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  • Emily Drayton, Staff Writer

Spitballs Between DEA and HHS

Good morning everyone. My headline is from Marijuana Moment:


To summarize the story: Mom and Dad are fighting again, a big secret that everybody already knows is about to get out, Uncle Joe has been called, and the kids are hiding in the basement getting high.

In Washington-speak, the DEA and the HHS both say the other messed up the IQA, so the CEI wrote a letter to the OMB’s ORIP to resolve the issue.

Or, in English, “Two federal agencies are in disagreement about which of them is responsible for conducting an independent, peer-reviewed study on the medical potential of cannabis, a libertarian think tank is asking the White House to intervene and settle the dispute.”


So a real quick who’s who: you probably know most of them but CEI is Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is 23 white guys and 3 white ladies whining their taxes are too high; and the OMB is the Office of Management and Budget.

And the kids in the basement getting high, that would be us.

What is the big news they’re fighting over, you ask? Well, it seems, kids, that there’s a Schedule of Controlled Substances, and cannabis is still on Schedule 1. The last big ruling on this came in 2016 when the DEA: “… concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.”

Problem is every word of that ruling is bullshit. The DEA failed the test, pure and simple.

DEA says they got the information from Health and Human Services. Which is like saying Of course I failed the test, I copied offa you!

The big noise today is that Health and Human Services shouldn’t have released its findings without an independent peer review of cannabis. And DEA should have known that and done their own independent review.

And neither side wants to pay for that, so 5 years have gone by while these assholes blow spitballs at each other.


Shane Pennington, an attorney who’s been involved in cannabis lawsuits against DEA, told Marijuana Moment, “… peer review will never get to the core problem with federal marijuana policy: [the so-called] scientific evaluation of marijuana… [must pass] DEA’s long-standing five-part test for determining whether marijuana has a currently accepted medical use…” he said.

“That five-part standard warps the science, and it was designed to do so.”

“The real problem,” he said, “is the refusal of our elected leaders to make political decisions that affect all of us and the refusal of courts to ‘say what the law is.’ “

There doesn’t seem to be much political will anywhere to break this Federal logjam – or pay for independent peer review (and by the way, how long would that take?)

This is hopeless. Anyone care to join me in the basement?

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