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No Backroom Deals or Secret Handshakes? – The DEA Clarifies the Possible Rescheduling Process for Cannabis from Schedule 1 to 3

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What is the Best Way to Get Marijuana Legalized, Suing the DEA or Waiting for Rescheduling?

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The article on Cannabis.net called, “Suing the DEA to get Weed Legalized – How the DEA Rigged the Game for the Past 54 Years” got an interesting conversation started on social media.  To whit, what is the best result for the cannabis industry in both the Biden rescheduling process, or a court judge ruling in favor of Rhode Island-based MMJ BioPharma Cultivation as they sue the DEA for legalization?

If you haven’t read up on the case, lets go over their story.

Rhode Island-based cannabis company MMJ BioPharma Cultivation Inc. has complained to the Drug Enforcement Administration, alleging an unconstitutional administrative proceeding before a DEA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

 

The firm’s legal representatives, Megan Sheehan and Associates, discovered that DEA Director Anne Milgram unlawfully appointed Administrative Law Judge Teresa Wallbaum to preside over the case. In response, they have filed for relief seeking an order to halt what they deem unconstitutional actions.

 

In August of last year, MMJ initiated a petition for a writ of mandamus in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding a bulk manufacturing application submitted nearly six years prior but never processed. MMJ’s president and founder, Duane Boise, has stated that this lack of action directly contradicts the Controlled Substances Act, adversely affecting MMJ and disregarding its efforts to assist individuals suffering from Huntington’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis through clinical research.

 

In the complaint filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, MMJ contends that it would suffer “irreparable harm” under such an unconstitutional proceeding. The company asserts that the DEA ALJ’s appointment violates the Appointments Clause of Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution and lacks accountability to the President, contravening the Take Care Clause of Article II, Section 3.

 

Boise emphasized, “There’s a unanimous acknowledgement of the necessity for drugs to address these neurological conditions – Congress, the FDA, the DEA, medical professionals, parent associations – all echo the same sentiment. Yet, we find ourselves facing arbitrary actions from an administrative agency targeting a law-abiding company producing marijuana soft gelatin capsules to alleviate patient suffering.”

 

“This is sheer madness,” he continued. “Somebody needs to intervene.”

 

Furthermore, the complaint notes that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an ALJ appointment process nearly identical to the DEA’s is unconstitutional.

 

According to the document, “It is believed that the DEA ALJ overseeing MMJ’s administrative hearing was chosen from a pool of candidates provided by the White House Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and appointed by the DEA Administrator upon recommendation from the DEA’s Chief ALJ.”

 

Heartless Acts Impacting Patients

 

Duane Boise, President and founder of MMJ BioPharma Cultivation Inc., expressed deep frustration with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s obstructive behaviour towards the advancement of medical marijuana research. According to Boise, despite the growing consensus on the need for more effective treatments for neurological disorders, MMJ has encountered significant barriers imposed by the DEA, which he describes as heartless due to their lack of responsiveness and apparent disregard for patient well-being. His remarks underscore a desperate need for a change in approach, highlighting how bureaucratic hurdles are not just administrative challenges but have real, harmful effects on patients who could benefit from new therapies.

 

Many people believe that the obstacles to research and development are a component of a more widespread systemic problem with the legal frameworks that manage drugs that are considered prohibited in the US. Researchers and supporters alike have criticized the DEA for its tardy and sometimes unresponsive treatment of valid requests for cannabis research. Drug development has been severely hampered as a result, thereby depriving patients of timely access to essential treatments that might relieve the symptoms of severe and chronic diseases including Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

 

Boise’s claims are further supported by a wider chorus of voices from various sectors including healthcare professionals, lawmakers, and patient advocacy groups, all of whom have recognized the potential benefits of cannabis-based treatments. The collective call for reform highlights a critical disconnect between federal regulatory actions and the evolving understanding and acceptance of cannabis’s medical value. The consensus points to a need for regulatory bodies to adapt and respond more effectively to emerging medical research and public health priorities.

