Following a petition that nearly 100,000 people have signed calling for Rosenberg to be fired or to resign, a bipartisan group of members of Congress just called on President Obama to find new leadership for the DEA.Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), joined by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California), Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee), Sam Farr (D-California), Barbara Lee (D-California), Ted Lieu (D-California) and Jim McDermott (D-Washington), on Thursday sent a letter to President Obama following recent comments by the DEA’s acting administrator referring to the notion of smoking medical marijuana as “a joke.”
“Mr. Rosenberg’s comments are outrageous and misleading,” said Rep. Blumenauer, one of the most outspoken cannabis advocates in Congress. “The last 20 years has shown overwhelming testimonial evidence of the benefits of medical marijuana, leading 23 states, DC, and Guam, to change their laws.”
“President Obama has taken action to respect state medical marijuana laws,” Rep. Blumenauer said. “Mr. Rosenberg is out of step with the Administration and out of touch. It’s time for new leadership.”
In the letter, the lawmakers also call out Rosenberg’s hypocrisy in statements he made highlighting a lack of information demonstrating the safety or effectiveness of marijuana as medicine. Current federal policies make it very difficult for doctors and scientists to conduct the medical research with marijuana necessary to obtain this information, and the DEA has been integral to limiting access to marijuana that can be legally used for research.
“The real joke is that the DEA has played a huge role in propping up federal policies that have systematically blocked research of marijuana’s medicinal value,” Rep. Blumenauer said. ” If there are any questions about its safety or effectiveness, it’s because the federal government continues to stymie science.”
On November 18, Representative Blumenauer took to the floor of the House calling for a new DEA chief.
“The call for change at DEA is picking up steam,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “Calling medical marijuana a ‘joke’ runs counter to science showing that cannabis has medical value, and it is out of step with the vast majority of Americans who polls show overwhelmingly support enacting laws to protect patients from arrest.
“Nearly 100,000 people have signed our petition saying that Rosenberg should lose his job,” Angell said. “Now a bipartisan group of lawmakers has placed this controversy right on President Obama’s desk. If he doesn’t act to make a change soon, this is going to be a continuing political problem for his administration.”