By Tom Angell
The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made headlines last month by admitting that marijuana is less harmful than heroin, but in a new interview he says that cannabis should not be reclassified under federal law even though “it certainly is not as dangerous as other Schedule I controlled substances.”
Chuck Rosenberg, acting DEA administrator, told Fox News that he doesn’t “frankly see a reason to remove” marijuana from Schedule I, a category that’s supposed to be reserved for drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical value.
Rosenberg says that while he supports doing research on cannabis’s medical benefits, he doesn’t think the evidence is there yet. “If we come up with a medical use for it, that would be wonderful. But we haven’t.”
And, despite reaffirming that marijuana is less dangerous than heroin, the DEA chief is adamantly opposed to legalization. “I’m not willing to say that it’s good for you, or that it ought to be legalized. I think it’s bad for you and that it ought to remain illegal.”
When Fox interviewer Jay Rosen pointed out that there is a “common-sense disparity, or irony, or disconnect” stemming from the fact that alcohol is legal but marijuana is not, Rosenberg seemed to acknowledge as much.
“Probably, yeah,” he said, before insinuating that alcohol prohibition was a failure. “We tangled with that as a society in the 1930s. And we know how that went.”
But Rosenberg didn’t seem to notice the inconsistency of his own views when he added, “I choose not to drink alcohol but I’m not going to impose that on anyone else.”
Video of parts of the interview is online here.