 

Tim Moynahan, the company’s chair and legal counsel, reinforced Boise’s position by advocating for a dual approach: challenging the constitutionality of the DEA’s current practices while also providing clear suggestions for improvements. Moynahan’s strategy aims to not only address the immediate legal concerns but also guide the DEA towards a more transparent and accountable process. His proactive stance signals a growing impatience among stakeholders who are ready to push for substantial changes, emphasizing that the DEA should take swift action to rectify the flaws in its system, especially given the critical nature of the drugs MMJ is developing for patients with debilitating neurological diseases.

 

Urgent Call for Legal and Regulatory Reform

 

MMJ BioPharma Cultivation Inc.’s action against the DEA acts as a catalyst for a thorough review of the legal and regulatory impediments to medicinal marijuana research. The instance emphasizes the urgent need for fundamental reforms that prioritize patient well-being and scientific development. By contesting the constitutionality of the DEA’s actions, MMJ seeks justice for itself while simultaneously advocating for structural improvements that might benefit the whole medical cannabis business.

 

The antiquated and burdensome regulatory environment that now surrounds marijuana research is preventing the development of potentially transformative therapies for people who require them. The DEA’s burdensome bureaucracy and strict rules cause needless delays and barriers for scientists and businesses like MMJ that are working to commercialize novel cures. Reforms must be implemented immediately to expedite the licensing process, encourage cooperation between regulatory bodies and researchers, and guarantee that patients with life-threatening illnesses have prompt access to safe and efficient medical cannabis products.

 

Legislators, medical experts, and advocacy organizations are calling for further legislative and regulatory measures to support medical marijuana access and research in reaction to the legal challenge against the drug. This increasing momentum indicates a wider understanding of the value of cannabis medicines based on scientific evidence in meeting the unmet medical needs of millions of people throughout the globe. Stakeholders from a variety of industries are banding together while the legal struggle plays out to advocate for changes that will protect patient rights, encourage scientific advancement, and remove obstacles to the advancement of medical marijuana research and development.

 

If MMJ wins the lawsuit, there is a route that could remove marijuana from the CSA and give medical cannabis a legal substance in America.  While rescheduling is better than nothing, the true goal of the industry should be to remove all criminal stigma around the plant and push for a full descheduling.  That would also create an efficient marketplace for the plant, allowing for interstate commerece, removal of the 280E tax code around the plant, and easier access for patients in all states.

 

 Bottom Line

 

MMJ BioPharma Cultivation Inc.’s legal battle against the DEA exposes deep-seated issues within the regulatory framework governing medical marijuana research. Their lawsuit not only seeks justice for their grievances but also serves as a rallying cry for broader reforms to facilitate scientific advancement and patient access to cannabis-based therapies. Urgent action is needed to overhaul outdated regulations, streamline bureaucratic processes, and prioritize patient welfare. As stakeholders unite in support of MMJ’s cause, the fight for reform gains momentum, promising a brighter future for medical marijuana research and the millions of patients who stand to benefit from its innovations.

 

MORE ON MMJ BIOFARMA’S LAWSUIT, READ ON…

DEA SUED TO MAKE MARIJUANA LEGAL

SUING THE DEA TO MAKE WEED LEGAL, DOES IT HAVE A SHOT?



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So You Want to Grow Weed in Your Backyard or Garden, Do Ya?

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If you’re venturing into growing cannabis for the first time, opting for outdoor cultivation might seem daunting initially. Achieving optimal yields often involves meticulous control over every aspect of the growth process, which outdoor conditions may not entirely provide.

 

However, with a solid grasp of the fundamentals, anyone can thrive in cultivating weeds in their backyard, garden, or greenhouse. While it demands consistent attention and precision, outdoor growing offers a natural, eco-friendly, and fulfilling approach.

 

Harnessing natural sunlight outdoors lends an undeniable charm to the cannabis plants. Consider the analogy of wine expertise: skilled sommeliers can discern a grape’s origin, soil type, and weather conditions from the nuances of a wine’s flavour profile.

 

Similarly, cultivating quality cannabis allows for a similar discernment. Outdoor growth infuses the plant with distinct attributes, resulting in a flavor and aroma profile unique to its environment. This method also facilitates the plant’s optimal growth potential, basking in the nourishment of natural sunlight.

