Lyle Craker

Lyle E. Craker is a Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Executive Editor of the Journal of Medicinally Active Plants. 

Lyle worked with Rick Doblin of MAPS for over 12 years to obtain a permit from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to grow marijuana for research purposes at UMass Amherst. This resulted in a multi-year legal battle with the DEA. Lyle initially applied for a license in 2001. After waiting for three years the DEA denied his application.

In April of 2007 a DEA administrative law judge agreed that the DEA should issue the license.  Michele Leonhart, then head administrator of the DEA rejected the recommendation and denied Craker his request.

On April 29, 2009, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry wrote a letter to the Honorable David W. Ogden urging the Deputy Attorney General to delay a final decision on the application by Lyle E. Craker of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to produce research-grade marijuana for use in federally approved clinical trials.

In April 2013 the US First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the DEA denying Lyle’s application, effectively ending 12 years of effort.

In 1963, Craker received a B.S. degree in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1967 he received a Ph.D. in agronomy and plant genetics with a specialty in plant physiology from the University of Minnesota

Lyle teaches the popular class, Herbs, Spices, & Medicinal Plants at UMass Amherst.