PRESS RELEASE FROM THE COALITION FOR RESCHEDULING CANNABIS (See List Below for Coalition Members and Contact Information)
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Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - NATIONAL COALITION SEEKS RECOGNITION OF THE ACCEPTED MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS IN THE UNITED STATES; Petition Provides Scientific Argument For Rescheduling
A coalition of organizations advocating medical access to cannabis filed a comprehensive rescheduling petition with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on October 9, 2002.
The DEA currently classifies marijuana as a schedule I substance, which prohibits medical access to cannabis and places both costly and severe restrictions on further medical research. The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis has provided detailed evidence challenging DEA's determination that cannabis has no accepted medical use in the United States. This petition seeks to have marijuana removed from schedule I and place in a less restrictive schedule that provides for medical use based on a doctor's prescription. If successful, this petition would also eliminate the clash between federal law and the laws of states that accept and recognize the medical use of cannabis.
According to the petition: "Key developments in the assessment of marijuana's medical use include: acceptance of marijuana's medical use by health care professionals; recognition of marijuana as a medicine of last resort by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; recognition of the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids by the scientific community and health care providers; the emergence of basic research explaining the mode of action of cannabis-based medicines; the emergence of clinical research on the medical use of cannabis; and acceptance of marijuana's medical use by eight states. These developments contradict the [current] classification of marijuana as having no accepted medical use in the United States."
A prior attempt to force marijuana's rescheduling by Jon Gettman and High Times Magazine was rejected by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Court of Appeals decided that petitioners were not sufficiently injured to have standing to challenge DEA's determinations in federal court. The Coalition's petition argues that "in their review of the Gettman petition neither DEA nor HHS gave any consideration to marijuana's medical use, its safety for use, its relative abuse potential or its relative dependence liability, as called for by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This petition addresses all of these relevant issues."
"This petition is being filed by a coalition of interested parties including non-profit organizations and individual citizens. The membership of these organizations and these individual citizens have various interests in the appropriate scheduling of cannabis under federal law, including but not limited to an interest in legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use based on existing medical conditions."
The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis is comprised of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, Americans for Safe Access, California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Jon Gettman, High Times, Iowans for Medical Marijuana, the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, Patients Out of Time and other interested individuals.
Please contact coalition member organizations directly for additional information and comment.
American Alliance for Medical Cannabis West Hills, CA 91304 Contact: Jay Cavanaugh Phone: (818) 346-4493
Americans for Safe Access Berkeley, CA 94709 Contact: Steph Shearer Phone: (510) 486-8083
California NORML San Francisco CA 94114 Contact: Dale Gieringer Phone: (415) 563-5858
Drug Policy Forum of Texas Houston, Texas 77055 Contact: Jerry Epstein Phone:(713) 784-2637 or (713) 784-3196
Jon Gettman Lovettsville, VA 20180 Phone: (540) 822-9002
High Times Magazine New York, NY 10003 Contact: Steve Hager Phone: (212) 387-0500
Iowans for Medical Marijuana Des Moines, IA 50333 Contact: Carl Olsen Phone: (515) 288-5798
Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center (LACRC) West Hollywood, CA 90046 Contact: Scott Imler Phone: (323) 874-0811
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Washington, D.C. 20036 Contact: Donna Shea Phone: (202) 483-5500
New Mexicans for Compassionate Use Santa Fe, NM 87507 Contact: Bryan Krumm Phone: (505)473-3189
Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative (OCBC) Oakland, CA 94612-0401 Contact: Jeff Jones Phone: (510) 832-5346
Patients Out of Time Howardsville, VA 24562 Contact: Al Byrne Phone: (434) 263-4484