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DEA Chief Calls Medical Marijuana A ‘Joke’


chuck rosenberg deaIt is widely known that marijuana has medicinal value. That’s why there are so many states that have legalized medical marijuana, and why more states will do so in the near future. Admittedly, there is not as much research as I would like, but that’s largely due to efforts from marijuana opponents trying to prevent such research, and not because there is no merit to pursuing the research. There has been international research conducted, and research conducted by private entities which have found medical marijuana to be quite effective in many cases.

So it was very ridiculous to hear that the new DEA Chief made comments calling medical marijuana a ‘joke.’ Per CBS News:

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg said in a briefing to reporters. “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.”

As more and more states experiment with loosening marijuana laws, Rosenberg said that people shouldn’t conflate the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana with medicinal marijuana.

“There are pieces of marijuana — extracts or constituents or component parts — that have great promise” medicinally, he said. “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.”

First of all, when people refer to medical marijuana, they refer to ALL forms of medical marijuana. I’m not sure which ‘people’ Mr. Rosenberg is referring to, but making a blanket statement like that without anything backing it up is stupid, to put it lightly. Also, patients don’t smoke the ‘leaf,’ although the leaf can be used to make various other forms of medical marijuana.

If Mr. Rosenberg would check with his employer, the federal government, he would know that the federal government owns patents involving the medical values of marijuana. He would also know that the federal government has a research facility in Mississippi that is working to unlock and understand how medical marijuana works. Finally, Mr. Rosenberg would know that the same federal government that cuts his paychecks also provides medical marijuana to four federal medical marijuana patients every month in the form of, wait for it, smoke-able marijuana joints. The only joke that Mr. Rosenberg should be talking about is the joke that is his agency. It’s beyond time to get rid of the DEA, and with it, Chuck Rosenberg.


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Johnny Green


  1. Secret courts,Loyality purges? The D.E.A. and F.D.A. have become the U.S. equivalent of Gestapo S.S.. The D.E.A. was a bad idea to start with and has only gotten worse ever sense. States are able to do their job. They don’t need the D.E.A. I don’t need the D.E.A. You don’t need the D.E.A. .Nobody needs the D.E.A. They are misappropriating and commandeering billions of dollars of public funds that America can no longer justify..Their funding needs to be cut by,at least, ninety-five to ninty-nine percent and all need to be restructured to a much smaller and much more restrained gang of Authoritarian sociopaths.. This is a group of renegade law enforcement completely out-of-control .and way over-the-top.They are using the war on drugs as a smokescreen and a ruse to subvert our Civil and Human rights and increasingly more as a ruse to seize cash and property in their war on the American people.Also, through gross incompetence, have made it nearly impossible for a pain sufferer to get treatment without being thrown in jail.

    mismanagement and unwise misuse of their responsibility has,nearly, completely destroyed the science and research of anything they don’t approve of. If society is to survive these people must go. The drug war is just a ruse for an Authoritarian power grab. Other country’s that allow easy access to pain medication do not have a major drug problem. It is these government villains here who are orchestrating this farce.


  3. Get rid of dumb asses with out dated ideaology that think the solution is to encarcerate people for using a harmless herb.

  4. Let’s see, DEA alone has spent trillions of dollars eradicating marijuana with the number if people who have used marijuana increasing 1250% from 4% in 1969 to 49% in 2015. To think that prohibition prevents anyone from using drugs… That’s the biggest joke!!!

  5. saynotohypocrisy on

    Can’t Obama have his Attorney General reschedule cannabis, subject to active Congressional disapproval? Or it is more complicated than that?
    I’m not sure Congress critters at this point want to go on record saying cannabis has no medicinal value.

  6. Firetheliberals, I am 66 and have been using Cannabis since 1970. It has done me well in a dozen different ways over each period of my life. Now I use the herb for pain relief. It has helped me to take less PTSD meds. Given me an appetite and it goes on and on. Rosenberg is a douchebag but no worse than every other douchebag in Washington DC.

