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New Bill In Congress Would Make Drug Czar Respect Science

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drug czar hr 4046 scienceU.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced a bill Tuesday that would change federal law so that the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), commonly known as the “drug czar,” is no longer prohibited from studying the legalization of marijuana and no longer required to oppose attempts to legalize marijuana for medical or broader adult use.

Specifically, H.R. 4046, the Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act of 2014, would amend the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 to remove the following language from the obligations of the director:

(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of [the Controlled Substances Act]and.take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that 

(A) is listed in schedule I of section 812 of this title; and

(B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

Rep. Cohen and other members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform slammed the ONDCP during a hearing last week. Rep. Cohen chided the office for failing to address the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s obstruction of research into the medical benefits of marijuana. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) criticized it for relying on marijuana “propaganda.” ONDCP Deputy Director Michael Botticelli drew criticism for refusing to acknowledge that marijuana poses less potential harm to the consumer than heroin or methamphetamine.

If you haven’t already done so, please sign our Change.org petition asking President Obama to reschedule marijuana and share it with your friends.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project - make a donation

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  • painkills2

    Brought to you by the PEC

  • painkills2

    “Science does not know its debt to imagination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • sagey

    Wonder how much Joe Biden had to do with that language?

  • wowFAD

    Let’s see if Congress can impress the hell out of me by doing something that makes sense, for once.

    It’s subtle, but it’s a BIG step towards breaking the backs of career prohibitionists who rely on the federal government’s single-minded opposition to cannabis to prop up their claims. 93% of the NIDA’s cannabis research is purely NEGATIVE, like trying to link cannabis use to domestic violence, low IQ, psychosis, testicular cancer, and “man-boobs.”

    Those nonsense studies just give prohibitionists more ammo. It doesn’t matter that the vast majority of that junk science is quickly debunked by legitimate experts because the junk study ALWAYS makes headlines, while the debunking never does. Even *after* a junk study is proven false, clowns like Kevin Sabet and Sue Rusche parade the results around like hard facts, gambling that nobody they speak to actively stays apprised of the research.

    Removing their mandate to demonize cannabis may spark twinges of INTELLECTUAL HONESTY within the ONDCP, which would be monumentally good. I can’t say if changing their directives will also change their hearts and minds (Nixon’s ghost still haunts us), but one has to follow the other.