Time Line: In the Matter of Lyle Craker

Document Date: August 22, 2005

In the Matter of Lyle Craker, A Timeline?

January 12, 2009. The Bush administration deals a parting shot to legitimate scientific research, ignoring the recommendation of the DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge and rejecting Professor Craker’s application roughly seven-and-a-half years after it was initially filed.

September 18, 2007. A letter in support of Professor Craker signed by 45 members of the U.S. House of Representatives is delivered to the DEA demanding an end to the obstruction of scientific research aimed at developing marijuana as a legal prescription medicine.

May 15, 2007. DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner finds that it “would be in the public interest” to approve Professor Lyle Craker’s application to cultivate marijuana for use in FDA-approved studies.

August 22, 2005. Hearings begin before the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrative Law Judge in ACLU challenge on behalf of University of Massachusetts, Amherst Professor Lyle Craker. The ACLU challenges the DEA’s refusal to issue Prof. Craker a license to establish a facility to grow marijuana for private, federally-approved medical research.

August 12, 2005. The DEA’s Administrative Law Judge rules that Angel Raich and Valerie Corral may not testify at the upcoming hearing. The Judge granted the DEA’s motion to exclude Ms. Raich and Ms. Corral’s testimony on the basis that because both parties agree that legitimate research into the therapeutic benefits of marijuana is ongoing, “”evidence pertaining to marijuana’s therapeutic uses is irrelevant to the issue of whether Respondent’s [Lyle Craker’s] registration would be consistent with the public interest.””

July 26, 2005. Prof. Lyle Craker and 12 others filed updated and final pre-hearing statements. The DEA also filed an updated pre-hearing statement.

July 26, 2005. U.S. Congressional Representatives John Olver (D-MA) and Michael Capuano (D-MA) sent a letter to DEA Administrator Karen Tandy urging DEA to issue a license to Prof. Craker to produce marijuana exclusively for federally-approved research.

July 22, 2005. The DEA filed a motion seeking to disqualify four of our proposed witnesses (see above).

April 22, 2005. The ACLU becomes co-counsel with Washington D.C. law firms Jenner & Block, LLP and Steptoe & Johnson, LLP to represent Prof. Lyle Craker in his appeal to before the DEA’s Administrative Law Judge. The ACLU files an initial pre-hearing statement on behalf of Prof. Lyle Craker and 12 other experts.

February 28, 2005. DEA files its initial pre-hearing statement. In DEA’s initial formal rejection explaining its rationale for rejecting Prof. Craker’s application, DEA claims that it would be against the public interest for it to approve the license.

February 7, 2005. ACLU assists MAPS in petitioning the DEA for a hearing before its Administrative Law Judge to appeal the denial of Prof. Craker’s application.

December 10, 2004. DEA finally rejects the application from Prof. Lyle Craker nearly three and a half years after the application was initially filed, stating that to approve Prof. Craker’s application would not be in the public interest and that international treaty obligations would prevent it from issuing the license.

December 7, 2004. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) sends out a Dear Colleague letter to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives questioning whether the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is unbiased toward marijuana research.

November 22, 2004. The D.C. Court of Appeals orders DEA to respond to Prof. Craker’s application.

July 21, 2004. Prof. Craker files a lawsuit against the DEA in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, arguing that the DEA has engaged in unreasonable delay, as defined in the Administrative Procedures Act, for failure to respond to his application to grow research-grade marijuana at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst facility. The lawsuit demanded that DEA respond to Prof. Craker’s application.

March 28, 2004. Ex-Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders publishes op-ed to dispel myths about medical marijuana.

October 20, 2003 . Both U.S. Senators from Massachusetts send a letter to DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, expressing their strong support for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst marijuana production facility.

October 7, 2003. MAPS files a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with DEA to find out whether there have been any comments to the DEA regarding Prof. Craker’s application. MAPS learns that only one public comment was filed with DEA during the public comment period and that MAPS could see that comment only by filing the (FOIA) request. The FOIA later revealed that the one comment submitted to DEA was from Dr. El Sohly, the director of NIDA’s marijuana facility.

September 16, 2003. MAPS sends a letter to NIDA director Nora Volkow requesting that NIDA submit a comment to the DEA on the Federal Register supporting the approval Dr. Craker’s application. NIDA responds with a letter stating that such research is not in NIDA’s mission.

July 24, 2003. After over two years of delay, the DEA posts Prof. Craker’s application onto the Federal Register for a 60-day public comment period.

December 2001 . DEA claimed the application was lost. Prof. Craker resubmitted a photocopy but was told in February 2002 that the photocopied application was invalid since it didn’t have an original signature. In July 2002, the original application was returned, unprocessed, with a DEA date stamp showing it had been received in June 2001. Prof. Craker resubmitted the original application to DEA on August 20, 2002.

June 24, 2001. Prof. Craker files an application to the DEA for permission to grow research-grade marijuana for legal, privately funded research into the potential medicinal effects of marijuana.

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