  7. I see lots of people making the claim that it’s so easy, anybody can grow it. However, we need to make sure we don’t back ourselves into a corner with initiatives that prevent caregivers that would in turn prevent those of us who cannot grow (whether the patients have physical reasons for it like quads, those who have episodic conditions that result in weeks of being bedridden, etc. or even those who are so terrible at growing plants they could kill a silk plant) from the same access abilities as those who can physically grow their own medicine.

  8. Closet Warrior on

    Love reading your posts Doc and whole heartedly agree that there is hard data, no proof that our mother’s medicinal plants stretch far beyond aloe Vera and willow bark(aspirin). I would love to meet this dim wit and have an open discussion about the harms of marijuana because so far of my 44 yrs on this beautiful planet-I have found nada!!! Been toking since I was a young’n. That was the culture in which I was raised-thank God!!! Doc you’re the shit. Keep telling them how it is. I have you’re back soldiers. From one Head to another, This thing ain’t over till the Fat Man rocks!!!!!!

  9. And here I thought EVERYONE knew that Israel has been PRESCRIBING cannabis in the HOSPITALS for 10 years, CURING many diseases.

    Guess ‘ol chucky didn’t get the memo. Clueless P.O.S.

    Unfortunately Obama had to chose this loser, anyone with half a brain would not have said that, nor would they hate pot.

    Only the un-educated can hate cannabis, when ‘ol chucky finds out that his own body produces cannabinoids I am sure he will just shoot himself to be rid of the cannabis horror that is going on in his body.


  10. The DEA are a criminal organization & should be treated as such. In FACT, some DEA filthy scum are War Criminals & should be treated exactly as the Nazis were after WWII. Both DEA & Nazis called destroying innocent people “My job”. That is not only no excuse, that is an “anti-excuse”.

  11. this man needs to be fired from his job he has know idea what he is talking about the people in prison for marijuana convictions is ridiculous the prison are full of people who all they did was get caught with a ounce of it and they are accused of being a dealer I don’t think so I would love to get off the narcotics I have to take for my pain but right now there is no alternative in my state so there is know other way to go

  12. Catalina Copeland on

    ok ‘marihuana’ or cannabis is currently a corrupt, racketeer influenced and communist dominated industry.
    it is out of control. please properly commoditize this industry.
    anslinger said it causes communism and pacifist brainwashing.

    …and who wants GMO cannabis anyway? why the f**k would you want Mary Jane on Schedule II?
    you want big pharma in your garden? in your pipe?

  13. I think this is a last ditch effort for him in the government to obtain a job and without funds from the taxes we pay to fund this bs war on something that should be legal in the first place he would have to be jobless in the government and possibly be poor like the ppl that get busted for stupid reasons like having a weed in their possession. This guy is clueless and stupid and shouldn’t be allowed to be in his position.

  14. He’s right!

    Marijuana is a racist made up slang word, and the word is its self a hateful then joke!

    A more correct phrase to describe the wonderful plant is medicinal cannabis, to assist with daily bliss :-) . . …

  15. I think “his” job should be public so anyone can run for the DEA czar. I think I’ll throw my hat into the ring… It’s the only way to abolish his wasteful agency.

  16. Yea maybe smoking leaves is not so medicinal per his comment, However when you smoke to flower it is a whole different thing you ret@rded idiot. This guy is clueless and only a figurehead for this ridiculous organization that loves to imprison people for using a plant that grows naturally in the world.

  17. I think the real joke is being chief of a agency that hasn’t ever and never will be able to gain any ground on the war on drugs. You can’t win and we are paying you to fight it anyway, I think that’s the joke. By the way it treats more diseases then you’ve caused by promoting pharmaceuitcal drugs.

  18. Gee, I don’t know. Because I’m a moron. But when I have weed the pressure in my eyes drops by about a third. Which, y’know, helps me not go blind. Medical application? You decide.

