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LA Times: DEA Acts Like A Terrified And Obstinate Toddler


los angeles times science dea medical marijuanaThe Los Angeles Times Editorial Board took apart the United States Drug Enforcement Agency this week, stating that the DEA “acts like a terrified and obstinate toddler when it comes to basic science.”  For years, cannabis law reform activists have complained about the hurdles placed in front of medical marijuana research, causing a circular argument regarding the proven medical benefits of cannabis.

Medical marijuana can’t get approved because there hasn’t been enough medical studies conducted, yet the same agency concluding that there hasn’t been enough studies blocks efforts to conduct those studies.  Both the National Cancer Institute and the Institute of Medicine have supported research into medical marijuana, but the DEA never misses an opportunity to scuttle such research.  It is great to see a mainstream news publication expose the DEA for its obstruction of basic scientific research.

From the Los Angeles Times:

A pro-marijuana group lost its legal battle this week when a federal appellate court ruled that marijuana would remain a Schedule I drug, defined as having no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. The court deferred to the judgment of federal authorities, quoting the DEA’s statement that “the effectiveness of a drug must be established in well-controlled, well-designed, well-conducted and well-documented scientific studies…. To date, such studies have not been performed.”

But guess who bears responsibility for this level of ignorance? The DEA itself, which through its ultra-tight restrictions on marijuana has made it nearly impossible for researchers to obtain the drug for study, and the National Institute for Drug Abuse, which controls the availability of the tiny quantity of research-grade marijuana that is federally approved for production.


Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., have medical marijuana laws, and last year voters in Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana to a limited extent. As a result, the president has expressed willingness to consider decriminalizing possession of small quantities under federal law. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t address the need for legitimate research. Do the reports of relief from various ailments reflect real medical results or a placebo effect? Is marijuana perhaps as useful as other, more dangerous drugs — morphine and cocaine, for example — that already can be legally prescribed?

The editorial board also calls on President Obama “to direct the National Institutes of Health to fund worthwhile research, just as he recently ordered the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence.”  Hopefully, as calls for President Obama to demonstrate real leadership regarding our nation’s marijuana policy increase, he will change course and take such practical actions.  Such an executive order would not cause much controversy or cost the President any political capitol.

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board concludes its opinion piece by stating, “Marijuana is just another drug, no more, no less. The nation should treat it that way by evaluating the facts and the science instead of hiding behind myths and rumors.”  While I wouldn’t go so far as call cannabis “just another drug” as I find a plant with such a wide array of medical benefits combined with the fact that it is nontoxic and nonlethal, to be pretty remarkable, I appreciate where the editors are coming from.  They simply want a policy based upon science and not one based upon fear and propaganda.  I think that is a policy most people can get behind.

Republished with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. CDC study gun violence? My bet is that they never mention prohibition as a cause.Too obvious. And it would implicate government. Can’t have that.

  2. There are those in the federal government that do not want cannabis legal or approved for medicinal use because they fear what it will do to their level of control. Cannabis is a harmless psychoactive drug. Cannabis does not have the dangers (incapacitation via total immersion in the trip) of DMT, Salvia, LSD, peyote (mescaline), Psilocybin, etc, but you have to ask why are all psychedelics prohibited?

    The Vietnam War was the crucible that provided the information the federal hawks need to try and keep cannabis in limbo. The war saw many military personnel using cannabis and opium searching for psychological relief from the pain of war. It was not their inebriated state that caused problems. Cannabis cause soldiers to question authority and ultimately suppressing their willingness to kill (conscious sobriety). It was this insurrection that the feds feared the most.

    The fact that cannabis is harmless is the problem. Large quantities can be consumed (over time) without significant side effects, but the effect that those in the federal government fear the most are the aspects of self realization and the expansion of consciousness. There is not a more substantial threat to our (actually their) failing social systems than the realization that they are temporal, unnecessary and a collective act of futility. Cannabis’s only toxicity is to a certain social cancer known as tyranny.

    If you desire to search for the meaning of life (your life), using psychedelics to expand consciousness, you will begin to rally against that thing called the ‘American Dream’ because it is rife with stress, debt, fear, while being a deeply conflicting conscious plight. Cannabis provides intense temporary glimpse of bliss that later leads to a conscious transformation. This is a well known, less understood, aspect of cannabis use. Cannabis is a transformative vehicle that leads to salvation if you allow it to do so (work with it).

    At this time there is a vast majority of modern societies that are drunk on the western lifestyle. The proverbial lemmings falling off the cliff conditioned by a practiced rhetoric prevalent in our advertising, entertainment and religion called birth, school, work, death. The system needs lemmings (slaves) in order to function. After all who is going to work at McDonnalds, Starbucks and Walmart? They need a subservient populace stressed, fearful and depressed in their relentless pursuit of happiness(?) or the system falls apart. Cannabis undermines our detrimental robotic ignorance this manufactured hyper reality called the western lifestyle.

    Cannabis (sativa head high – THC modulated by CBD, CBN) has the ability to foster a state of mind that is introspective. This inner self talk, questioning of values, position within the cast (yes we live in a covert cast system) forms a neuro-pathway towards true emancipation. The world is not what you believed it to be. For some people this is enlightening, for others it is catastrophic.

    The tide has turned and as more partake of this herb the more souls that will be saved. The DEA is the wizard who’s identity has been revealed – conmen one and all. As the above article states we are finding that the DEA is nothing but “a terrified and obstinate toddler” that has realized it failed. Their lies are causing many to question their rule and integrity. We (cannabis consumers) have shed light upon the lies to allow the truth to set us free once again.

    Time is now 4:28… Pass the Dutchie.

  3. These “different” human beings simply have no shame or conscience and they will go to Hell for what they’ve (not) done when it comes to medical marijuana. We are winning this war and we will win on this issue, there’s little doubt about that. Like the Post Office employees facing job losses and cutbacks due to “old technology”, the same thing will eventually happen to the DEA. The writing’s on the proverbial wall for them. No wonder they’re foot dragging every chance they get – legalization means they’re just trying to keep their jobs and remain….relevant. Welcome to the 21st century, huh??

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