Acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg brought some heat down on himself earlier this month when he called the concept of medical marijuana “a joke.” Since then, several prominent activists have been pressuring the Obama Administration to dismiss Rosenberg from his post. It even prompted the national advocacy group the Marijuana Majority to launch a petition against the nation’s leading drug enforcer that has so far garnered over 93,000 signatures.
However, the heat generated by Rosenberg’s loose lips has now become a raging inferno, prompting federal lawmakers to take a stand against his ignorance this week on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Congressman Earl Blumenauer took to the House floor to call upon Uncle Sam to provide the nation with a new DEA head that falls more in line with the opinions of the American majority.
Calling Rosenberg a “joke” and “an example of an inept, misinformed zealot,” Blumenauer argued that the attitudes over well over half the United States population does not stand behind the failed drug war policies that the leader of the DEA insists on propagating across the land.
“Americans recognize it’s time for a change in direction to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana,” he said. “Fifty-eight percent now support legalization, continuing an upward trend in public opinion polls and at the ballot box. Over 75 percent of the American public supports medical marijuana, as does a majority of American physicians.”
“Rosenberg claims medical marijuana is a joke,” he continued, “but the proven therapeutic value of cannabis has prompted 23 states, Guam, and the District of Columbia to approve its medical application, and an additional 17 states have authorized its more limited use.”
Although President Obama is the first leader of the free world to suggest that cannabis may not be the evil it was once believed to be, that portion of the nation that makes up the medical marijuana community has continued to be savagely attacked under his leadership. Rosenberg refuses to hear arguments for medical marijuana, saying that more research is necessary before any positive claims can be proven, but as Blumenauer pointed out, the federal drug warrior has done nothing to facilitate a more progressive approach to understanding the potential of this plant.
“If Rosenberg was doing his job, he would have visited with some of the hundreds of thousands who have found medical marijuana has had a profound effect on their lives and that of their families,” said Blumenauer.
During his speech, the Congressman also got in a few licks on the Department of Justice for insisting on busting down the doors of medical marijuana operations and patients across the country even though the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment technically prevents any such action.
“Sadly, these actions by Administration officials are indicative of a throwback ideology rooted in the failed War on Drugs, which needs to stop,” said Blumenauer.
“Rosenberg is clearly not the right fit for the DEA in this Administration,” he added. “I would hope that the President directs the heads of all relevant agencies to adjust their policies, clarify regulations that deal with marijuana laws, establish policies that reflect changing state laws, and most important, reflect the President’s own position. He has said he has bigger fish to fry than interfere with state legalization efforts. It’s time that the rest of his Administration gets on board. It should start with a new head of the Drug Enforcement Administration.”
Tom Angell with the Marijuana Majority, the group that initiated the campaign to drag Rosenberg out of his office, applauded Blumenauer’s comments.
“It’s great to see members of Congress calling for much-needed change at [the] DEA,” said Angell. “Unless President Obama does something about this, it’s going to be an increasingly distracting political problem for his administration.”
Today, the petition calling for Rosenberg’s termination will be delivered to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington D.C.