  19. This is the same mattress stain who declared in one of his first public statements as DEA Oberfuhrer that he wasn’t “an expert” on marijuana, yet now he wants to “play doctor” and lecture about the medical benefits?! A clear case of “malpractice” to us …

  20. Nailed it! That’s why he is changing the dialogue to praising components and not the whole plant. Big Pharma can own the market of components… but they can’t own a market based on the people growing the whole plant themselves. Very calculated comments he’s making… brought to you by Big Pharma.

  21. But these are very deceptive and calculated baby steps to change the dialogue about cannabis in Big Pharma’s favor. Be very cautious of people praising components of the plant and not the whole plant. It is calculated evil to continue to prevent social justice and personal liberty.

  22. Chuck Rosenberg, the paid for troll, is trying to change the dialogue for Big Pharma to discredit the whole plant and only give a favorable view of extracts and components of the plant. What does this do, it attempts to change the script to saying it is only useful in means Big Pharma can control. Pathetic. We see right through it. Legalize it!!! The whole plant that anyone can grow prevents Big Pharma from owning the market. Only support grow your own initiatives. Screw Big Pharma and their paid troll Chuck Rosenberg.

  23. Then you’re smart enough to read the literature regarding Medical Marijuana. Google Manuel Guzman Nature Reviews Cancer.
    He started with a brilliantly simple question: Why couldn’t he cause rats to get Cancer from inhaling Marijuana smoke, even though the smoke contained benzo(a)pyrene, which breaks the P53 tumor suppressor gene in humans and is one of the ways cigarettes cause Cancer.
    He realized that there had to be some kind of very powerful anti-cancer agent in Marijuana to counteract that.
    Some very smart people, that a lot of people have a lot of respect for, think that he’s going to get the Nobel Prize in Medicine for thinking of that.

  24. What upsets me is that Americans, including American Children, are suffering and dying — needlessly — because they’re being denied Medicine that can ease their suffering and save their lives.

  25. Chuck is a pencil pusher… a lawyer… attorney… accountant… not an Enforcer by any stretch of the word.
    Chuck attended Harvard.
    The 10 blocks around Harvard are covered with empty crack baggies for a reason…

  26. It’s actually the opposite…
    The DEA is a corporation… corporations have Charters that govern their behavior.
    Chuck is just following the Charter of the DEA.

    In June, the former Head of the DEA made a few positive comments about Cannabis and Medical Marijuana…
    That’s how Chuck got selected as the Temporary Head of the DEA.

  27. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics was established in 1930 under Hoover not by FDR. In 1968 the Bureau of Narcotics and the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control merged to become the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. In 1973 that bureau became the DEA. The scope, funding and power of the DEA is well beyond the previous bureaus. Nixon made that possible and Regan and subsequent presidents fed the beast and made it grow.

  28. Corporations that don’t serve their customers go out of business. Government agencies that perform that way get increased funding.

  29. The only thing that Rosenberg and the entire DEA staff care about is their paychecks.

    This is true of the head of any government agency.

  30. The DEA is the successor to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. An agency brought into being by FDR.

    Harry Anslinger was its Prophet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_J._Anslinger

    In theory we have a President who should know better. In practice his agency does not follow the laws enacted by Congress and signed into being by Obama. –> No raids in States where it is legal.

  31. Are you sure he isn’t the head of govt propaganda instead of one of the empty suits at the DEA?? Anyone making statements like that has to be a propagandist trying somehow to keep his relevance AND his “kushy” govt job.

  32. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Chuck Rosenberg knows full well that extracts of cannabis flowers were used as medicine in the United States, and commonly prescribed by doctors for a wide variety of ailments, for almost 90 years (1850s-1940s). Rosenberg also knows how the raw materials of cannabis plants–fibers, pulp, seeds, leaves and flowers–can supply four major economic sectors of the United States economy: Manufacturing, Medicine, Nutrition and Recreation. He is expected to make such outrageous statements, as the currently appointed head of the Anti Marihuana Tyranny. This tyranny was instituted long ago by Rosenberg’s hysterical predecessor at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger. Our ONLY hope is for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to get immediate bipartisan support for his proposal to remove the fraudulent legal term “marihuana” from the Controlled Substances Act. By tomorrow.

