DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said the idea that marijuana can be used as medicine is a “joke.” Rosenberg’s remarks coincide with the release of the DEA’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, which shows that drug use is up among most types of illicit drugs, except for cocaine. Each day in the United States, over 120 people die as a result of a drug overdose, the report says.
According to CBS News, Rosenberg said, “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not.” “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 continued. “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.”
Rosenberg’s comments comes right after Ohio rejected legalization of cannabis.
As for the Ohio vote, he said there are no broader conclusions to draw from the outcome, calling the ballot initiative “a weirdly written statutory scheme.”
“I don’t know that there are any great lessons to draw from it,” he said.
80 percent of states have passed legislation approving forms of medical marijuana. The drug is illegal under federal law.
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