DEA chief: “Medical marijuana is a joke”
Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg thinks that using cannabis as medicine is a laughing matter.
Rosenberg scoffed at the idea of medical marijuana at a press briefing on Wednesday, CBS News reports.
“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg said. “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.”
Medical researchers as well as millions of Americans would disagree with that statement.
Perhaps reminded that even red states are now allowing children to access cannabis oil high in CBD, Rosenberg would later clarify his comments by limiting his critique to the act of smoking cannabis.
“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.”
The DEA chief’s opinions are particularly disparaging since he runs one of the federal agencies in charge of approving all scientific research conducted in the U.S.
“It’s of particularly bad faith on his part given the extensive work that the DEA has done to undermine effective research on medical cannabis to then go around and say it hasn’t been shown to be safe or effective while doing things like enforcing a monopoly on research at [National Institute on Drug Abuse],” said Christopher Brown, a medical marijuana advocate formerly with the group Americans for Safe Access, in an interview with Vice News.
But then again, Rosenberg himself admitted that he’s no expert on the subject.
“If you want me to say that marijuana’s not dangerous, I’m not going to say that because I think it is,” Rosenberg said during a conference call with press in July. “Do I think it’s as dangerous as heroin? Probably not. I’m not an expert.”
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