  33. firetheliberals on

    this dork is why plain folks hate the government. uninformed, intellectually dishonest, do nothings riding a desk. cannabis treats disease, pain, depression et al. ask anyone over 50 who uses the flower,smoked or edible and you will find a greatly improved quality of life..

  34. Denying reality is a job requirement for being the head of the DEA, the ONDCP (Drug Czar), NIDA and all the other evil spawn of the insane war on marijuana consumers.

  35. This. Yes. Along the same lines, imagine hundreds or thousands of brief video testimonials from patients, all indexed into a Google Earth map by location. I’d contribute to a GoFundMe or KickStarter project along those lines if the proposing team had good talent and experience.

  36. After reading the comments on Chuck Rosenberg, I have nothing to add. Indeed Rosenberg is a life long Washington DC bureaucrat, as to that he has lost all credibility on this issue. Look at his picture, look at his eyes. They are empty as his arguments.

  37. That’s why the laws require Nursery licenses for growers to prevent the outbreak and spread of pests, fungus, molds… like the spider mite explosions that have rocked the growers in each state that it’s been legalized in?

    Because making these laws is all about the patients… all about the medicine… all about doing it right…
    In a way Chuck is right… Medical Marijuana is a joke; it’s being done backwards.
    Cannabis should be fully, federally, legal… then states can tailor the details that fit their citizen’s perspectives.

  38. In June, the former Head of the DEA made a few positive comments about Cannabis and Medical Marijuana…
    That’s how Chuck got selected as a Temporary Head of the DEA…
    Chuck will not say anything that goes against the Charter of the DEA…
    The DEA is just another corporation…

  39. It’d be like Cocaine… doctors choice. No legal limits. No 25 patients per doctor.
    Simply a list of acceptable uses that the medication can be prescribed for…
    When you get your wisdom teeth out.
    And you’ve always wanted to try Cocaine, but it’s illegal as hell and you have no idea where to get it…

    Ask your doctor if Cocaine is right for you.
    Pharmaceutical Cocaine is Grade A, Pure Powerful Medicine.

    Just for fun… The DEA should do a surprise UA on every student at Harvard… where Chuck went to school…
    Just to see how many other crackheads attend Harvard.
    For a city with a supposedly ‘top notch’ law / medical school, there sure was one hell of a lot of crack being used…
    Walk 10 blocks and you literally see it being used… look at the ground… there’s empty crack baggies all over…

    Chuck attended Harvard… If he isn’t completely incapable of performing the duties of his job, he saw it…

  40. The medical patents the federal government took out on Cannabis about 70 years ago should have been enough to remove it from Schedule 1…

  41. you are so wrong in so many ways. It’s an HERB, like the many used to make pharmaceuticals before synthetics came along. Minds are like parachutes,,, they only work when open… GEt out there and talk to the people who have cancer, or the kids taking Charlottes oil an you will see the good. You really should resign your postion at the DEA. The MUST be someone with more sense than you, LOOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. The only ‘joke’ around here is the DEA chief himself; fortunately, the truth about marijuana and it’s endless benefits for humanity is already known around the world and that it’s inevitability of legalization around the world will only be a matter of time.

  43. stellarvoyager on

    It is long past time to dismantle the DEA. This parasite of a federal agency has done nothing but cause misery for the American people while gobbling up billions of our tax dollars. Over 40 years of abuse and corruption, and nothing whatsoever to show for it except for ruined lives and lots of innocent people killed.

  44. Sticky Fingers on

    We all know what that Cannabis is one of the most useful plants on this earth, It matters not what an empty suit and mouthpiece like Chucky says. Remember Chuck WE are paying your over inflated salary!

