DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg has called medical marijuana a “joke,” arguing that smoking the plant has no proven medicinal value.

In one way, Chief Rosenberg is right- scientifically proven medical marijuana effects have not existed in the strictest sense, particularly because studies on cannabis have been extremely limited and subject to bias. For decades, cannabis has been demonized and called a gateway drug despite evidence to the contrary. Even Chief Rosenberg admits during his remarks that cannabis extracts and oils have been proven to have many benefits, but he disagrees that traditional marijuana use can have any effects resembling “medicine.”

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not. We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

Rosenberg seems to have applied the label of “bad” and “dangerous” to a drug that has proven to have minimal lasting effects or issues. There is at least tentative evidence that links medical marijuana to pain relief and a reduction in anxiety. Some chemotherapy patients smoke marijuana in order to relieve nausea caused by the cancer-killing poison they are ingesting; Those who suffer from painful muscle spasms or other chronic pain, some from veterans with lasting war wounds, find relief in ingesting cannabis.

Rosenberg and others who agree with him are living in a reefer-madness America, completely oblivious to the benefits and relative harmlessness of marijuana.

For more on this story, visit CBS News “DEA chief says smoking marijuana as medicine ‘is a joke'”


Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at