The DEA Is Getting Dragged ‘Kicking and Screaming’ Into the New World of Marijuana


A man waves a Colorado flag with a marijuana leaf on it at Denver's annual 4/20 marijuana rally in front of the state capitol building in downtown Denver, April 20, 2015. (photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters)
A man waves a Colorado flag with a marijuana leaf on it at Denver’s annual 4/20 marijuana rally in front of the state capitol building in downtown Denver, April 20, 2015. (photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters)

 

Christopher Woody | International Business Times | Reader Supported News | May 18, 2016

n April, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said it would review marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug, considered the “most dangerous class” of substances.

While the DEA’s announcement is a positive sign, many drug policy experts think it’s unlikely the agency will actually decide to change marijuana’s classification, despite a dramatic shift in public sentiment about the drug.

Marijuana’s position in the top tier of the scheduling system — which organizes drugs by their “acceptable medical use and … abuse or dependency potential” — has endured since the 1970s.

“DEA will carry out its assessment of the FDA recommendation in accordance with the [Controlled Substances Act] … and hopes to release its determination in the first half of 2016,” the DEA said in a letter to a group of Democratic senators, first obtained by the Huffington Post.

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The FDA’s Blood Donor Policy Is Still Homophobic


Amanda Terkel | Huffington Post | December 21, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration lifted its lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood Monday, but many gay men will still be barred.

The new policy says that any man who wants to give blood can only do so if he hasn’t had sex with another man in the past year. In other words, sexually active gay men who are married or in a monogamous relationship will still be prohibited from donating.

Men who have had sex with other men, even just once, have been banned from giving blood since 1985, near the start of the AIDS epidemic. The New York Times noted last year that “restrictions on donors were written when H.I.V. testing was slower and less refined. Today, some tests can detect the virus in blood as little as nine days after infection.”

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Frankenfish: FDA approves GMO salmon despite fierce criticism


 

Food regulators have approved the first ever ‘GM animal,’ certifying genetically modified salmon as safe to eat. But many environmentalists and food safety advocates are already railing against the decision, as RT’s Brigida Santos reports.

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“‘Female Viagra’ is just an antidepressant” – Dr. Leonore Tiefer


 

RT America | August 20, 2015

Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace from Watching the Hawks speak with clinical psychologist Dr. Leonore Tiefer about the misinformation campaign surrounding the recent FDA approval of a “Female Viagra” pill.

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Medical hardware faces hacking threat – doctors, DHS


 

RT News | August 4, 2015

Doctors, health professionals, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are concerned about the vulnerability of medical devices, especially tools like IV drips, to computer hacking. Manila Chan takes a look at the details.

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FDA: Protecting blood supply from AIDS might “offend” straight people


 | America Blog | January 2, 2015

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said this week that it will not ask potential blood donors about their high-risk sexual behavior, even if the questions would help ensure the safety of the nation’s blood supply from HIV/AIDS, because heterosexual donors might find the questioning “offensive.”

This, after decades of the FDA asking male blood donors if they are gay, and then asking the gay ones whether they have had sex with men at any time since the late 1970s.

Philadelphia NPR station WHYY-FM has the FDA’s incredible comment:

“Assessment of high-risk sexual behaviors would be highly burdensome on blood donation establishments and potentially offensive to donors,” the agency wrote.

The new FDA statement comes on the heels of last week’s change in the agency’s long-standing gay-ban on blood donations. Previously, no man who had had sex with even one man since the late 1970s could donate blood.  Now, under the new policy, the FDA asks male donors if they’ve had sex with another man in the past 12 months.

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FDA’s gay blood ban is unlikely to be lifted


 

David Hudson | Gay Star News | December 4, 2014

Following a two-day meeting of scientists and health officials, it’s looking unlikely that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will lift its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood any time soon – despite previous recommendations that it does so.

A panel of advisers were convened by the FDA to discuss the whether the ban should be cut back to prohibiting men who have not had sex with men in the past 12 months.

However, following reportedly heated discussions, they failed to reach an agreement on what to recommend.

The FDA does not have to follow the advice of such expert panels but it nearly always does so.

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Survey: Women Say Cannabis Is Most Effective Alternative Pain Treatment Option


NORML | September 25, 2014

Shepherdstown, WV: Women say that cannabis is the most effective alternative treatment method for addressing their chronic pain, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation and For Grace, a non-profit devoted to better care and wellness for women in pain.

The online survey asked women to rate the efficacy of nearly a dozen non-prescription drug alternative pain therapies, including yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and massage. Eighty percent of the respondents who reported having used medicinal cannabis said that doing so alleviated their pain. By comparison, only 53 percent of respondents reported finding relief from massage therapy, which was rated the second-most effective treatment option.

No other alternative treatment was reported to be effective by a majority of respondents. Only a third of respondents reported that more common alternatives, like physical therapy, meditation, and acupuncture, were effective treatment options.

In FDA-approved clinical trials, patients suffering from neuropathic pain have consistently reported significant relief following whole-plant cannabis administration, even in instances where it is administered in especially small doses. A meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded, “[I]t is reasonable to consider cannabinoids as a treatment option for the management of chronic neuropathic pain with evidence of efficacy in other types of chronic pain such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis as well.”

According to data published in August in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine, the enactment of statewide medicinal marijuana laws is associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates – indicating that many patients, when given the option of cannabis therapy, are choosing to either substitute or greatly reduce their use of prescription opiates.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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Mother of gay teen who committed suicide outraged at FDA ban on gay organ donation


Scott Kaufman | Raw Story | August 18, 2014

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A mother who tried to bring meaning to her gay son’s tragic suicide by having his organs donated was shocked to learn that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations prevent gay men from donating non-lifesaving organs, The Des Moines Register reports.

Sheryl Moore’s 16-year-old son, A.J. Betts, took his own life after facing years of being bullied for being openly gay. She kept his body alive for four days after he was declared brain dead specifically so his oxygen-deprived organs could recuperate enough to be viable for transplants. His heart, lungs, and kidneys were all eventually harvested for transplantation, but his bone, tendons, heart valves, and eyes were not.

When she asked the Iowa Donor Network why those organs had not been harvested, she was told it was because of an FDA policy barring sexually active gay men from donating non-lifesaving organs.

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New FDA Food Label Rules Ignore GMOs


Katherine Paul, Ronnie Cummins | Common Dreams | Reader Supported News | March 27, 2014

n February 27, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a media blitz to tout the FDA’s proposed new rules for nutrition labels on packaged foods. Both the FDA and Mrs. Obama trumpeted the changes, the first in 20 years and 10 years in the making, as being designed to help consumers “make healthy food choices for their kids.”

Changes to nutrition labels are long overdue, and it’s great that Mrs. Obama is leading the charge to force food manufacturers to provide more accurate information about their products.

But conspicuously absent from the media hype was any mention of the one label that consumers have been crystal clear about wanting, the label that consumers in nearly 60 other countries have but Americans don’t-a label that tells us whether or not our cereal or soda or mac & cheese contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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