Interim DEA Director Calls Medical Marijuana a 'Joke'

Nov 05, 2015 CBS News, Chuck Rosenberg, DEA, joke, Michele Leonhart


On Wednesday, interim director Chuck Rosenberg of the Drug Enforcement Agency made some troubling statements regarding medical marijuana.

CBS News reports:

[caption id="attachment_9341" align="alignright" width="200"]7e79de1a-d673-4880-966b-3108ac95b34b Dir. Chuck Rosenberg[/caption]

"What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal -- because it's not," Rosenberg said in a briefing to reporters. "We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don't call it medicine -- that is a joke."

...

"There are pieces of marijuana -- extracts or constituents or component parts -- that have great promise" medicinally, he said. "But if you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana -- which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana -- it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine."

Doctors in nearly half the states and mountains of research definitively show that whole-plant marijuana is effective at treating a variety of conditions. While it is heartening that the director admits some components of marijuana may have medical value and that it is worth having a discussion about making marijuana legal for adults, these statements show a serious lack of knowledge about the substance, especially for the head of a drug control organization.

Rosenberg took over the agency in April after previous director Michele Leonhart resigned in disgrace following criticism for a number of scandals under her watch and embarrassing statements, including refusing to admit that heroin is more dangerous than marijuana in front of a Congressional panel.