  45. saynotohypocrisy on

    I agree, first hand accounts of people’s experience are the most persuasive. Getting them into the media is a very worthy project indeed for the reform movement, most of all for groups focused on MMJ. It’s not so easy to look away when something is staring people in the face.

  46. marijuana needs to be taken off the list completely. Making it schedule 2… you would be eating patented and tightly regulated pills like marinol.

  47. off the list… not just off schedule one.
    taking it off only schedule one would just hand this benevolent plant over to big pharma.

  48. First off the DEA is a joke, a very bad joke perpetrated on the American people. It is a creature of the pathologically paranoid, criminal, Richard Nixon and has evolved to become the mirror image of the drug cartels that they fight against. They have many of the same sociopathic qualities of those cartels expressed through corruption and thuggish behavior towards ordinary citizens.

    Cannabis is more than just the quintessential medicine; it is does more than just act therapeutically to treat disease and symptoms. Cannabis, being the primary natural source of phytocannabinoids enhances the effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system that keeps us in a state of good health and prevents many deadly chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, etc.) from developing.

    Pharmaceutical drugs on the other hand are synthetic mono-molecule drugs that are mediocre medicines at best and have a long list of harmful side effects associated with them. Compare the alleged harmful effects of cannabis to any FDA approved drug — including aspirin — and cannabis comes out smelling like a rose compared to toxic pharmaceuticals.

    “There are pieces of marijuana — extracts or constituents or component
    parts — that have great promise” medicinally, he said. “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.”

    If you dumb down cannabis into is constituent compounds you will wind up with mediocre drugs with plenty of harmful side effects, but of course in that form it will be patentable and very profitable for Big Pharma. Cannabis possesses the intelligence of over 940 compounds acting together synergistically with the body’s endocannabinoid system — another intelligent system — that coordinates all of the body’s other major systems to help maintain the health and well being of the whole person (mind and body).

    Cannabis not proven to be safe and effective according to what standard? FDA approved clinical studies? The FDA “gold standard” of random, placebo, double blind clinical drug trials are not so golden according to the editors of two of the most prestigious medical journals.

    The Editors in Chief of Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine have
    made serious charges about the reliability of such studies. Dr.
    Richard Horton of the Lancet: “The case against science is
    straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may
    simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny
    effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of
    interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of
    dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”


    Dr. Marcia Angell longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Journal
    of Medicine said: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of
    the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of
    trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no
    pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over
    my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”

    On the other hand, cannabis as medicine, has a long empirical track record
    as a safe and beneficial medicine established by millennia of use by
    countless millions of people.

    The reason that 80% plus of Americans now recognize cannabis as a medicine
    and demand it be legalized for that use is not primarily due to scientific clinical
    studies but from first hand experience of the healing benefits of the
    plant or being witness to that healing power experienced by people they
    know and care about.

    If cannabis were free from prohibition and allowed to be researched without restrictions as a whole plant medicine and developed into a multitude of therapeutic forms it would largely displace Big Pharma drugs as “medicine.” Big Pharm would then become little pharma and the general population would become healthier and happier.

    Cannabis is prohibited not because it is bad for us, rather because it has the potential of being extraordinarily good for us. However, cannabis freely available would be very bad for the DEA, Big Pharma and a whole host of predatory and oppressive interests.

  49. The joke is the DEA. Rosenberg is as stupid as the last one.This is an indication that the DEA draws the least intelligent and most corrupt people to wage war on the American people.Rosenberg is to lazy to check the validity of his statements.There are thousands of studies on cannabis from around the world.This agency needs to be disbanded and those who are found to be corrupt arrested and punished.This is a terrorist organization that never should have been allowed to exist.

