DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg met with reporters the day after Election Day and had some eyebrow-raising things to say. Some patients are calling for his job. But will this do anything to solve the problem?
“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” Rosenberg told CBS reporters.
It’s hard to fathom how an official in a position of vast power over drug use in America could be somehow ignore the plethora of studies showcasing the effectiveness and relative safety of cannabis medicine.
As most readers will probably know, cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 illegal substance under federal law, despite almost half of U.S. states legalizing medicinal marijuana on some level. 17 states have also approved the use of non-psychoactive CBD. This means that 80% of the U.S. has some form of cannabis legal on some level. Yet, this won’t stop the DEA from continuing to spew fallacious nonsense that seems they’re encapsulated in the antiquated and racially charged 1930’s Reefer Madness mentality. Do they really believe this stuff? You be the judge.
To his credit, at least, Rosenberg showed a glimmer of hope on the topic of cannabis medicine:
“There are pieces of marijuana — extracts or constituents or component parts — that have great promise medicinally.”
But then in his very next sentence, he had to go and ruin it by saying:
“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.”
According an ACLU analysis, cannabis arrests have accounted for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million cannabis arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simple position. The FBI’s own website estimated that in 2011, approximately at least one American was arrested for cannabis every forty-five seconds. The U.S. spends more than $51 billion of taxpayer money annually on a failed “war” on drugs.
It stands to reason that this outrageous figure has since seen a decline after several states have legalized recreational cannabis. Still, the nation as a whole clearly has a ways to go when looking at numbers like these.