Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jul 2004
Source: Republican, The (MA)
Copyright: 2004 The Republican
Author: Holly Angelo
Referenced: the DEA lawsuit
Referenced: the HHS-NIH-NIDA lawsuit
Cited: University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Cited: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
Cited: Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Amherst - All Lyle E. Craker wants to do is grow marijuana in his
lab at the University of Massachusetts to supply other scientists with
the plant so studies about its medicinal benefits can take place.

But after filing an application with the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration in June 2001 to establish a facility on the Amherst
campus to produce marijuana for U.S. Food and Drug
Administration-approved research, he hasn't received a yes or no.

To get an answer, Craker has teamed with two other parties as
plaintiffs in one of two lawsuits scheduled to be filed today that
accuses the federal government with obstructing medical marijuana research.

"I'm hoping the lawsuit will bring a response," Craker said from his
office in Stockbridge Hall yesterday, where he is the director of the
medicinal plant program and member of the department of plant, soil
and insect sciences.

"It's unfortunate, but the issue probably has to be forced here (in
the courts)."

The two suits are supposed to be filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in
Washington, D.C.

The first suit is filed by the Multidisciplinary Association for
Psychedelic Studies; Craker and Valerie Corral, a California-licensed
medical marijuana patient and caregiver, against the Drug Enforcement

It seeks a decision on Craker's request and a request by Chemic
Laboratories of Canton to import 10 grams of marijuana from the Dutch
Office of Medicinal Cannabis for use in a medical marijuana research
project investigating the safety advantages of a nonsmoking delivery
device for marijuana by a vaporizer.

The second suit is filed by the association and Corral against the
federal Department of Health and Human Services, the National
Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health. It also
seeks a final ruling by the agencies on Chemic's request for marijuana
and the vaporizer study.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and National Institute on Drug
Abuse would not comment on the suits.

"We're arguing unreasonable delay," said Rick E. Doblin, president of
the association, based in Sarasota, Fla. "We are blocked from growing
our own (marijuana) at UMass Amherst. We are blocked from importing
from the Dutch Office of Medicinal Cannabis, and we are blocked from
purchasing from the government's supply."

U.S. senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy sent a letter to the
Drug Enforcement Administration in October 2003 expressing support for
the UMass-Amherst marijuana research production facility. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake