Yesterday, Chuck Rosenberg, who is the new head of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), made the following statement at the agency’s headquarters.
“Heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana.”
Last week, Rosenberg said marijuana is probably not as dangerous as heroin and the press had a field day over his statement. In an effort to provide a more clear opinion. Rosenberg said that he thinks cannabis is harmful and dangerous. That is not surprising, though, since he is the head of the DEA.
A shift of opinion
The comments made by Rosenberg are a big deal. It represents a major change in the DEA’s view of cannabis, which still classifies it as one of the “most dangerous” drugs, along with heroin and LSD.
Rosenberg’s comments also represent a major change from the former head of the DEA, Michele Leonhart, who resigned earlier this year following an alleged sex scandal involving DEA agents under her watch.
A growing trend
Currently, 40 states have passed laws that allow for the use of some form of medical marijuana. Even though marijuana clearly has medical benefits, it remains a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, Schedule I substances have the following characteristics:
- The substance has a high potential for abuse.
- The substance has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.
- There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the substance under medical supervision.
Rosenberg wants to focus on the most important problems
Rosenberg has said that he wants the DEA to enforce current marijuana laws, but the agency should focus on the biggest and most important cases. He said the heads of DEA bureaus around the United States should focus on the most important cases in their jurisdiction.
Rosenberg said, “Agents should focus on heroin, opioids, meth and cocaine, in roughly that order, and marijuana tends to come in at the back of the pack.”