During a speech at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio last week, Drug Enforcement Administration Chief Chuck Rosenberg disparaged the use of cannabis as medicine…again.

“If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome,” he said. “I will be the last person to stand in the way of that. … But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”

The call for FDA approval of medical cannabis is a common one, especially among those who can’t muster actual opposition based on the facts about marijuana. As much as they’d like to pretend that the FDA is the final authority on whether something can be used as a safe medicine, the dozens of FDA-approved prescription drugs that were later recalled belie that notion.

Beyond that, millions of people rely on medical cannabis every day to treat various ailments with a great deal of success. But it seems none of that matters to people like Chuck Rosenberg.

This is not the first time Rosenberg has said something completely uninformed about cannabis. In late 2015 he called medical marijuana a “joke,” and it would seem that in the 18+ months since, he has done no research on the issue whatsoever.

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Those who support marijuana legalization for medicinal purposes have no problem with more research. But to claim that marijuana is not medicine just because the very fallible people at the FDA have not deemed it so is either ignorant or a calculated effort to deceive the public. Since information on marijuana as medicine is readily available to anyone with an Internet connection, I would lean toward the latter.

As time goes on, the DEA proves more and more just how useless it is; a waste of taxpayer money to the tune of billions of dollars every year, with no end in sight. As much as we would all like to believe that the DEA’s reign of error will be over soon, the federal government is not known for dismantling agencies that waste taxpayer money. If anything, they just throw more money at the problem and hope things get better.

People like Chuck Rosenberg having power over marijuana policy in this country is hurting millions of citizens every day. Patients know that marijuana is medicine because they have seen it work. Chuck Rosenberg would see it too, if he ever bothered to look.

Originally published: The Marijuana Times

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