WHO IS DHHS by BRUCE
Over the years i’ve noticed that whenever the DEA, Drug Enforcement Administration, is tasked to do something it generally takes them years and years to get around to it. When they finally do get around to following the law and doing their job they usually choose not to follow the recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge, ALJ, that heard the case. The ALJ is the person who hears the testimony from the expert witnesses and reads all relevant documents. S/he is the one who at the conclusion of a case is most qualified to offer a considered expert opinion. In spite of this the recommendation of the ALJ is usually overruled by agency officials in the DEA. Who are these agency officials that continue to make our lives difficult? The question is more easily asked than answered.
The three cases where this has happened are as follows: The National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA, grows cannabis for the federal government at its grow facility at the University of Mississippi. They will release marijuana to researchers only if said research is directed at proving the harmfulness of cannabis. If the research is geared toward showing some benefit from cannabis the NIDA will not release it. To get around this restriction, Lyle Craker, PhD, director of the Medicinal Plants Program at the University of Massachusetts, petitioned the DEA for permission to grow his own marijuana for research. Ten years after he asked he was answered. The ALJ after hearing all the evidence offered in the case said; LET CRAKER GROW, it is in the PUBLIC INTEREST. The agency officials said; we don’t think so.
In 1985 the DEA was petitioned to remove MDMA from schedule one so research could be done with it. There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that MDMA may be helpful to combat veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. There is also evidence that cannabis is useful for PTSD. After hearing the witnesses and reading the literature the ALJ concluded there is no great risk to the public from MDMA and recommended it be moved from schedule I to schedule II. Agency officials said we don’t think so.
Last but not least is NORML’s petition in the late 70’s to remove marijuana from schedule I. It took DEA ten years to respond to the petition. Ten years??? They must have been really busy. Over a period of two more years the ALJ heard from dozens of expert witnesses and read thousands of pages of evidence. When it was all said and done, the ALJ, Francis Young, recommended cannabis be moved to schedule II. He said it would be unconscionable for the government to continue to stand in the way of those who can benefit from this substance. Agency officials said we don’t think so. Who are these people, anyhow?
As mentioned befor the question is more easily asked than answered. There are so many bureaucratic agencies it is hard to follow the trial. There is FDA, NIDA, ONDCP. The last two are tasked specificallly to oppose any attempt at legalization and are authorized to use propaganda toward that end. The DEA is under the wing of the Department of Justice. Of all the lettered agencies working to enforce prohibition the head of the snake appears to be the Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS. They are the ones who say what is in and what is out. The DEA and FDA are the enforcers but the power behind the throne appears to be DHHS. So, who is DHHS? I’d like to know. Health and human services??? How Orwellian.