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Petition Asks Obama to Fire DEA Head for Calling Medical Marijuana a ‘Joke’

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New comments about medical marijuana from the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are spurring calls for President Obama to fire him from the agency.

Chuck Rosenberg, DEA’s acting administrator, called medical cannabis a “joke” last week at a briefing with reporters.

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” he said. “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.”

Those remarks have spurred advocates to launch a petition demanding that President Obama fire Rosenberg.

“While it’s nothing new for drug war bureaucrats to oppose sensible marijuana policies, Rosenberg’s comments go way too far,” reads the petition, which was started by the organization Marijuana Majority. “Medical marijuana is not a ‘joke’ to the millions of seriously ill patients in a growing number of states who use it legally in accordance with doctors’ recommendations.”

The petition has garnered signatures and comments from people who rely on medical marijuana to treat serious ailments and who are offended by Rosenberg’s comments:

“I’m signing because I am a cancer survivor and chemo was no ‘joke.’” — Kimberly Marker, Pleasant Valley, NY

“I have multiple sclerosis. It really helps medicinally and has less side effects than pharmaceuticals.” — Penny Kazmierazak, Cocoa, FL

“I am a quadriplegic and I am highly offended by Chuck Rosenberg’s words on medical marijuana. For you as president, you should fire him on the spot. Action should be taken immediately!” — Jeffrey Oakley, Cadiz, KY

“Medical Marijuana has helped me overcome my depression, insomnia, and lack of appetite. I owe my life to it.” — Cameron Hegemann, Lehi, UT

“I am a medical marijuana patient with HIV. It helps me eat and stay upbeat.” –David McDole, Eugene, OR

“Because I’m a vet who uses cannabis. It most definitely is medicine.” — Leif Johnson, Gunnison, CO

It also drew support from singer Melissa Etheridge, herself a medical marijuana patient and breast cancer survivor:

“President Obama should fire Chuck Rosenberg and appoint a new DEA administrator who will respect science, medicine, patients and voters,” the Marijuana Majority petition says.

(Full disclosure: The author of this article is the founder of Marijuana Majority.)

Rosenberg took the helm of DEA after former administrator Michele Leonhart resigned in the wake of revelations that her agents participated in “sex parties” with Colombian prostitutes who were paid for by drug cartels. Leonhart had also faced a petition calling for her ouster after she repeatedly undermined President Obama’s statements and administration policies on marijuana.

The current petition calling for Rosenberg’s firing has more than 7,500 signatures, as of this writing.

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