Keeping tabs on all things Schedule I, Albuquerque PTSD Nurse Practitioner and researcher Bryan Krumm has filed a new appeal asking the DEA to immediately act to remove cannabis altogether from its scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) designation.
Last August, along with Rhode Island and Washington state, Krumm was told no change to the Schedule I designation would be forthcoming from the DEA, and on May 22, he filed a request for a DEA hearing citing several critical areas which would lead to the vacating marijuana from its “most dangerous” designation.
“The DEA has no compelling interest to justify total prohibition of cannabis….in light of the absence of factual support, the present prohibition is, at best, an overreaction driven by political passions, or at worst, influenced by religious and racial insensitivity… which violates the substantive due process guarantee,” wrote Krumm. He angrily called the words of AG Jeff Sessions and acting DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg “diagnostic of narcissistic sociopaths with little regard for science, the safety and welfare of American Citizens, or for the Constitution.”
Krumm’s appeal reasons that “because cannabis now has accepted medical use in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and because the DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge (2009) has already determined that cannabis is safe for use under medical supervision, and because Cannabis has been legalized in 8 states. Cannabis should be immediately removed from the federal list of controlled substances and placed under regulation by the States,” with a reasoned recap of 16 years of DEA oversight.
In another section, the appeal cites Constitutional issues around the 8th amendment (argued and won in the Gonzales vs. Oregon case in 2006) which holds “the structure and operation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) presume and rely upon a functioning medical profession regulated under the States’ police powers. The CSA explicitly contemplates a role for the States in regulating controlled substances, as evidenced by its preemption provision,” noted Krumm. Preemption from oversight would guarantee medical marijuana access for all state’s voting to allow medical marijuana.
Beyond claiming state’s rights for medical supervision, and the recreational marijuana access provided by state’s votes, Krumm also claimed the right for certain religious uses of cannabis, something not previously adjudicated at the federal level. “Religion adds another fundamental right to the penumbra being violated,” for instance, Krumm noted “I have Rasta friends who want to see cannabis out of the CSA.” Federal courts have previously agreed with certain access to “controlled” drugs like peyote (for Native Americans).
With both Rhode Island and Washington deciding against appealing last summer’s DEA move to do nothing in changing marijuana’s status, Krumm is left as an original (2009) party to seek a review of federal government policy surrounding CSA status. With his work helping hundreds of PTSD victims, Krum repeatedly cites the overall effectiveness for many combat and trauma sufferers, asking how the DEA ignored the federal government’s own 1970 advisory commission which found “no conclusive evidence exists of any physical damage, disturbances of bodily processes or proven human fatalities attributable solely to even high doses of marijuana.” (Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, section 601, October, 1970).
An argument for beneficial use is ignored, says Krumm, with an American Medical Association report confirming “trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces naturopathic pain, improves appetite… and pain in patients with multiple scleroris.” In fact, Krumm questions how the law enforcement community in general has been put in the position to make any healthcare and research determinations about cannabis.
And Krumm said in a interview with West420, “I don’t expect this [Trump’s] FDA to befriend cannabis suddenly,” adding he has used the freedom of information request “to demonstrate the futility of the administrative process. I’m pretty sure I complain about the pseudo-scientific methods used in what they [HHS/FDA] call a “review.” Krumm repeatedly points to the circular arguments which have shielded the DEA from providing an honest way to produce any clinical proof that cannabis has certain medicinal value.
Not least of which is the million-plus medical marijuana cardholders, whom Krumm argues have had no ill side-effects while under the care of qualified physicians who have referred patients into the state medical cannabis programs. “Although millions of Americans have used cannabis, it has had little negative impact on the lives of the vast majority of users,” he adds, noting the large database should be evidence for the federal agencies.
Unfortunately, for purposes of the CSA, the DEA has defined “accepted medical use in the United States”, to require phase 3 clinical trials. At the same time, they have prohibited such research from being conducted. DEA has created an arbitrary definition that utilizes circular logic to ensure Cannabis can never be recognized as having “accepted medical use in the United States”, noted Krumm’s appeal.
“The seven years it took DEA to respond to Krumm’s 2009 rescheduling petition is completely unreasonable when we have over a hundred suicides in the US every day, and cannabis is the only medication which has proven to be effective at reducing suicidality in most patients.” Krumm adds this shocking claim, “The DEA, FDA, HHS and NIDA are now responsible for the deaths of more Americans than Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS combined.”