The new head of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) made an obvious, common-knowledge observation on a conference call Tuesday that represents a step forward in critical thinking for the administration.
“If you want me to say that marijuana's not dangerous, I'm not going to say that because I think it is," recently appointed administrator Chuck Rosenberg said. “Do I think it's as dangerous as heroin? Probably not. But I’m not an expert.”
We get it, we get it, you’re not an expert. But it seems, expert or no, that you’re either willing to allow logic into your forming of opinions — or you’re not yet politically savvy enough to know that when your organization refuses time and again to reschedule marijuana as less than Schedule I (alongside heroin, meth, ecstasy, and other actually harmful drugs), there’s definitely more at play than just logic. Either way, after the adamantly ignorant mess that was former DEA administrator Michele Leonhart, I’ll take this guy in a heartbeat.
Leonhart’s departure in May has been attributed to multiple things, including her departure from White House marijuana policy in a public proclamation that all illegal narcotics were equally bad. That’s right, the head of drug enforcement in our country actually said on the record that she believes marijuana is as harmful as heroin, meth, bath salts, ecstasy, LSD, MDMA, GHB, mescaline, and Quaaludes. She also condemned legalization in states like Colorado and Washington in spite of its evident success. While anyone who’s done any sort of legitimate research (online or personally) into the validity of that claim can tell you it’s calculated bullshit, another major reason Leonhart “retired” was mismanagement of DEA agents who were caught having sex parties with prostitutes paid for by drug cartels under her administration. Oh, the hypocrisy.
While Rosenberg isn’t revolutionizing dated federal policy, he is taking a step in the right direction — and after the backtracking of Leonhart’s final years, any step in the right direction is huge. In one of his first actions as administrator, Rosenberg asked the heads of DEA branches across the nation “to focus their efforts and the resources of the DEA on the most important cases in their jurisdictions, and by and large what they are telling me is that the most important cases in their jurisdictions are opioids and heroin.”