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New DEA Chief Claims He Will Focus Less On Marijuana

chuck rosenberg dea

(via The Cannabist)

The Obama Administration has been a mixed bag when it comes to marijuana policy. On one hand, the Obama Administration has dropped the ball on reclassifying/declassifying marijuana, punting the issue to Congress every chance the administration gets despite the fact that the administration could initiative the process unilaterally. The administration hasn’t done a good job when it comes to marijuana banking, but has stated that it will allow Native American tribes to cultivate and sell recreational marijuana if they choose to do so. The Obama administration has stepped up to try to prevent federal intervention in states that have progressive marijuana policies on the books combined with clear regulations, although, the former head of the DEA didn’t seem to get the memo on that one.

Michele Leonhart ‘resigned’ last month after she was basically forced out of the DEA amid quite a bit of controversy. Obama then picked Chuck Rosenberg to head the DEA. Marijuana activists and supporters have been holding their breath, waiting to see what kind of leader Mr. Rosenberg will be. This week Mr. Rosenberg made some comments that are encouraging. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

The incoming head of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly will focus less on marijuana and instead put more resources toward harder drugs such as heroin, which could relieve some pressure on cannabis businesses in states without strong regulations on the industry.

Chuck Rosenberg – who served as chief of staff to the director of the FBI – was named to the DEA’s top spot on an interim basis by newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Rosenberg is expected to remain in the position while President Barack Obama is in office, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The new DEA chief will likely improve procedures on how to classify, declassify or reclassify marijuana, and he’ll also place less emphasis on cannabis in general, the Times reported.

These comments need to be taken with a grain of salt of course. The truth is, no one knows how Chuck Rosenberg will handle his new role at the DEA. Only time will tell. He can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk? Will he respect the fact that most Americans want marijuana prohibition to end, both for recreational purposes and medical purposes? Or will he try to inject his own views into the DEA, and continue to go after people that use and sell a substance that is safer than alcohol?


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Johnny Green


  1. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    “it’s about trying to cruse through a nomination without hassle” is right on target. He should be asked many questions as to his attitude about cannabis. If the answers are positive, very good, if not campaign against his confirmation.

  2. jessie james on

    I live in Texas lots of drugs here I’m smoking diesel right now tastes great thanks anyway

  3. jessie james on

    Every dea agent is criminal the won’t fire the ones who got caught in Colombia hanging with there buddies in the cartels with hookers or the two who own a strip club and were caught trafficking prostitutes for there strip club or the ones who locked up akid for pot and left him in a cell for five days with no water or food he sued and got 4.1 million dollars they are scum iI hope many are murdered and there family’s suffer crime too go to hell you fascist scum they should focas on becoming a human being

  4. Michele Leonhart should be cleaning out-houses somewhere. I’m glad that her weird responses to questions about cannabis have led to her departure.

  5. Ted Mishler on

    But if you are a nice person, then may you have your days filled with enjoymenrt

  6. Ted Mishler on

    if you are involved in high treasonous entrapment, I hope you are found guilty in a world court of law

  7. AethiopicPecan on

    “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” [Eazy Smoke]

    Presidents Hemp Quotes:

    President Thomas Jefferson urged about hemp:

    “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.” [Eazy Smoke]

    President John Adams suggested on hemp:

    “We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.” [Eazy Smoke]

    President George Washington advised on hemp:

    “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” [Eazy Smoke]
    DEA Schedule of Drugs…
    Schedule I

    Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

    heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote

    Schedule II

    Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:

    Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin

    Schedule III

    Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are:

    Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone

    Schedule IV

    Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are:

    Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol

    Schedule V

    Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are:

    cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin

    Schedule 1? Really! Reclassify cannabis already!( It should be Schedule 5, or maybe even 4, but 1… I completely disagree with 1!
    This powerful renewable resource should be considered a commodity in our economy instead of denying its versatility and value. The Executive Branch needs to step up and denounce its stand against cannabis. This crop has been proven to literally feed, heal, shelter, clothe, fuel and more. Farmers and ranchers as well as gardeners should be growing this crop from sea to shining sea! The research has already proven that cannabis is not a dangerous narcotic. Reclassify, and legalize it… again!

  8. russell bowles on

    The dea should be added to white collar crimes, with all the tax savings and all the tax gains if the pot war and drug war were stopped we could afford to hire a bunch of accountants to check banks and appraisers to check housing and cops to watch cops and let the little people alone unless they hurt someone, this country needs to quit butting into American Families lives…IT’s CALLED CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM…” “It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.” – George Washington “

  9. Smoke Prone on

    I like knowing things are making steps in the right direction, but it feels sluggish. There haven’t been any medical marijuana laws enacted this year.

  10. Eventually. DEA is just an organization that they hide behind. A war on drugs? no a war on the citizens

  11. It is not madness, it is paranoia and hysteria whipped up by thick rednecks and the gullible. Ignorance is not knowing something is wrong, stupidity is knowing something is wrong and doing nothing about it.

