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    University of Massachusetts Amherst Prof 
       Gets Boost in Bid to Grow Marijuana


                      Return To OnlinePot’s Legal Section Main Page


   WASHINGTON -- Concluding that there is an inadequate supply of marijuana 
   for medical research, an administrative law judge has recommended to the Drug    
   Enforcement Administration that it grant a Massachusetts  professor's application
   to grow the drug in bulk.


           By KEVIN FREKING
          The Associated Press
    Monday, February 12, 2007; 8:30 PM


Description: The opinion and recommended ruling of DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner in support of Professor Lyle Craker’s application to the DEA to grow marijuana. Judge Bittner concluded that it is in the public’s interest for Craker to be permitted to grow marijuana for use in research into the plant’s medical benefits. 

      United States Dept Of Justice VS. Lyle Craker’s PDF Ruling File

The judge's ruling is nonbinding. But officials at the American Civil
Liberties Union hope that the recommendation to grant the application 
of Professor Lyle Craker will eventually lead to more research into the 
use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

In June 2001, Craker submitted an application as a marijuana
manufacturer to the DEA. However, the federal government limits the
growing of marijuana available for clinical research to one source, the
University of Mississippi.

Federal officials said that Craker's university, the University of
Massachusetts Amherst, is free to compete for the next contract to
produce research-grade marijuana for the United States. But there was 
no basis to add another producer.

The company that wants to fund Craker's facility for growing marijuana
countered that researchers are not getting the quantity or the quality
of marijuana needed to conduct research that is approved by the Food 
and Drug Administration.

The DEA contacted researchers and determined otherwise, so hearings 
were held in August and December of 2006 as Craker pursued the case. He got
help from the ACLU along the way.

The administrative law judge, Mary Ellen Bittner, concluded Monday that
granting Craker's application would be in the public interest. Among 
the reasons she cited were inadequate competition and an inadequate supply
of marijuana for research purposes.

Steve Robertson, a spokesman for DEA, said Monday night the agency is
reviewing Bittner's decision and would have no immediate comment. The
DEA administrator, Karen Tandy, retains final authority to decide on 
the application.

"I hope that Administrator Tandy abides by the decision and grants me
the opportunity to do my job unimpeded by drug war politics," Craker
said in a statement distributed by the ACLU.

(c) 2007 The Associated Press

Anjuli Verma

Advocacy Director,

ACLU Drug Law Reform Project

1101 Pacific Avenue, Suite 333

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

o/ (831) 471-9000 x11

f/ (831) 471-9676

m/ (434) 825-9208


DEA Administrative Law Judge Bittner's ruling that the DEA should
license the UMass MMJ garden is a great boost for MMJ research.  The
major problem with it is that DEA doesn't have to comply.  It has 20
days to file a reply, then our side gets to respond, and then the
agency has time to mull it.  The last time the DEA didn't like an
administrative judge's decision on medical marijuana (Francis Young's
ruling), they simply overrode it.  Still, this decision should give
us great leverage with the new Congress.


   In the meantime, California NORML & MAPS are planning to resubmit
our application through Chemic Labs for marijuana to do vaporizer
research.   We originally submitted this proposal back in Feb 2004,
but were refused access to research marijuana from both NIDA & DEA
after an 18-month regulatory delay.
        - D. Gieringer, Cal NORML


We are all thrilled and looking forward to the work ahead of us to lobby Congress and
 DEA’s Deputy Administrator, Michele Leonhart, who will make the final decision (http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2003/08/05/deaBadGirlMicheleLeonhart.html)


    We Are Still Chipping Away At That "Stone Wall Of Medical Marijuana Probation"
    & Slowly But Surely This Is Going To Be Another Chuck. Of The Dam US Drug War 
    Wall Is "Falling Down"