U.S. DEA Head Chuck Rosenberg is under increased pressure over recent comments he made referring to medicinal marijuana as being “a joke”.
“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” said Mr. 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… 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.”
A petition calling for the firing of Mr. Rosenberg started just two weeks ago and has already attracted nearly 90,000 signatures.
“Medical marijuana is not a “joke” to the millions of seriously ill patients in a growing number of states who use it legally in accordance with doctors’ recommendations,” say the petition organisers.
“And it’s not a “joke” to the clear majority of U.S voters who support passing laws to protect medical marijuana patients from harassment by police and the DEA.”
Aside from the general thrust of the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s comments; a point that has raised some ire is the medicinal marijuana has been so closely tied to just smoking the leaf of the plant.
Medicinal marijuana comes in many forms – oils, tinctures, edibles and pills to name a few. It can also be vaporised, which doesn’t involve any combustion at all. The medical cannabis is heated to a point where the oils containing the cannabinoids are released and then inhaled.
It’s not the first time Mr. Rosenberg has been perceived to be overplaying the “reefer madness” type card. He has previously stated that “marijuana is dangerous” and “it’s not good for you”. He has also said there has been no medical use for marijuana yet developed. However, medical cannabis has been in use by humanity for many thousands of years.
One of the principles of toxicology is “the dose makes the poison”. Like anything, including innocuous substances such as water, the way a product is used or consumed and the nature of the individual will determine the effect on human health.