 

Advantages of Garden Cultivation

 

The benefits of cultivating cannabis outdoors in a garden setting are plentiful:

 

Utilizes natural sunlight: When unhindered by clouds, the sun provides superior-quality light compared to even the most advanced and costly grow lights. Under its radiant glow, your plants will thrive, making outdoor growth an efficient and cost-effective method.

 

Cost-effective: Outdoor cultivation is remarkably inexpensive compared to setting up an indoor grow operation. Expenses for tents, lights, and ventilation systems can tally up to hundreds or even thousands of euros. Conversely, outdoor growing requires only soil, fertilizer, pots, cannabis seeds, and perhaps a watering can. Opting for outdoor cultivation can significantly reduce expenses.

 

Increased enjoyment: Growing a garden outside is, for a lot of people, a more enjoyable experience than working in a grow tent with artificial lighting. Cannabis grown outdoors has many of the same health advantages as gardening, which is widely known for its beneficial effects on both physical and mental health.

 

Outstanding results: Because of the large amount of room, sunlight, and length of the growth season, plants planted outdoors have the potential to develop to enormous sizes. Outside growing usually produces large crops.

 

Season-long harvests: If you grow auto-flowering cultivars with short life cycles outside, you can potentially harvest two or even three crops in one summer. This method is great for those with little area since it may produce a good quantity of buds by winter.

 

Reduced labor: Generally, outdoor cultivation requires less intensive labor compared to indoor growing, providing a more laid-back experience, assuming all goes well.

 

Tips for Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation

 

1. Ensure Adequate Sun Exposure

Your cannabis plants need full sunshine to stay healthy and vigorous. A minimum of six hours of direct sunshine each day and a minimum of twelve hours of light overall constitute optimal solar exposure. Since cannabis needs sunshine to survive, not enough exposure might hinder photosynthesis, which can result in stunted growth and lower harvests. Taking into account the sun’s fluctuating path across the sky, choose a planting spot that will provide steady sunshine for the duration of the growth season.

 

2. Choose Between Ground Planting and Pots, Considering Watering Methods

The decision to cultivate your cannabis in the ground or in pots significantly influences watering practices, plant size, and yield potential. Ground planting allows for extensive root expansion, fostering larger plants and potentially greater yields. However, it also subjects plants to the fluctuating conditions of weather and soil moisture.

 

Conversely, pot cultivation grants greater control over watering and soil conditions, particularly beneficial in areas with erratic weather patterns or poor soil quality. Over time, you’ll refine your approach based on local conditions. Notably, pot cultivation facilitates the flexibility to bring plants indoors when necessary, safeguarding them from sudden temperature drops or adverse weather conditions.

 

3. Understand Your Soil Composition

Healthy soil is essential to a flourishing garden. Prioritize soil that is high in organic matter, has good drainage, and is well-structured for enough aeration while cultivating cannabis. Additionally, to maximize the absorption of nutrients, strive for a pH level that is balanced, preferably falling between 5.8 and 6.5.

 

Plant death, stunted growth, and nutritional deficits can all be caused by inadequate soil conditions. Any gardening endeavor should start with a thorough soil study to find deficiencies and correct them with the right fertilizer, especially for delicate plants like cannabis.

 

4. Explore Natural Pest Management Techniques

Outdoor cannabis plants face significant threats from pests, posing risks to yield and plant vitality. Common invaders such as spider mites, aphids, and caterpillars can wreak havoc. However, given the consumption of cannabis products, harsh chemical solutions should be avoided.

 

Fortunately, numerous natural pest control strategies exist to safeguard your garden. Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs and predatory mites can effectively regulate harmful insect populations. Additionally, practices like crop rotation and companion planting offer further protection. Regular monitoring and swift intervention often serve as the most effective preventive measures.

 

5. Master the Art of Cannabis Pruning

Cannabis pruning, although often underestimated, plays a pivotal role in outdoor cultivation. Thoughtful removal of leaves and branches can enhance light penetration and air circulation, promoting overall plant vigor and productivity. Pruning enables you to shape the plant, manage its size, and channel its energy toward producing abundant, robust buds. However, exercise restraint in pruning; excessive trimming can stress the plant and impede growth.

