Monday, December 12, 2005

UMASS appeal for research marijuana is heard

Wow. Talk about your unlikely allies. The WaPo covers today's convening of a DEA administrative court session taking up UMASS researcher Lyle Craker's appeal of the DEA's denial of a license for the cultivation of a new and more reliable source of medical marijuana. The DEA is contesting for all the usual illogical reasons including my favorite, that allowing Craker to grow a few plants will somehow cause the market in recreational marijuana to explode.

However, the big surprise in this piece comes from Grover Norquist, the president of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform. This is the guy who practically invented crony corruption in DC and is a poster boy for PNAC. I have to guess the economic arguments swayed him.
"The use of controlled substances for legitimate research purposes is well-established, and has yielded a number of miracle medicines widely available to patients and doctors," Norquist wrote. "This case should be no different. It's in the public interest to end the government monopoly on marijuana legal for research."
I'm not expecting much from this. Even if Craker gets a favorable decision, the DEA is not compelled to issue the license. But whatever the results of the hearing, support from a major player like Norquist is big. I almost hope he doesn't go down in the Abramoff scandal.


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