DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg caused public outrage in early November after he told reporters that he considered medical marijuana to be “a joke.” As a result of his statement, thousands of people have called for his resignation.


DEA head Chuck Rosenberg

(CBS News)

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal because it’s not,” said Rosenberg. “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.”


It doesn’t come to a surprise that the chief of the DEA would be against drugs, but those that use marijuana to treat illnesses were angered by his remarks. Medical marijuana users and advocates weren’t just outraged that he called the drug a joke, as he also gave misinformation about its efficacy. Rosenberg told reporters that smoking marijuana “has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.”                


Saying “never” when making a claim usually isn’t the best move, especially since there are studies that support the possibility that marijuana could be used as medicine. According to a meta-analysis of 79 medical marijuana studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there was “moderate-quality evidence” that supported cannabinoids as a treatment for “chronic pain and spasticity.”


A petition was created after Rosenburg made his statement that’s calling for President Barack Obama to fire the DEA chief. About 88,000 people have signed the petition within the last two weeks. Even if this petition doesn’t lead to Rosenberg’s resignation, it has caused a lot of negative PR for him.


If Rosenberg were to issue an apology to medical marijuana users for his statement, he might be able to start putting an end to the petition. However, it’s been two weeks, and there have been no signs of Rosenberg considering an apology. As thousands of medical marijuana advocates sign the petition every day, more pressure may be put on the Obama Administration to comment on Rosenberg’s statement.        


Should the DEA chief resign over his statement or would an apology suffice? Will the Obama Administration comment on Rosenberg’s remarks? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.