Government Waste and the DEA - Dr. David Bearman
The 2012 presidential race is finally over. Both candidates campaigned on eliminating waste in the government. This makes it timely to offer a rather obvious executive branch reorganization that would both save money and help the government be more effective.
This can be done by eliminating the DEA and placing their two principle functions (scientific evaluation and law enforcement) under the oversight of two other more appropriate government agencies. Place the DEA’s criminal justice functions with the ATF. Take the scientists in the DEA, such as they are, and put them with the NIH. The elimination of the DEA would eliminate duplicative administrative duties, save money and possibly get a scientific assessment of a plant, cannabis, that has been shown to cure cancer.
DEA Accused of Being Arbitrary and Capricious
The timeliness is underscored by the Washington D.C. Circuit Court hearing oral arguments in the Americans for Safe Access (ASA) lawsuit against the DEA for arbitrarily and capriciously rejecting the rescheduling cannabis. The ASA lawsuit points out that this was a haphazard, unscientific action by the DEA.
The DEA not only did not reclassify cannabis as requested by the AMA, but not appropriately evaluate the science supporting the medicinal value of cannabis. This callous approach is after 20,000 scientific studies, 5,000 years of medical use, recommendations for the medical use, by over 10,000 U.S. physicians, and medicinal use of cannabis use by millions of patients including tens of thousands of veterans suffering from PTSD.
DEA Ignores Relative Harm of Alcohol
The American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine (AACM) respectfully suggests that the President recognize that the DEA is a deeply flawed agency. At the Washington D.C. Circuit Court hearing on ASA’s lawsuit, the DEA displayed their criminal justice mindset. They said that marijuana was the most abused drug in America. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Salvation Army would be surprised to hear that, considering how beneficial medicinal cannabis is to patients.
Alcohol is by far the most abused drug in America, followed by tobacco. It is clearer now than ever that the agency making decisions regarding the medicinal value of a drug should be done by the FDA, a medical organization and not a law enforcement agency.
DEA Is Inconsistent and Hypocritical
The DEA is nothing if not hypocritical. The DEA claims we need more research before they can act on rescheduling cannabis. Then they block research at home and ignore research findings from abroad. The administrator of the DEA, Michelle Leonhardt, turned down an application for researching cannabis as one would any other botanical medicine. This comes from University of Massachusetts Professor of Botany, Dr. Lyle Craker. What makes denial of this request most egregious is that the DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge, Judy Bittner, said that Dr. Craker should be allowed to study cannabis as a botanical medicine. Even worse the rejection goes against the promise by President Obama that when it came to cannabis, he would depend on scientific research when deciding to support its use.
It’s the Economy, Stupid.
Today there are five non-U.S. pharmaceutical companies with the right to either manufacture or market Sativex (tincture of cannabis) a whole cannabis plant alcohol extract. Sativex is produced by an English company and the marketing rights for various places in the world are held by Spanish, Japanese, Swiss and German pharmaceutical companies. The DEA is also standing in the way of profits for American companies, by rejecting a potential market.
That is not the first time of the DEA ignoring their own Administrative Law Judge findings. In 1988 Chief DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young said that cannabis should be schedule II. This is the DEA’s own judge’s recommendation after a two year hearing. Overruled by the DEA head John Law under George H.W. Bush.
Nixon Marijuana Commission
At a press conference on June 17, 1971, Nixon officially declared “War on Drugs.” Nixon called drug abuse “public enemy number one in the United States” and announced the creation of the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP). The office was headed by Dr. Jerome Jaffe, a top pharmacologist, medical school professor, author and a leading methadone treatment specialist.
During the Nixon era, for the only time in the history of the war on drugs, the majority of federal funding went toward treatment, rather than law enforcement. Amazingly, compared to his successors, Nixon’s application of his war on drugs policy appears almost reasonable – 75% of his drug budget went toward treatment and his Drug Czar, Dr. Jerome Jaffe, is, to this day, by far the most qualified man to ever fill that position.
His war on drugs was front page news. One of the unlikeliest of celebrities, Elvis Presley, volunteered to help the President deal with substance abuse. Nixon made Elvis an honorary special narcotics agent. Since Elvis’ death has been reported as due to prescription drug abuse, this is ironic in the extreme.
In 1971 President Nixon and Congress appointed a 13-member commission to develop effective drug policies. Notwithstanding as the Commission commenced its work, Nixon had publicly admonished the commission not to legalize marijuana, the Nixon Marijuana Commission final report recommended legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse – 1972
The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse chaired by the former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania, Raymond Schafer issued their report on March 22, 1972. They concluded, “The most notable statement that can be made about the vast majority of marijuana users – experimenters and intermittent users – is that they are essentially indistinguishable from their non-marijuana using peers by any fundamental criterion other than their marijuana use.”
Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana (sic) and Drug Abuse (also known as the Shafer Commission) called for ending the criminal arrest and prosecution of adults who possess or use small amounts of marijuana. The commission concluded:
“The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. … It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance.”
Nixon’s marijuana commission also found that neither the marijuana user nor the drug itself could be said to constitute a danger to public safety. No matter. On an Oval Office tape, Nixon says to his Chief of Staff Robert Haldeman, “You know, it's a funny thing. Every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists.” (Nixon Tapes)
Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama
Arkansas: 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
Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Marijuana Bill Reaches House
Cannabis Compassion and Care Act
Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Bill Status of SB 627
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.
North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act
Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
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 - The Savoy Truffle - Submitted by: The Dolphin Farm
This super candy is one of my absolute favorites. Diabetics beware; this one is sweet and should be used in small portions. The rest of you can go for it.
“ You know that what you eat you are ”.
“ Cream tangerine… ”
“ Ginger sling with a pineapple heart ”
“ But you’ll have to have them all pulled out ”
“ After the Savoy Truffle ”
“ Coconut fudge really blows down those blues ”
“ Cool cherry cream ”
“ Nice apple tart ”
“ But you’ll have to have them all pulled out ”
“ After the Savoy Truffle ”.
The keys to making this wonderful candy are:
Use the very best smoothest butter (crushed bud or kief). Unsalted butter please
Stir, like crazy, all the time- a whisk is real handy
Have all the ingredients set out in advance
Keep the heat low enough to avoid spatters (they can nail you if you’re not paying attention or insist on putting your face inside the sauce pan)
Three squares of Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Five tablespoons unsalted butter
One egg yolk
2/3 Cup of Confectioners sugar- sifted
One-teaspoon vanilla extract
½ Cup of Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
One-tablespoon high quality brandy or cognac
Cream butter with egg yolk over low heat and whisk until smooth
Slowly add sugar to butter
Add vanilla and brandy
Melt chocolate in double boiler
Pour chocolate into butter and blend until smooth
Chill butter mixture until firm
Shape butter mixture into one-inch balls and roll in coconut
Store in refrigerator