This has been building for a little while now, thanks in large part to Tom Angell who started a petition to have the DEA chief removed…
DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg on Wednesday rejected the notion that smoking marijuana is “medicine,” calling the premise a “joke.”
“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.”
As more and more states experiment with loosening marijuana laws, Rosenberg said that people shouldn’t conflate the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana with medicinal marijuana.
“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.”
More than 16,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) be fired for calling medical marijuana a “joke” last week. […]
Medical marijuana advocates quickly criticized Rosenberg, complaining that the DEA blocks medical and scientific research on weed. Many of the petition’s signatories include patients with chronic illnesses who say pot has changed their lives.
‘It worries me that he is so ignorant as to say that it’s a joke. My daughter’s medicine is not a joke to me.’
“While it’s nothing new for drug war bureaucrats to oppose sensible marijuana policies, Rosenberg’s comments go way too far,” the petition, posted on Change.org, reads. “Medical marijuana is not a “joke” to the millions of seriously ill patients in a growing number of states who use it legally in accordance with doctors’ recommendations.”
The petition calls for President Barack Obama to “fire Chuck Rosenberg and appoint a new DEA administrator who will respect science, medicine, patients and voters.
Of course, if they were to actually appoint a new DEA administrator who did those things, probably the first thing they’d do is shut down the DEA, or at least significantly change its focus.
The petition was started by Tom Angell, a leader of the pro-pot advocacy group Marijuana Majority. Angell told VICE News he hopes the number of signatures — including one by singer Melissa Etheridge — will “get the White House to take note that this administration’s DEA head is saying things that are offensive to millions of American families who have benefited from medical marijuana.”