The Drug Enforcement Administration has been willfully impeding and rejecting scientific evidence for four decades, in order to “to maintain the existing, scientifically unsupported drug scheduling system and to obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules,” according to a new report released by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

“The DEA is a police and propaganda agency,” according to Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “It makes no sense for it to be in charge of federal decisions involving scientific research and medical practice, especially when its successive directors have systematically abused their discretionary powers in this area. The time is long past for a top-to-bottom review of this rogue agency.”

The extensive report, compiled by two of the nation's leading drug law reform organizations, details the history of the DEA's unyielding anti-science, anti-marijuana stance, charging them with failing to act in a timely fashion when considering petitions to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, overruling their own Administrative Law Judges when they recommended rescheduling various drugs, and creating a regulatory Catch-22 by arguing “for decades that there is insufficient evidence to support rescheduling marijuana or the medical use of marijuana. {While] at the same time... acting in a manner intended to systematically impede scientific research.”

MAPS executive director Rick Doblin has spent decades battling the DEA, in and out of court, simply for the right to study the medical potential of marijuana. He says the DEA should be ordered to “end the federal government’s unjustifiable monopoly on the supply of research-grade marijuana available for federally approved research,” following the examples set by Canada, Israel, Czech Republic, England, and the Netherlands, all of which allow private producers to grow cannabis for legitimate research.

“The DEA has obstructed research into the medical use of marijuana for over 40 years and in the process has caused immeasurable suffering that would otherwise have been treated by low-cost, low-risk generic marijuana,” Doblin said. “The DEA’s obstruction of the FDA approval process for marijuana has -- to the DEA’s dismay -- unintentionally catalyzed state-level medical marijuana reforms.”