 

Bottom Line

 

Outdoor cannabis cultivation in a garden or backyard presents a cost-effective, enjoyable, and rewarding endeavor. By leveraging natural sunlight, understanding soil composition, employing natural pest management, and mastering cannabis pruning, growers can achieve optimal yields and high-quality harvests. Outdoor cultivation offers unique advantages, including reduced expenses compared to indoor setups, increased enjoyment from working in a natural environment, and the potential for impressive results due to ample space and sunlight. Furthermore, outdoor growing typically requires less labor, providing a more relaxed experience for growers. With careful attention to these key factors, outdoor cannabis cultivation can yield bountiful harvests of top-quality cannabis, making it a preferred choice for many enthusiasts.



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Criminalizing Cannabis Doesn’t Work at All

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Why criminalization doesn’t curtail consumption

 

The spirit of prohibition is rooted in the desire to restrict individuals from accessing certain substances or engaging in particular activities deemed harmful or undesirable by those in power. At its core, prohibition is a paternalistic approach that employs the threat of severe consequences, often in the form of state-sanctioned violence, to discourage and punish those who dare to defy the established rules. If we were to remove the veneer of governmental authority from this equation, the true nature of prohibition would be laid bare as a hostile and coercive scenario, where the individual’s autonomy is subjugated to the whims of the ruling class.

 

Proponents of prohibition argue that this looming threat of violence is a necessary evil, a means to an end in the quest to curtail consumption and send a clear message to impressionable youth that certain behaviors will not be tolerated. They claim that by instilling fear of legal repercussions, society can effectively deter individuals from engaging in prohibited activities, thereby protecting them from potential harm. “The law will punish you!” becomes the rallying cry of those who believe that the heavy hand of the state is the only way to maintain order and public health.

 

However, a recent Gallup poll has called into question the very foundation upon which the edifice of prohibition is built. The survey found that rates of marijuana use are nearly identical in states that have legalized the substance compared to those that continue to maintain its prohibition. This startling revelation suggests that criminalization has little impact on actually curbing consumption, challenging the long-held belief that the threat of punishment is an effective deterrent.

 

In light of this new evidence, it is time to ask ourselves: isn’t there a better way? If prohibition fails to achieve its stated goal of reducing substance use, while simultaneously perpetuating a system of violence and oppression, should we not seek alternative approaches that prioritize harm reduction, education, and individual liberty? The spirit of prohibition may be deeply entrenched in our society, but the cracks in its foundation are beginning to show, inviting us to imagine a future where the individual’s autonomy is respected and evidence-based policies prevail over fear-mongering and coercion.

 

 

The recent Gallup poll on marijuana use in the United States has shed new light on the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of drug prohibition. The survey, which involved interviews with 6,386 U.S. adults from November 30, 2023, to December 8, 2023, found that rates of marijuana use are nearly identical in states that have legalized the substance compared to those that continue to maintain its prohibition. This finding strikes at the heart of the argument that criminalization is necessary to curb drug consumption.

 

According to the poll, one in 10 American adults reported using marijuana 10 or more times in the past month, while one in five admitted to using cannabis at least once during the same period. When broken down by state legal status, the data revealed that 9.7 percent of adults identify as regular cannabis consumers in states that have enacted legalization, compared to 8.6 percent in non-legal states. This narrow gap in consumption rates suggests that criminalization has little impact on deterring use among American adults.

 

The poll also examined marijuana use across different age groups and regions. Interestingly, there were no significant differences in consumption rates between adults aged 18-29, 30-39, and 40-49, with all three age groups averaging around 12 percent regular use. The survey accounted for the various methods of marijuana consumption, including smoking, vaping, and consuming edibles, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of use patterns.

 

Perhaps most striking is the finding that the West region, which includes states like California, Oregon, and Washington that have established adult-use cannabis markets, has a slightly lower usage rate (10 percent) compared to the Middle Atlantic region (11 percent), where only Pennsylvania has maintained prohibition for adult use. This data further undermines the notion that legalization leads to increased consumption.

 

The Gallup poll provides compelling evidence that the criminalization of drug use has little to no impact on actual consumption rates. As the debate surrounding drug policy continues to evolve, these findings should serve as a catalyst for policymakers to reevaluate the efficacy of prohibition and explore alternative approaches that prioritize public health, harm reduction, and individual liberty over punitive measures that have proven ineffective in curbing substance use. The data speaks for itself: it is time to abandon the failed war on drugs and embrace evidence-based strategies that address the root causes of substance abuse while respecting the autonomy of individuals.

