More than 16,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) be fired for calling medical marijuana a “joke” last week.
“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said during a press briefing on November 4. “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 hastened to add that “extracts or constituents or component parts” may hold promise as medicinal substances, but that smoking “the leaf” of the marijuana plant has never been shown to be safe or effective. (The DEA chief apparently confused marijuana leaves, which contain only trace amounts of the psychoactive compound THC, with buds, which are far more potent and commonly smoked.)