Federal agents seized fewer total marijuana plants in 2018, but made more arrests for cannabis-related offenses, according to annual data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Newly appointed US Attorney General William Barr is being urged to review more than two-dozen pending applications for federal marijuana grow licenses which have languished before the agency for over two years.
Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops in the United States fell nearly 40 percent between the years 2016 and 2017, according to annual data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
In testimony before Congress last week, by DEA acting administrator Robert Patterson opined that the medicalization of cannabis is exacerbating opioid abuse. But when prompted to provide evidence in support of the agency’s position, he acknowledged that he could not.
A bipartisan coalition of over two-dozen federal lawmakers, including House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL), are backing newly introduced legislation — The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018 — to facilitate federally-approved clinical trials involving cannabis. Passage of this act would end the University of Mississippi’s existing monopoly on the growth of cannabis for clinical research purposes by requiring the licensing of additional manufacturers.
According to the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, agents confiscated more than 5.3 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2016. The total is a 20 percent increase over the agency’s 2015 seizure totals and is the most plants seized by the DEA since 2011, when agents confiscated more than 6.7 million plants.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration has publicly reiterated its position that cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, is properly categorized under federal law as a schedule I controlled substance — meaning that, by definition, it possesses “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and lacks “accepted safety … under medical supervision.”
In a just published “exit interview” with Rolling Stone Magazine, President Barack Obama opined that marijuana use should be treated as a public-health issue, not a criminal matter, and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.”
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has decided to reject a pair of administrative rescheduling petitions challenging the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical utility, according to advanced news reports published this evening by NPR, the New York Times, Reuters, and other news outlets.