Cicero makes it very clear that testing only addresses the
issue of abuse potential.
"Whether the severity of the abuse is a problem or not
depends upon the extent to which self-administration of the
drug represents a problem to the individual or society. A
good example is caffeine. While most recent studies indicate
that caffeine has abuse potential, as defined by the criteria
outlined above, it seems unrealistic and irrational to assume
therefore that it is equal to other drugs of abuse in terms
of its effects on the individual or society. Ultimately, relative
abuse potential and its severity must be considered in terms
of the criteria outlined above."(28)
The Controlled Substances Act allows for realistic assessment
of the practical application of its regulatory provisions.
This will be discussed in more detail in section 5 of the
petition. The key question is how are the provisions of the
CSA applied? According to Cicero, the DEA application of the
CSA is too "rigid."
"The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) takes a much more
restrictive view of drugs of abuse or potential dependence
liability: drug abuse is defined as the use of any illicit
drug, regardless of its consequences or frequency of use.
While this definition is simple and makes enforcement relatively
easy by allowing the scheduling of compounds under the Controlled
Substances Act, it is far too broad and lacks scientific validity.
Many compounds are illegal in the United States, but clearly
the consequences of their use poses no serious threat to society
or the individual. Hence, this rigid definition does not allow
for discriminating truly dangerous from non-dangerous drugs
and, most importantly, there is little room for accommodating
scientific evidence regarding relative abuse liability. However,
there seems to be sufficient latitude under the current law
to schedule compounds according to classes which appear to
represent the largest threat to the public health. In these
instances, scientific input concerning the dependence liability
of drugs is desperately needed and must be incorporated into
This petition seeks to utilize the "latitude under current
law" to restore scientific validity to marijuana's scheduling
under the Controlled Substances Act.