  50. Thanks Obama. Now, how about firing this imbecile you hired and put in charge ASAP. #Idiocracy

  51. The only thing that Rosenberg and the entire DEA staff care about is their paychecks. Nothing else matters to them. The only joke is the fact that in our country people (parents ) who do not use Marijuana at all have to move there families and sometimes just the sick child to a state that has enough compassion to allow legalization so that the sick child can get medicine that works and not the poison that pharmaceutical company make..the DEA don’t care about those children or any adults.

  52. Everyone needs to call the white house comment line, every day, until Marijuana gets taken off of Schedule 1.
    Cancer Patients can’t wait.

  53. The DEA doesn’t really care if marijuana is harmful to society, or not. They get paid to hassle people that can’t defend themselves. They enjoy the power the badge gives them. And they just want to hang on to that power. If they actually had any compassion for us, they wouldn’t be DEA agents.

  54. I didn’t say it was a good strategy; I said it was about all they’ve got left. As scientists, you and I see the absurdity. Lawyers approach things from a totally different mindset. They look at the wording in the statutes and then search for language that frames the outcome their client wants in a way that interprets the law in their favor. An old legal maxim says “If the facts are in your favor, argue the facts. If the law is in your favor, argue the law. If neither are in your favor, pound on the table!” I’d say they’re in the last throes of the second clause.

  55. Schedule 1 itself really needs to be eliminated, since there’s no way to prove that a drug will never have any medical use.
    Its always possible that a particular substance may wind up having an unexpected medical use.
    The classic example is Thalidomide. Years after it was taken off the market for its original use, it turned out that Thalidomide showed promise as an anti-angiogenic drug for treating certain forms of Cancer.

    Its always possible that a given Schedule 1 drug might wind up working against a particular new infectious disease, genetic condition, or a particular form of Cancer.
    The idea of Schedule 1 itself is fatally flawed from a logical and scientific standpoint.
    Schedule 1 has got to go.

  56. DEA is absolutely ignorant and self centered and will not hear the truth. One of the leading neurologists in the country (Selim R. Benbadis, M.D. Professor and Director, Comprehensive Epilepsy Program University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital) says that “Constituents of the Cannabis plant, cannabinoids, may be of therapeutic value in neurologic diseases”. This is something that I most definitely need as a person who suffers from epileptic seizures with no other drugs that will work. Read the article here – http://www.researchgate.net/publication/268878607_Medical_marijuana_in_neurology

  57. There’s no way around his comments. He can’t legally say that nothing in the plant has value, which would have to be the case to have it be on Schedule 1, which requires that “it has no medical value.” Think of it in terms of “set theory” — the components are a subset of the entire plant, which is a superset of them.
    Ever since Marinol (synthetic THC) was approved and put on Schedule 3, Marijuana should have been removed from Schedule 1 since THC is part of Marijuana.
    A good lawyer should be able to make an air-tight case pretty easily. It should have happened years ago. Its simple logic — there’s no way for him to get around it.

  58. I suspect those seemingly off-hand comments have been carefully vetted by the DEA legal team as a way to weasel around those very facts. It’s about the only argument they’ve got left, namely, to claim that although there may be benefit in some individual cannabinoids, the whole plant is still without any medicinal value.

  59. If he admits that extracts of Marijuana have “great medical promise” how can he leave it on Schedule 1?
    His own words require that Marijuana be removed rom Schedule 1 immediately.

  60. Its no joke for America’s Cancer patients.

    Chuck Rosenberg comments are an insult to every American Cancer Patient who’s used Medical Marijuana.

  61. Its no joke for America’s Cancer patients. “Smoking Pot” is an incredibly effective way for Cancer patients to get fast relief from the side effects of Chemotherapy and for helping deal with Cancer pain — especially “breakthrough” pain.

    The weed blog, NORML, and every other group working for the legalization of Marijuana should join together to get as many Cancer, PTSD and Chronic Pain, Patients as possible to call, email, and write the President and Congress, to write articles, and to give interviews to the Media, especially to major newspapers and to TV programs about their experiences using Medical Marijuana and the benefits its had for them.

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