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As discussion in sections 1 and 7 demonstrate, marijuana does not share essential characteristics of drugs with significant potentials for abuse. Not surprisingly, use of synthetic THC has not produced any evidence of abuse. For example, this excerpt on Dronabinol from a 1995 reference guide for health care professionals published by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention:

“Although chronic abuse of cannabis has been associated with decreases in motivation, cognition, judgement, and perception, no such decrements in psychological, social, or neurological status have been associated with the administration of dronabinol for therapeutic purposes. In an open-label study in patients with AIDS who received dronabinol for up to 5 months, no abuse, diversion, or systematic change in personality or social functioning was observed, even in those patients with a history of drug abuse.”(12)

This petition asserts that evaluating the validity of data for the purposes of scientific reasoning is not the prerogative of the Attorney General or her representative. The DEA is on record as recognizing that this limitation of their discretion is based in statute, not executive policy.

“Clearly, the Controlled Substances Act does not authorize the Attorney General, nor by delegation the DEA Administrator, to make the ultimate medical and policy decision as to whether a drug should be used as medicine. Instead, he is limited to determining whether others accept a drug for medical use.”(13)

“When a drug lacks NDA approval and is not accepted by a consensus of experts outside FDA, it cannot be found by the Attorney General or his delegate to have a currently accepted medical use. To do so would require the Attorney General to resolve complex scientific and medical disputes among experts, to decide the ultimate medical policy question, rather than merely determine whether the drug is accepted by others.”(14)

This petition asserts that the validity of assertions about marijuana that are based on the study of its constituent parts is not only a matter of consensus in scientific and medical circles, but also one recognized in U.S. policy.