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Obama’s Drug Czar Admits Govt Suppressed Research Showing the Benifits of Cannabis

The Obama Administration’s Drug Czar Michael Botticelli chatted it up on Politico’s Pulse Check podcast recently where he discussed the federal government’s approach to drug addiction and rehabilitation, among other topics. But Botticelli did take a moment to discuss marijuana, and specifically the government’s historical role in making it difficult for researchers to study the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Speaking with Dan Diamond, the host of Pulse Check, Botticelli was asked about the DEA’s decision in August to maintain cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic. The Drug Czar replied, “Our office does not have a formal role in that,” referring to the decision by the DEA to keep marijuana classified as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin and LSD.

After washing his hands of the DEA’s decision, and denying his office was culpable in keeping marijuana a Schedule I drug, he stated the Obama administration had made it one of their priorities to investigate cannabis’ health benefits.

However, he then went on to confirm what had long been a conspiracy theory of sorts — that the federal government purposely prevented marijuana from being researched for its therapeutic benefits.

Botticelli confirmed suspicions that the feds have purposefully kept marijuana from being thoroughly researched for positive health benefits when he said, “I do think it’s a somewhat fair criticism that the government hasn’t wholly supported research to really investigate what’s the potential therapeutic value.”

The Drug Czar then claimed the Obama administration and the DEA have done “a number of things to promote good scientific research” and “diminish some of the barriers (to research)” of cannabis, although he did not specify what those things were.

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The brief discussion of marijuana was a part of a larger address Botticelli aimed at opiate addiction and the government’s response to focus more on treatment rather than prosecution. But as The Free Thought Project has recently reported, the DEA’s decision to classify Kratom as a Schedule I narcotic seems to be at odds with Botticelli’s claims the government wants to focus more on treatment for opiate addiction. That’s because Kratom, a natural plant, has been useful in helping heroin and opiate addicts get off the drugs, whether they be street heroin or prescription pills.

And by making the highly unusual move to classify Kratom as a Schedule I drug, just as a bipartisan group of Congressmen stated, the DEA has made the unfortunate decision to further hamper Kratom research which is currently ongoing. Those studies show promise for Kratom’s ability to mitigate opiate withdrawal symptoms. And it’s not just Kratom that researchers are saying helps opiate addicts kick the addictive opiates. Weed appears to do the same.

As the Boston Herald reported in 2015, doctors in Massachusetts are having great success in getting heroin addicts off of their addictive opiates and onto marijuana, a non-addictive substance. According to the Herald, doctors treated “80 patients who were addicted to opioids, muscle relaxers or anti-anxiety medication with cannabis using a one-month tapering program,” and added, “More than 75 percent of those patients stopped taking the harder drugs.”

“What we are seeing is that, in follow-up visits, patients have decreased and even eliminated their opioids,” said Dr. Uma Dhanabalan of Uplifting Health and Wellness in Natick. He said the current approved therapy to use drugs like Methadone to treat opiate addiction is counter-intuitive by saying, “It’s a problem when we are replacing one synthetic opioid with another synthetic opioid because, guess what … synthetic opioids kill, cannabis does not.”

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To recap the DEA’s movements over the last 45 days, they refused to even consider removing marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, and even added Kratom to their list (official regulation still pending), even though both plants can and are being used to help heroin and opiate addicts get off of their life-threatening drugs. And now the Obama administration’s own Drug Czar, charged with helping to combat the heroin epidemic in the U.S., admits more must be done to research cannabis’ health benefits. By doing so, the DEA’s decision to put Kratom on the banned drug list, and to keep cannabis on the list, makes both more difficult to research, leaving more questions than answers. Go figure.

Something has to give. The DEA has to stop fighting the will of the people, realizing 25 states and D.C. already have successful medical marijuana programs, with more states poised to follow suit this November. And the outgoing administration, along with the successive administrations, must join forces with the DEA to prevent the enforcement agency from criminalizing plants which can help Americans prevent and treat opiate addiction.


    The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a U.S. federal research institute focused on “[advancing] science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction … to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.


    August 18, 2015 Why Big Pharma hates legalized marijuana; painkillers, chemotherapy and psych drugs could be made obsolete

    When certain politicians and so-called health experts bellyache over the legalization of cannabis, it’s not because they’re worried about the children.


    • billdeserthills

      I still think tobacco is a gateway to doing drugs

      • Freedom works and government force is a farce! Government schools are the gateway and entry. I know from my youth and very own personal experiences.

      • Bill Taylor

        CAFFEINE is the first drug most humans consume as infants when given a sip of soda or a taste of chocolate.

        • billdeserthills

          You think drinking a cup of coffee or soda leads to taking drugs??

