Tom Angell reporting: State Department Says DEA Is Wrong on Marijuana Monopoly
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has long held the position that international drug control treaties to which the U.S. is a party prevent the federal government from granting more licenses to grow marijuana for scientific research.
The U.S. State Department just said the DEA is wrong. […]
But in written response sent to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released Thursday, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, said that DEA’s interpretation of the treaties is wrong.
A country issuing more than one cultivation license “would not be a sufficient basis to conclude that the party was acting in contravention” of the treaties, the bureau said. […]
“Nothing in the text of the Single Convention, nor in the Commentary, suggests that there is a limitation on the number of licenses that can be issued,” the State Department writes. […]
“For years, the DEA has cited this international treaty as the reason for limiting medical research,” Gillibrand said in a press release announcing the new State Department position. “Now that the State Department has confirmed this treaty should not be a barrier to expanding research, the DEA should issue new licenses to supply medical researchers and stop letting antiquated ideology stand in the way of modern medical science.”
I love it when one government agency calls out another one. And, of course, when it comes to interpreting international treaties, it seems the State Department may trump the DEA.