U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Director Chuck Rosenberg called medical marijuana a “joke” last week.
He was speaking to reporters. When asked about cannabis as a medical plant, Rosenberg said, “That is a joke.”
The remarks didn’t impress marijuana proponents, some of whom are calling on the nation’s top drug law enforcement official to step down.
The group Marijuana Majority has started an online petition to gather support for the firing of Rosenberg. More than 80,000 people have signed it so far.
“The medical marijuana comments are out of step with what polls show the vast majority of voters believe about the drug, and could cause enough of an added distraction to force a change at DEA if our petition draws enough attention to them,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority. “If so, Rosenberg would be the second DEA administrator in a row to lose his job following controversy.”
Former administrator Michele Leonhart retired this year following criticism of DEA marijuana enforcement in medical cannabis states that were supposed to be shielded under new legislation.
NORML deputy director Paul Armentano agreed that maybe Rosenberg is no better. His comments, he said, are out of step.
“The DEA chief’s statements are woefully out of touch with both public opinion and scientific consensus,” Armentano said.