  12. Nattyrem420 on

    Unless you are a Corporation/ Person then you should know that you don’t have any say in the matter. Now take the blue pill and get back to work.

  13. Two things: First, the article you link out to doesn’t have any original reporting, they’re just regurgitating things that were published in an article by the LA Times. I guess it’s nice of you to give a link to another regurgitation site (at least from their perspective), just too bad you don’t use the real source. Second, the actual source article in the Times doesn’t even claim that Rosenberg said he intends to focus less on marijuana. The Times article only says: “Chuck Rosenberg, currently chief of staff to FBI Director James B. Comey, is expected to shake up DEA management practices and focus less on marijuana enforcement and more on heroin and other major drugs, a senior administration official said.” So what we really have here is an unnamed source – probably some flack for the Justice Department – trying to head off criticism from some members of Congress by asserting that the DEA chief will focus on busting people who use heroin – the current drug war bete noir – rather than busting people who sell and grow marijuana. Leaving aside how ineffectual that strategy will be, this story isn’t really about actual policy, it’s about trying to cruse through a nomination without hassle.

  14. Ted Mishler on

    if anyone gets the opportunity to hear last nites coast to coast am show, you should give it a hear, it was very revealing, only wish i didnt fall asleep and miss most of it

  15. Ted Mishler on

    He will hate on less he means? I’ve said it before, the feds know that what they are doing is just wrong, and do not wish to give up their
    tradition of hating their neighbors that use cannabis, what right should any person have to do so?

    This topic is in reality about the right to treat the cannabis consumer as slaves, so the topic is in reality about slavery for all those who use cannabis, and in a sense, the DEA chief is claiming he will beat on us less, what kind of country is this anyway? It sure is no leader

  16. So instead of 800,000 arrests there will be 799,999. whoop. Or maybe they will arrest more and talk about it less. That is probably the most likely.

  17. Only Republicans talk that kind of crazy. And of the Republicans only Rand Paul seems to genuinely dislike the DEA.

  18. even if he arrests less than half of what they did last year, they will STILL arrest more than Richard Nixon ever did. You can bet despite his promises, those involved in protecting their cash cow won’t give up the ghost

  19. Doc Deadhead on

    “Focus Less” really means not doing a damn thing about rescheduling or changing anything.

  20. russell bowles on

    Maybe they can start watching the real criminals that steal our money every day in the giant windowed buildings in the city…

  21. russell bowles on

    Legal world pot will need a billion grow rooms, legal world hemp will need a billion acres… lets start with the TPP trade agreement to set up avenues for our entrepreneurs to sell their pot and hemp around the world…what’s in it for US—>***LEGAL POT-LEGAL HEMP***<—what's in it for US

  22. russell bowles on

    Is it true that 92.56% more die in the drug war worldwide than if drugs were legal, is it true the pot war was created to steal our tax money by the founder of the federal drug regulatory office, you know, the one that couldn’t get funding because there weren’t enough heroin addicts, the one that started the reefer/madness lies that have destroyed and murdered countless innocent souls, a lie that pays dividends to the rich thru $2/day corporate manufacturing prisons, and paychecks to tens of millions of lawyers, law enforcement, judges, prison workers, court workers, and don’t get me started on the drug war, if guns don’t kill people then neither do drugs, it’s time to stop these unconstitutional thefts of our tax dollars used to enrich the pot and drug war employees… we can start with the TPP agreement with seventeen countries… what’s in it for US—>***LEGAL POT-LEGAL HEMP***<—what's in it for US

  23. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Industry, Medicine, Nutrition and, yes, even Recreation–these are the Four Main Sectors of the United States’ economy that always could’ve been fueled by the raw materials of cannabis plants. Instead, our federal, state and local governments–often in concert with DEA agents–have wasted HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS hunting down cannabis growers. The ONLY logical course of action for Chuck Rosenberg, as interim head of the DEA, is to “declassify” the Spanish slang word “marihuana,” completely removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. Right now! One more DAY of delay is totally unacceptable! The federal government’s widely discredited & downright fraudulent anti-marihuana crusade has suppressed countless economic opportunities, while depriving millions of sick Americans legal access to medical cannabis, for EIGHT DECADES. It’s time to start arresting ALL public officials who keep blocking our new cannabis policies. They should be charged with treason for disrupting so much ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.’

  24. 90% of what is seized at the boarder is cannabis with out marijuana the DEA’s mission is redundant.

  25. Mike Johnson on

    I found a medicine, Cannabis, that would eliminate my RA pain and allow me to sleep! Thank GOD!

  26. Declassifying marijuana is the only thing that will show the opposition that marijuana is not a bad thing. It helps anyone unwind after work or in pain. It’s time to stop the madness and ignorance! It’s not even close to alcohol or even prescription drugs.

  27. ĐΣFΣCŦΣĐ on

    DEA should be abolished. They fix nothing and only work for government corruption. So this man will Focus “Less” On Marijuana. Basically they will still come after innocent men and women, who made an individual choice to use a safer alternative.

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