10X higher than when smoked, one can see a portion can be quite potent. Unlike smoked Cannabis, the effects of the butter will appear more slowly and have much longer duration.

Storage: Butter can be kept in the freezer in airtight containers. Butter kept in this fashion can last many months. One should frequently inspect the butter to insure mold has not spoiled it. If mold has developed or the butter has been exposed and become rancid then it is best to toss it. When in doubt, throw it out.

Follow AAMC on:
6th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
April 15-17, 2010
Providence, RI USA

Medical Marijuana States

District of Columbia
New Jersey
New Mexico
Rhode Island