PRESS RELEASE FROM
THE COALITION FOR RESCHEDULING CANNABIS

(See List Below for Coalition Members and Contact Information)

* * * FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * * *

Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - NATIONAL COALITION SEEKS RECOGNITION OF THE ACCEPTED MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS IN THE UNITED STATES; Petition Provides Scientific Argument For Rescheduling

A coalition of organizations advocating medical access to cannabis filed a comprehensive rescheduling petition with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on October 9, 2002.

The DEA currently classifies marijuana as a schedule I substance, which prohibits medical access to cannabis and places both costly and severe restrictions on further medical research. The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis has provided detailed evidence challenging DEA's determination that cannabis has no accepted medical use in the United States. This petition seeks to have marijuana removed from schedule I and place in a less restrictive schedule that provides for medical use based on a doctor's prescription. If successful, this petition would also eliminate the clash between federal law and the laws of states that accept and recognize the medical use of cannabis.

According to the petition: "Key developments in the assessment of marijuana's medical use include: acceptance of marijuana's medical use by health care professionals; recognition of marijuana as a medicine of last resort by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; recognition of the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids by the scientific community and health care providers; the emergence of basic research explaining the mode of action of cannabis-based medicines; the emergence of clinical research on the medical use of cannabis; and acceptance of marijuana's medical use by eight states. These developments contradict the [current] classification of marijuana as having no accepted medical use in the United States."

A prior attempt to force marijuana's rescheduling by Jon Gettman and High Times Magazine was rejected by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Court of Appeals decided that petitioners were not sufficiently injured to have standing to challenge DEA's determinations in federal court. The Coalition's petition argues that "in their review of the Gettman petition neither DEA nor HHS gave any consideration to marijuana's medical use, its safety for use, its relative abuse potential or its relative dependence liability, as called for by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This petition addresses all of these relevant issues."

"This petition is being filed by a coalition of interested parties including non-profit organizations and individual citizens. The membership of these organizations and these individual citizens have various interests in the appropriate scheduling of cannabis under federal law, including but not limited to an interest in legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use based on existing medical conditions."

The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis is comprised of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, Americans for Safe Access, California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Jon Gettman, High Times, Iowans for Medical Marijuana, the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, Patients Out of Time and other interested individuals.

The full text of the petition in on-line at http:// www.drugscience.org.

Please contact coalition member organizations directly for additional information and comment.

American Alliance for Medical Cannabis
West Hills, CA 91304
Contact: Jay Cavanaugh
Phone: (818) 346-4493

Americans for Safe Access
Berkeley, CA 94709
Contact: Steph Shearer
Phone: (510) 486-8083

California NORML
San Francisco CA 94114
Contact: Dale Gieringer
Phone: (415) 563-5858

Drug Policy Forum of Texas
Houston, Texas 77055
Contact: Jerry Epstein
Phone:(713) 784-2637 or (713) 784-3196

Jon Gettman
Lovettsville, VA 20180
Phone: (540) 822-9002

High Times Magazine
New York, NY 10003
Contact: Steve Hager
Phone: (212) 387-0500

Iowans for Medical Marijuana
Des Moines, IA 50333
Contact: Carl Olsen
Phone: (515) 288-5798

Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center (LACRC)
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Contact: Scott Imler
Phone: (323) 874-0811

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
Washington, D.C. 20036
Contact: Donna Shea
Phone: (202) 483-8751

New Mexicans for Compassionate Use
Santa Fe, NM 87507
Contact: Bryan Krumm
Phone: (505)473-3189

Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative (OCBC)
Oakland, CA 94612-0401
Contact: Jeff Jones
Phone: (510) 832-5346

Patients Out of Time
Howardsville, VA 24562
Contact: Al Byrne
Phone: (434) 263-4484