DEA Moves To Deschedule Cocaine-Derived Drug While Marijuana Lingers In Schedule I – Marijuana Moment
The DEA recently rescheduled a cocaine-derived drug yet keeps cannabis as a Schedule I substance despite medical benefits. This move illustrates that not only the DEA can reschedule drugs fast – but that they have been actively working against cannabis over the past few years.
Marijuana Moment outlined finer details of the rescheduling, which we will get into further down in the article. The purpose of this article will be threefold;
The process of rescheduling a drug on the CSA
The validity of the CSA
How the DEA actively stood against rescheduling cannabis
Of course, I don’t believe the DEA is the sole entity responsible for stifling the progress of cannabis legalization over the years – but they did act as the tip of the spear of a bipartisan policy that has afflicted millions of people over the span of decades.
First, let’s take a look at the recent rescheduling of [18F]FP-CIT.
The Rescheduling Timeline Explained
In 2018, Advanced Imaging Projects submitted a petition to “deschedule” the substance. The DEA then spent a few months reviewing and collecting data prior to forwarding their findings and the petition to Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS received all of this information in May of 2019.
In April 21, the HHS and the FDA and NIDA all chimed in and ruled that the substance does not conform with a Schedule-II status or any other status for that matter. What makes it a strange assessment is that the HHS did note that the substance appears to be more potent than cocaine in regards to some behavioral assessments.
FP-CIT “may potentially have abuse potential if the dose taken is high enough and if the deterrent effect of the extremely low concentration of the available radioligand is not considered,” the notice states. – Source Marijuana Moment
Irrespective the DEA stated the following;
“Based on FDA’s scientific and medical review…and findings related to the substance’s abuse potential, legitimate medical use, and dependence liability, HHS recommended that [18 F]FP-CIT be removed from all schedules of the CSA,”
“The CSA requires DEA, as delegated by the Attorney General, to determine whether HHS’s scientific and medical evaluation, scheduling recommendation, and all other relevant data constitute substantial evidence that a substance should be scheduled. 21 U.S.C. 811(b). DEA reviewed the scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation provided by HHS, and all other relevant data, and completed its own eight-factor review document on [18 F]FP-CIT pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(c).”
“Based on consideration of the scientific and medical evaluation and accompanying recommendation of HHS, and based on DEA’s consideration of its own eight-factor analysis, DEA finds that these facts and all relevant data demonstrate that [18 F]FP-CIT does not possess abuse or dependence potential,” the notice concludes. “DEA finds that [18 F]FP-CIT does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule, and should be removed from control under the CSA.”
In other words, the DEA only took three years along with the HHS, FDA and NIDA to evaluate a drug that is derived from cocaine, but could not do the same for cannabis in 51-years since the establishing of the Controlled Substance Act of 1970.
Currently, cannabis and psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs – all that are currently showing significant therapeutic benefit – are all lumped under Schedule I, which is reserved for drugs with a high potential for abuse, and no accepted medical value.
To re-schedule and completely remove [18F]FP-CIT from the CSA took a little over four years. It’s things like these that make cannabis activists doubt the bias of these agencies and whether or not “science” is truly guiding policy.
Does the Controlled Substance Act work?
In order to understand why the cocaine-derived drug got re-scheduled and cannabis still remains a schedule I substance you simply have to look at the nature of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.
You simply have to look at the wording of the law that reads; “with subsequent modifications, requires the pharmaceutical industry to maintain physical security and strict record keeping for certain types of drugs…”
In other words, the CSA is being overseen – in one way or another – by the pharmaceutical industry. [18F]FP-CIT is a drug that will primarily be manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry, and thus – becomes convenient to de-schedule in order to serve the purposes of the pharmaceutical industry.
Compare this to drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, etc – which can all be easily cultivated by the individual at home. These drugs remove the dependency of the pharmaceutical industry from the equation.
This isn’t to say that the pharmaceutical industry could not make drugs that are highly effective from these substances – however, it does remove their monopoly on drug distribution and creation. Anyone would have the option to grow their own as opposed to buy it from the pharmacy.
Considering that Pharma has historically placed profits over people, it makes perfect sense that even though the scientific literature suggests that cannabis and these other psychedelics are fairly benign compared to most of the pharma drugs out there – that they still remain a schedule I substance.
This brings into question the very purpose of the CSA as well. If the CSA is meant to prevent abuse – yet some of the most abused drugs currently on the market place are pharmaceutical derivatives – it seems that the document has failed in its very objective.
Rather, it’s a means that the pharmaceutical industry managed to maintain their monopoly and sell drugs that in many cases are far worse for the individual than the natural alternatives.
How the DEA was used as a weapon
The DEA is not the ones in charge, they are merely the enforcer wing of the Pharmaceutical industry. The FDA, NIDA and other federal agencies receive funding directly from the pharmaceutical industry and by simply studying history you can see how the “rescheduling” of drugs have always favored pharma.
We’ve spent more than fifty years using this policy that has given pharma the power to swell to the size where they virtually own a large portion of the Senate. We can see the rotating door between government agency and top positions within the pharmaceutical industry.
If at this point you aren’t even remotely skeptical about the decision-making processes in relation to drugs – you need to realize that the War on Drugs, the CSA and policies against drugs are not there for your safety – but rather the safety of the dominance of the pharmaceutical industry.
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