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WIRE: DEA chief says marijuana as medicine is ‘a joke’

Washington, DC: Herbal cannabis is not medicinal and should not be classified as such, according to public statements made last week by US Drug Enforcement Administration Director Chuck Rosenberg.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rosenberg acknowledged that constituents in the plant possess “great promise” as potential therapies. But he dismissed the notion of the plant itself as medicinal. “That is a joke,” he said.

Commenting on Rosenberg’s remark’s, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The DEA chief’s statements are woefully out of touch with both public opinion and scientific consensus.” He noted that 23 states and Washington, DC permit cannabis therapy by statute and that well over half of physicians with opinions on the matter say that it should be a legal option for patients.

According to the findings of a recent review of FDA-approved clinical trials assessing the safety and therapeutic efficacy of herbal cannabis in various patient populations, “[T]he Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

A change.org petition calling on the Obama administration to fire Rosenberg as DEA head has already gathered over 10,000 signatures.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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