House of Representatives
December 6, 2005
DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy
Drug Enforcement Administration
2401 Jefferson Davis Highway
Alexandria, VA 2230
Dear Administrator Tandy,
We are writing to express our strong support for the application from Professor Craker, of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, for licensing as a bulk manufacturer of marijuana for distribution exclusively to federally-approved researchers. We believe DEA licensing of Prof. Craker's privately-funded facility would be in the public interest.
At present, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has an unjustifiable monopoly on the production of marijuana for legitimate medical and research purposes in the United States, grown under contract to NIDA at the University of Mississippi. Federal law clearly requires adequate competition in the manufacture of Schedule I and II substances. (See 2 1 U.S.C. 5 823(a)(1); see also 21 C.F.R. 5 130 1.33(b).) The licensing of Prof. Craker's facility would provide privately-funded sponsors of FDA-approved research the necessary opportunity to conduct studies with a strain of marijuana of their own choosing, with immediate access to that strain for all FDA-approved studies and for possible prescription use. None of this is the case under NIDA's monopoly. Until an alternative source of supply is available, important privately-funded research into the therapeutic effects of marijuana for patients undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, or other diseases will not be initiated.
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is one of the nation's distinguished research universities, and it is highly qualified to manufacture marijuana for legitimate medical and research purposes with effective controls against diversion. NIDA's monopoly makes very little sense given that the DEA has licensed privately-funded manufacturers of virtually all other Schedule I drugs, including LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), and psilocybin.
As one of your predecessors, DEA Administrator Robert Bonner, stated, "Those who insist that marijuana has medical uses would serve society better by promoting or
sponsoring more legitimate scientific research, rather than throwing their time, money and rhetoric into lobbying, public relations campaigns and perennial litigation." We urge you to grant Prof. Craker's application for registration as a bulk manufacturer so that such legitimate and privately-funded scientific research can be conducted.
John W. Olver
Member of Congress
Capuano, Frank, Kucinich, Baldwin, Pastor, Lee, Farr, Hinchey, Paul, Jackson-Lee, McGovern, Grijalva, McDermott, Lewis (GA), Schakowsky, Jesse Jackson Jr., DeFazio, Lofgren, Oberstar, Maloney, Woolsey, Tierney, Conyers, Wexler, Waxman, Sabo, Miller, Price (NC). DeLauro, Rohrabacher, Stark, Andrews, Brown (OH), Towns, Moran (VA), Honda, Nadler