- Michele M. LeonhartAdministrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
- Eric H. HolderU.S. Attorney General
U.S. Attorney General: Remove Marijuana from the list of Schedule I Controlled Substances
There are U.S. Citizens who were in compliance with State Medical Marijuana Laws that are currently facing minimum sentences of as much as 80 years in Federal Prison.
We ask that Marijuana, including the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, be deleted from the list of Schedule I Controlled Substances as soon as possible. In following the procedures described in the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act (1970), this Petition by the People will have to be submitted to the Federal Government via the U.S. Attorney General, unless someone from within the Department of Health and Human Services wishes to initiate the requested proceedings. This process would be separate from current and future efforts in the U.S. Congress.
Washington and Colorado, in fulfilling the will of their People, will be allowing new businesses to process and sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. These establishments will likely open sometime in the next year. If we do not move our Federal Law, or at least our Federal Law Enforcement Precedents away from conflicts with existing State Laws, then the risk of imprisonment for Citizens who are following the laws of their State will continue to rise. Also, please note that the sudden increase in Federal Marijuana Law Enforcement in 2011 came without warning and was in clear contradiction to statements released by the Obama Administration in 2009.
Below, please read the three requirements for Schedule I drugs and decide whether you think Cannabis qualifies.
From the 1970 Controlled Substances Act
Schedule I substances are those that have the following findings:
1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision
Has Marijuana Research been able to present Findings 1, 2, AND 3? In fact, compelling evidence that is contrary to Finding 2 continues to accumulate.
A relatively recent and compelling example comes from Harborside Health Center, which has been successfully treating a little boy, Jayden, for debilitating seizures using CBD. CBD is a Cannabis product that provides medical benefit, but without psychotropic side effects. http://framework.latimes.com/2012/09/13/calming-jaydens-seizures/#/0
If you are inclined to dismiss individual patient cases as too anecdotal, please read the American Medical Association's recently updated position on Medical Marijuana:
"Results of short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis… Our AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines" –AMA (2012)
In order to further inform your decision on whether or not U.S. Federal Law rationally reflects scientific conclusions regarding the risks associated with Marijuana use, I would like to also site the conclusions presented by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in the UK. This article was published in 2010 by the well-respected peer-reviewed journal, The Lancet:
"Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis":
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673610614626 (a summary and all figures are available free of charge)
The photograph above is of Chris Williams, Medical Marijuana grower and father from Montana. He provided marijuana to over 300 patients in accordance with Montana State Law. He was convicted in September of this year and is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 80 years in Federal Prison. After years of operating with the support of local law enforcement officials, he had no warning that the Federal Government was intending to raid crops like his and arrest farmers like him.
- Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
Michele M. Leonhart
- U.S. Attorney General
Eric H. Holder
In the case of Marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, we lack evidence to support Findings 2 and 3 as described in the Controlled Substances Act. With respect to Finding 1, we lack sufficient arguments to legally distinguish Marijuana from Alcohol or Tobacco.
Therefore, we feel that it is necessary to initiate proceedings to delete Marijuana from the list of Schedule I Controlled Substances.
In the meantime, we deserve further clarification on your current and future enforcement practices in cases where federal and state laws are in disagreement.
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