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Pressure Mounts for DEA Chief’s Resignation

Medical marijuana patients delivered to the DEA a petition with more than 100,000 signatures calling for the resignation of acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg. This action came after Rosenberg called medical marijuana a “joke.”

The reaction from advocates, lawmakers, and the public was swift and angry as many began the cry for President Barack Obama to fire Rosenberg. Tom Angell’s Marijuana Majority launched a Change.org petition demanding that the president give Rosenberg the ax. The petition calls for President Obama to appoint a new DEA chief “who will respect science, medicine, patients and voters.”

“It’s simply unacceptable for the Obama administration’s top drug official to make comments that are contrary to what science and doctors say about medical marijuana,” Angell said. He added, “My mom uses medical marijuana to deal with the severe pain caused by multiple sclerosis.”

“This issue is not a laughing matter for her and millions of other people who have seen the benefits of cannabis for themselves.”

In an effort to distance themselves from DEA Chief Rosenberg’s statements, the DEA released a statement on Friday. “We’ve been trying to make clear that Acting Administrator Rosenberg indicated that marijuana should be subject to the same levels of approval and scrutiny as any other substance intended for use as a medicine.”

“In fact, the DEA supports efforts to research potential medical uses of marijuana. To this end, the DEA has never denied a registration request from anyone conducting marijuana research using FDA approved protocols.  Acting Administrator Rosenberg has also been clear to point out there are a number of marijuana components and/or extracts which appear to show promise as medicines, but have not yet been approved as safe and effective,” the DEA said in their statement.

While more than half of the country supports the legalization of marijuana, the DEA continues to classify cannabis as a “Schedule I” drug in terms of danger under the Controlled Substances Act, putting it in the same category as LSD, ecstasy and heroin.

 

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