November 23, 1993
Dear Senator Grassley:
This is in response to your letter of October 25, 1993, on behalf of your constituent, Mr. Carl E. Olsen.
As you are aware, your constituent has appealed the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) nonacceptance of his petition to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 811, any interested party can petition the DEA to reschedule a controlled substance. When such a petition is filed with the Drug Enforcement Administration, it is carefully evaluated to determine whether the petition meets the requirements of 21 C.F.R. § 1308.44. Section (b) of that regulation requires that the petition conform to the format provided and be readily understood. If the petition is accepted for filing, the Administrator will evaluate the petition on its merits. If the petition is not accepted for filing, the Administrator will notify the petitioner of his decision and reasons thereof. 21 C.F.R. § 1308.44(c). A copy of the regulation has been provided for your convenience.
Despite Mr. Olsen's contentions, the Administrator did not review the grounds upon which Mr. Olsen relied in his petition before refusing to accept his petition. However, DEA has recognized that the requirement that a petition be accepted for filing absent some ambiguity or some defect in format was not met in this matter. Therefore, in the pending case before the Court of Appeals, DEA has asked for a remand of the action in order that the Administrator may accept Mr. Olsen's petition for filing and review that petition on its merits. The DEA is constrained from commenting further on the merits of Mr. Olsen's case since it is currently pending before the court of appeals.
I hope the foregoing will assist you in responding to your constituent.
Stephen H. Greene
Acting Administrator of Drug Enforcement