Rep. Diane Loeffler tells feds to get moving on marijuana research

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Dank Depot
About the only thing people can agree on when it comes to the medical marijuana debate is that the federal government isn't helping. Many of the disputes at the state level wouldn't be necessary if the Drug Enforcement Administration would reconsider its classification of the plant as a Schedule One narcotic and expedite, rather than hold up, serious research on its medicinal value.

Troubled by this, Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced a resolution Thursday that calls upon President Obama and Congress to force those federal agencies into action.

See also:
When will medical marijuana be legal in Minnesota?


Loeffler voted in favor of the House medical marijuana bill (and was a sponsor of the 2009 version that then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed) but says people shouldn't have to figure out the benefits of marijuana through their own trial-and-error process.

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Rep. Diane Loeffler
"We think medical marijuana needs to be available to the people," she says, "and the people really want good science backing this like all other medicines."

It's difficult, of course, to have a serious conversation when the people tasked with managing drug policy won't even acknowledge that there's a difference between pot and crack cocaine. Huffpo reports Friday that Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart has gone so far as to "pick a fight with Kentucky over the state's purchase of industrial hemp seeds to begin a newly legalized agricultural test."

Even more maddening is that the DEA has known about the therapeutic effects of marijuana for decades. In fact, a lawsuit filed by NORML forced the DEA, in 1986, to open public hearings related to the removal of marijuana from its list of Schedule One narcotics. Over two years, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young heard testimony and reviewed thousands of pages of evidence.

Young concluded that the plant "is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man... To conclude otherwise, on this record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious."

His bosses attacked him, then chose to ignore the report.

Loeffler's resolution was introduced too late in the session to pass, but it quickly garnered 29 sponsors. She intends to send it along to Minnesota's congressional delegates. They should be aware, she tells us, of Minnesota's "strong bipartisan support" for serious research at the federal level.

The message is clear, she adds: "Get your game on, and move on this."

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to jmarx@citypages.com



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11 comments
TOMJOHNSON6
TOMJOHNSON6

WE WILL SEND SPIRITS TO TAKE YOU EVIL REPUBLICANS AND WHATEVER YOU ARE, WERE COMING FOR YOU SPIRITUALLY AND YOU WILL PAY MORE THAN ANY MONEY YOU HAVE

TOMJOHNSON6
TOMJOHNSON6

pot is a plant and it should be legal and abundant, matter of fact, it is a medicine!!! and kids only use it to be "cool" because its illegal. yes it should be 18 or even 21 plus. ITS THE ONLY MEDICINE THAT CAN HELP FROM THE FLUORIDE POISONING!!!!!!!!!! go kill yourselves

Gary
Gary

Honestly, is this call for research going to make even the slightest bit of difference? We're still going to have suburban Bible-thumpers standing in the way of progress while their reps keep getting handouts from the anti-cannabis lobby, spitting out the same, tired, completely false arguments from the Refer Madness days.


Will a REAL, progressive Democrat PLEASE run against Dayton? One not beholden to Big Pharma or law enforcement? I can't and won't vote for Dayton based solely on this issue.

vonlogau
vonlogau

Rep. Loeffler, your constituents want LEGAL CANNABIS--not more studies!   Of course, you yourself don't know that in 1988, after two years of hearings, Judge Young ruled that the marijuana plant as a whole is safe and already accepted for medical use in the USA.  It should be taken OFF Schedule I .  .  .  . not next decade or next year or next week--not even today--but 25 years ago!    Well, I asked Commissioner Ehlinger if he had ever heard of Judge Young's ruling.   He had not.   And he's the guy in charge of this new law!   Dayton deserves to lose, and all the legislators who have fumbled this issue since 1991---that's how long they've been at it---deserve to be thrown out.

John Bartley
John Bartley

Come on,....what is there to research......its obvious...figure it out... please

greenthinks
greenthinks

An edible plant. In fact a complete food with the perfect balance of Omega three's and sixes for humans. . With myriad medicinal properties ,it may in fact be the miracle cure for cancers along with  the cure for many other   diseases. With over 50,000  uses in industry . Referenced in the Holy Bible  Revelation 22:1-3 Mark 6:12-13 purported to be the main ingredient in the Anointing oil used by Jesus Christ Himself.

  And a supposed "modern leading nation" decides to "wage a war " against it? 


  Laughable  if it wasnt for  the war crimes perpetrated against its citizens and turning the country into a fascist police surveillance society.  



Why are we even arguing about it ?   

Annette Keeler
Annette Keeler

I'm allergic to marijuana, it makes my heart race, until I have a heart attack.

Gary
Gary

@vonlogau She's stalling, just like they all are -- there isn't one politician in the House, Senate or currently sitting in the Governor's chair who wants to come out in favor of medicinal, and certainly not recreational, cannabis. They're all terrified of losing that block of angry, frightened senior voters, when those of us in the younger demographic are watching this, taking notes and waiting for someone with guts to say what everyone already knows -- that cannabis is harmless and should be fully legal.


I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I can't wait to cast my vote against Dayton!

noisemechanic
noisemechanic

eh... i don't think your allergic. did you have a heart attack? or did you feel like you were going to. it can make your heart rate climb a bit higher than usual, but it doesn't seem likely it would induce a heart attack in a healthy individual with no previous heart problems. I'm allergic to alcohol it makes me sick and dizzy until i throw up. 


vonlogau
vonlogau

@Gary @vonlogauThere is nothing for them to fear from the voters--as I have repeatedly shown the press and legislators both, by using actual election return statistics, medical use of cannabis is the most popular reform with voters in states like Arizona and Montana as well as Massachusetts and California.   It's not just opinion polls, it's verifiable voter results, ever since 1996.   In Michigan, very similar demographically to Minnesota, medical pot carried every single one of their 83 counties.   No politician could do that!  Of course, they ARE afraid, and what they're afraid of--just like the weed smokers--is the police!   Specifically, they're afraid of the force with which the police federation and other "trade groups" can bring to bear against them in their re-election campaigns.   The very definition of a police state, I guess.   But until supporters of reform learn to organize and vote in their own interest, this won't change.

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