 

 

It’s a simple truth that has been consistently demonstrated throughout the history of drug prohibition: those who want to consume substances will find a way to do so, regardless of the legal status or societal stigma attached to their chosen intoxicant. Even during the height of the drug war, when draconian policies and harsh punishments were the norm, consumption rates never significantly declined. In fact, they often remained stable or even spiked in response to the increased pressure from law enforcement, highlighting the futility of attempting to control human behavior through brute force and intimidation.

 

The reality is that if someone wants to get high, they can and will find a way to do so. It’s a matter of networking and tapping into the right circles, and virtually anyone with a bit of determination and resourcefulness can gain access to illicit substances. Ironically, even playing into stereotypes can sometimes lead to success in this endeavor, as the black market thrives on the very prejudices and assumptions that society perpetuates.

 

But the larger point here is that drugs are an inextricable part of our society, woven into the fabric of human experience for millennia. From ancient rituals to modern-day experimentation, the desire to alter one’s consciousness has been a constant throughout history. It’s high time we recognize this reality and adjust our approach accordingly, rather than clinging to the misguided notion that we can somehow eradicate drug use through punishment and prohibition.

 

By keeping substances illegal, we create a host of other risks and problems that only serve to compound the harm associated with drug use. The unregulated nature of the black market means that users have no way of knowing the purity or potency of the substances they consume, leading to increased risk of overdose and other adverse health effects. Moreover, the criminalization of drug use perpetuates a cycle of stigma, marginalization, and incarceration that tears families and communities apart, while doing little to address the underlying causes of addiction and substance abuse.

 

It’s time for a paradigm shift in how we approach drug policy. Rather than futilely attempting to eliminate drug use through prohibition, we must acknowledge that intoxication is a part of the human experience and work to mitigate the harms associated with it through evidence-based strategies rooted in public health and harm reduction. By decriminalizing substance use and treating it as a matter of personal choice and individual liberty, we can create a society that is more compassionate, more just, and ultimately safer for all. Because at the end of the day, those who wanna smoke, will smoke – and it’s up to us to ensure that they can do so in a way that minimizes risk and maximizes well-being.

 

 

As we navigate the ever-shifting landscape of drug policy, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and aware of the potential pitfalls that lie ahead. In recent years, I’ve noticed a polar shift from the left to the right, a trend that, while bearable for now, carries with it the risk of veering too far into the dangerous territory of the “drug war.” It’s important to remember that it was through the lens of the “polar-right” that prohibition first laid its roots, and we must be cautious not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

 

As the debate surrounding cannabis legalization continues to evolve, it’s essential to scrutinize the policies being put forth and to recognize when they may not be in the best interest of the people. The proposed shift to Schedule-III, for example, is not the victory that many advocates have been fighting for. It’s not the true legalization that the cannabis community seeks, but rather a half-measure that fails to address the fundamental issues at play.

 

The people who have fought tirelessly for cannabis reform want nothing less than the recognition of their fundamental human right to grow, cultivate, sell, and gift this plant as they would any other commodity, like tomatoes. They seek a world where the government respects their autonomy and trusts them to make informed decisions about their own well-being, without the need for excessive regulation or control.

 

Instead, what we’re seeing is a government that seems intent on playing the pharmaceutical game, attempting to schedule cannabis in a way that would effectively remove it from the hands of the people and place it under the control of corporate interests. This is not the vision that the cannabis community has been fighting for, and it’s crucial that we recognize this fact and push back against any attempts to subvert the will of the people.

 

As we move forward, let us hold fast to the hope that the past will remain in the past, that the dark days of prohibition will fade away into the annals of history, and that the institutions that have long kept the gates of progress closed will wither and crumble.

 

Let us work together to build a future where the autonomy and liberty of the individual are respected, where evidence-based policies prevail over fear and stigma, and where the harms of the drug war are finally laid to rest.

 

May we learn from the mistakes of the past and forge a new path forward, one that values compassion, understanding, and the fundamental rights of all people.

 

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WISCO WEED DELIMMA

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