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DEA Chief: Why is Chuck Rosenberg Still Here?

DEA Chuck Rosenberg
Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

We are already six months into the Trump administration and most Obama-era appointees have been booted out and very few have been replaced.

In fact, the Trump government is running on a skeletal crew, which seems to shrink daily. For example, hurricane season is upon us, and Trump hasn’t hired a director for FEMA yet.

With these huge gaps in his cabinet and hundreds of jobs yet to fill, it is extremely disappointing that the most anti-weed leftover from the Obama administration is still hanging in there.

DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, an anti-marijuana zealot and drug war proponent, is unfortunately in a strong position to push his prohibitionist values on the budding weed industry.

Under the Obama administration, Rosenberg and his team not only denied millions of people access to the medical marijuana they needed, but he also pulled a fast one when the DEA amended its already bizarre classification of weed as a Schedule I drug, by adding all extracts, including cannabidiol (CBD).

And who could forget when Rosenberg called medical marijuana a joke? Ignorant and kind of hurtful, especially if it was curtailing or stopping your epileptic child’s seizures.

The question now is how can we have an intelligent conversation when the head of a governmental agency hasn’t taken the time to analyze the numerous authoritative reports on medical marijuana?

This denial of science and willful ignorance seem to be the hallmarks of the Trump administration.

Such attitudes threaten to hobble the forward motion of medical marijuana, as well as undermine the common knowledge that recreational weed is not dangerous to anyone’s health.

Antiquated ideas espoused by people who should know better (Rosenberg holds degrees from Tufts, Harvard and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia) make one wonder what their motives are.

Why so many closed minds?

One guess is that they are in a hurry to fill up the for-profit prisons. They don’t seem to mind that the vast majority of the inmates happen to be black and brown people being punished for non-violent, minor weed possession.

While Trump continues to bumble around and not fill positions in his government (maybe he thinks he might be gone soon himself?), some fear that he will put an even worse person in to run the DEA. He’s got plenty to choose from.

Even if Rosenberg had a moment of truth and felt the urge to consider science and avoid silly remarks like calling MMJ a joke, it is still difficult to see how the DEA can make reasonable decisions with the likes of Attorney General Jeff Session hovering around.

But there is another story: the fate of Jeff Sessions.

Keep the popcorn flowing. The Trump show is just getting started.

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