  • Jun 19, 2014 Message to the World from Brave Mykayla

    Brave Mykayla Comstock was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2012, when she was only 7. Chemotherapy didnt work like it was supposed to, instead we chose an alternate route for her- It worked…Will you help her change the world?

    US Patent 6630507 – Cannabinoids As Antioxidants And Neuroprotectants Cannabinoids As Antioxidants And Neuroprotectants US Patent 6630507 – Patent 6630507 Issued on October 7, 2003 Estimated Expiration Date: February 2, 2021

    Abstract Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.


  • Caitlin Ann

    BenEfits. How can one share a great story with a misspelled word in the HEADLINE!? Not meaning to be bitchy bc i support your message and share it frequently, ahem… BUT, while I am being critical, the insidious pop-up assault of ads on this website make navigating a good article pretty frustrating. (Mobile) Otherwise thanks for persistently publishing a really great message worth sharing. I’d feel more pride in the share with less invasive advertising.

    • lschelin

      I agree, it was the first thing I picked up. The ads are the most annoying and they are of a subject matter that is useless to me. Medical marijuana needs to be bought to the front as it is a major benefit to all of us.

    • billdeserthills

      I haven’t seen one pop-up since I downloaded a pop-up blocker, it feels so luxurious

      • Caitlin Ann

        I use an ad blocker, Samsung s7.. still, many mobile sites are terrible. I am curious what you downloaded. Please share

        • billdeserthills

          Wish I knew, I’m not too computer literate, must be something associated with firefox though

  • 30yrfed

    Why is everyone associated with the war on drugs a corrupt liar??

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      I don’t know, maybe they are so brainwashed that they can’t help it.

      • junktex

        Laughable idea.Answer is MONEY,like with everything in Murrka

        • Vincent D’Emidio


  • Ed

    I wonder when the media will start naming names of the Geniuses with the DEA who continue to deny cannibus has medical uses?
    It’s Time Americans Realize If Voting Made Any Difference, They Wouldn’t Let Us Do It!

  • Hosea Mcadoo

    Doing away with cannabis prohibition will put drug lords out of business,. empty private prisons, reduce asset theft by police and slow bribes to politicians.

    It is money for the elite, the only thing of importance in America.

    • junktex

      Also hurts Big Pharma

  • palvadore

    Dr Grinspoon said CBD protects brain cells from the damage caused by concussion and TBI.

  • Steven Smith

    The DEA is not stupid. The decisions they make are paid for by the Pharma Cartel. The government doesn’t want you drug-free if those drugs are made by Big Pharma, only if it’s something you can grow in your backyard.

    • billdeserthills

      Right, they aren’t Only stupid, the DEA is greedy and stupid

  • Thomas Tony Vance

    The cover story in the April 2016 edition of Harper’s
    Magazine titled, “Legalize it all” with the subtitle “How to Win the War on
    Drugs” written by Dan Baum recalls an interview with President Nixon aide John Ehrlichman. Mister Baum was asking questions about the
    politics of drug prohibition and as he tells it, Ehrlichman asked, “You want to
    know what this was really all about?” He went on to say, “The Nixon campaign in
    1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left
    and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it
    illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to
    associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then
    criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest
    their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night
    after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of
    course we did.”

    Around this time Nixon had appointed the Shafer Commission
    to report on the drug situation and to make recommendations. It‘s overall recommendation was the that
    drugs were a medical problem and not a criminal one. Nixon felt betrayed by the commission and
    proceeded to prosecute the prohibitionist policy we have today, besides he had
    other uses for the ‘War on Drugs’ not the least of which was harassing his
    political enemies.

    The resulting death, destruction and misery caused by this decision
    cannot be calculated, over 40 years of a war created solely for the benefit of
    one man and one party with arrest and incarceration of hundreds of thousands of
    our citizens every year. Over the last
    15 years there have been over 600,000 arrests for drugs every year! Our jails are overflowing with the enemies of
    the President even decades after Nixon, who gave us this disaster, is dead.

    This all begs the question, why are we still persecuting
    Nixon’s political enemies? There is
    ample proof this policy was enacted for political reasons and that it’s
    prosecution is a scam and a total failure. What can be the justification for
    keeping it going?

    Kentucky’s legislators need to explain why, with 75% of our
    citizens favoring passage of a medical marijuana bill this session, they are
    blocking reform and why they wish to continue to harass and prosecute Nixon’s
    political enemies especially since he and his enemies are dead by now?

    There is no hiding, there is no justifiable excuse for these
    legislators to block reform unless, they wish to keep piling on the misery of
    drug prohibition for their own personal political reasons and care not for the
    welfare of the citizens they represent!