José Irizarry accepts that he’s known as the most corrupt agent in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history, admitting he “became another man” in conspiring with Colombian cartels to build a lavish lifestyle of expensive sports cars, Tiffany jewels and paramours around the world. But as he used his final hours of freedom to tell his story to The Associated Press, Irizarry says he won’t go down for this alone, accusing some long-trusted DEA colleagues of joining him in skimming millions of dollars from drug money laundering stings to fund a decade’s worth of luxury overseas travel, fine dining, top seats at sporting events and frat house-style debauchery. “We had free access to do whatever we wanted,” the 48-year-old Irizarry told the AP in a series of interviews before beginning a 12-year federal prison sentence. “We would generate money pick-ups in places we wanted to go. And once we got there it was about drinking and girls.” All this revelry was rooted, Irizarry said, in a crushing realization among DEA agents around the world that there’s nothing they can do to make a dent in the drug war anyway. Only nominal concern was given to actually building cases or stemming a record flow of illegal cocaine and opioids into the United States that has driven more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths a year.
Two bills have been introduced to protect consumer access to cannabidiol (CBD). We have a growing opioid painkiller epidemic in this country—one that has followed the scandal of so many heart-health-destroying or cancer-causing pain relievers being approved by the FDA. There is a natural alternative, and of course the government is intent on banning it for no reason at all—other than to clear the way for a blockbuster new drug. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) has introduced two bills, the Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (HR 714) and the Compassionate Access Act (HR 715), both aimed at removing federal obstacles that prevent patient access to CBD, a medicinal extract of the marijuana plant. These bills follow a recent move by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that classified marijuana and all its extracts as Schedule I controlled substances—a category that includes heroin, LSD, mescaline, and MDMA. Note that none of the CBD extracts contains significant amounts of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana—only the non-psychoactive painkilling chemicals. Although “CBD” or “cannibinoids” are not mentioned in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)—the legislation that the DEA must follow in creating rules related to controlled substances—the agency nonetheless lumps CBD and all other constituents of the plant into the definition of “marijuana.”
The most recent governmental bureaucratic actions against medical cannabis was a joint effort of the DEA and FDA, both of which work together to ensure the pharmaceutical industry can dominate medical applications of cannabis. Early this year, 2017, cannabidiol (CBD) was placed firmly as a Schedule 1 Drug on its controlled substance list, even though CBD is an extract from cannabis that does not have psychotropic effects (no "high" from usage.) Because CBD does not produce any psychotropic effects, and yet is effective for several medical issues, most notably epileptic seizures, it has been allowed for children with epilepsy even in some states that do not permit full plant cannabis with THC medically. Yet now the DEA says it’s as medically useless and dangerous as heroin.