Deputy AG: Marijuana is federally illegal and has no medical use

  • by NORML June 13, 2017

    Cannabis PenaltiesDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned about federal marijuana policy during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today and his responses were disconcerting to say the least.

    Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asked Rosenstein about the current tension between state and federal marijuana laws.

    “We do have a conflict between federal law and the law in some states. It’s a difficult issue for parents like me, who have to provide guidance to our kids… I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA and we follow the law and the science,” said Rosenstein, “And from a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana is an unlawful drug. It’s properly scheduled under Schedule I. And therefore we have this conflict.”

    He further elaborated on the Trump Administration’s view of the Cole Memo, which was issued by President Obama’s Deputy Attorney General James Cole, which lays out guidelines for marijuana businesses operating in medical and legal states if they wish to avoid federal interference.

    “Jim Cole tried to deal with it in that memorandum and at the moment that memorandum is still in effect. Maybe there will be changes to it in the future but we’re still operating under that policy which is an effort to balance the conflicting interests with regard to marijuana,” stated Rosenstein, “So I can assure you that is going to be a high priority for me as the U.S. Attorneys come on board to talk about how to deal with that challenge in the states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, whether it be for recreational or medical use…”

    He also said that the Department of Justice is “responsible for enforcing the law. It’s illegal, and that is the federal policy with regards to marijuana.”

    After testifying in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he also appeared before its House counterpart.

    Representative Kilmer (D-WA) further questioned the Deputy Attorney General on the Cole Memo and the Department of Justice’s pending review of it, asking for an update on Attorney General Jeff Sessions view on it.

    Rosenstein responded: “I do not have an update. I can tell you, it’s a very complicated issue for us. Under federal law as passed by the Congress, and given the science concerning marijuana, it’s a Schedule I controlled substance. That’s a decision I’ve talked with (DEA) Administrator Rosenberg about. Some states have taken a different approach and legalized or decriminalized marijuana for medical use and in some cases recreational use…The question of whether it’s legal under federal law is resolved because Congress has passed a law — it’s illegal. Scientists have found that there’s no accepted medical use for it. Cole made an effort to examine the issue and find a way forward for the department where we could continue with our obligation to enforce federal law and minimize the intrusion on states that were attempting to follow a different path.”

    Despite these critiques, Rosenstein stated any revisions are likely to happen further down the road.

    “For the moment the Cole memo remains our policy. There may be an opportunity to review it in the future, but at the moment I’m not aware of any proposal to change it. But I think we’re all going to have to deal with it in the future.”

    You can watch the exchange on CSPAN by clicking HERE

    Send a message to your member of Congress to support legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition by clicking HERE. 

    99 responses to “Deputy AG: Marijuana is federally illegal and has no medical use”

    1. Julian says:

      Admission that the Cole memo is still law by who will potentially be our new AG is a victory in itself.

      The “further down the road” comment refers to a variety of connotations:

      1). Rosenstein is still working for Sessions, who is a prohibitionist and whose job is on the line because our pathologically insane President still blames Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian investigations.

      2). Rosenstein cant play hard ball with his boss, Sessions, who has demonstrated he will fire people involved in the Russian investigation despite his recusal or the interests of the American people.

      3). Trump Administration is in disarray and has not appointed more than 400 cabinet positions ir Federal judges and US Attorneys that would turn the tables on marijuana policy much less the Russian investigation.

      The good news is Rosenstein demonstrated he respects states rights when he refrained from prosecuting mmj cases in Maryland after that state legalized.

      The other good news is that its going to be much easier for Trump to fire AG Sessions than he can fire Special Prosecutor Mueller. And Trump still thinks he’s hosting The Apprentice where firing is his job after each episode.

      Furthermore, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment has been continued until September. Perhaps a foreshadowing translation of “further down the road,” means “we dont have the tax payer money for a crack down yet.”

      If Trump fires Rosenstein or Mueller against the interests of the American people we will see a case of the US v. Trump that will lead to his impeachment.

      • guestguestguest says:

        Your presumptions that blue and red are indications of right and wrong are way off base. Please don’t be a parrot in a cage, shouting RED BLUE RED BLUE all day long. Do you need a political cracker or something? You were remiss to not mention the possibilities that Trump is waiting to fire many people and may be unable to make effective policy placements due to the false narrative which is now exposed as such, the russian collusion false conspiracy. How about firing sessions and returning to the campaign promises? If you continue with the blue vs red frame of mind, you might not be happy with the results of blue any more than red. Big pharma regulating MJ will be worse than dealing with criminal enterprises whom sell dime and ounce bags on corners. The point people need to understand, in order not to be useful idiots and or marionettes, is that liberty is the only consideration. Ron Paul; Ideas matter, politicians are for the most part, pretty much irrelevant. Our focus should remain on reform and promotion of liberty. Please, take off the red blue glasses. I’m an American. I place liberty first. That is all you need to know, in order to respect me, and vice versa for me to you. Don’t play games.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Here’s a game for you: Fuck Trump and his racist supporters. Enjoy.

        • Julian says:

          Dont worry; smoke marijuana every day and stop watching cable news and youre going to make a slooooow recovery. That illogical anxiety youre feeling is a good sign you still have a conscience left, repressed deeply under the fear and psychosis that has infected your mind and spirit.
          Listen “guestguestguest” (is that the echo in your head or Valdez the human Pez?), President Trump is “unable to make effective policy placements” because he is a shame-suppressing sociopath with narcissist personality disorder suffering from violent psychosis due to possession of a little dick and balls from repeated abuse of finasteride and cable news addiction. Oh, and because he’s a fraudulent con with impaired memory that has absolutely no idea what the fuck he’s doing or saying. Fortunately for us he blurts his psychosis out in tweets we can use in a court of law.
          As Obe-one-Kinobe said; “Who is more the fool? The fool? Or the fool who follows him?”

        • Evening Bud says:


          I honestly understand where you’re coming from on the red-blue issue. I had a tough time voting for Hillary because of her umbilical-like ties to the military industrial complex; I did vote for her because of the alternative–Drumpf!

          But I believe you are being willfully naïve when you paint both parties with the same broad brush on every issue. If you can’t see the difference between the two parties on so many relevant issues of our time–abortion, voting rights, gun control, immigration, marijuana (!!) it’s because you aren’t looking.

          Bring up NORML’s scorecard if you don’t believe me–facts don’t lie.

      • Jose Valdez says:

        At least I got a good laugh from your rant. Too funny!

    2. guestguestguest says:

      Infowars just censored a similar post as this: If this war on MJ is allowed to stand, we will not be voting trump in 2020. In Colorado we have shut down criminal cartels state wide and it’s nearly impossible to get ‘hard drugs’ anywhere outside of urban areas for regular people. We have nothing to do with cartels and have effectively shut off their income by growing our own. The example Sessions set forward regarding cartels growing in CO is a misleading example, but rather a temporary issue which will be nullified when MJ becomes legal in more locations. Marijuana oils certainly do stop tumors, I’m living proof of that. This is the most disconcerting action to come from the Trump presidency. There is already ‘laws on the books’ to manage migrant cartels. They merely need to be enforced and renewing the war on drugs as a fast track to migrant issues is absolutely unethical. How many more otherwise innocent Americans need to be incarcerated by the federal governments advocacy towards big pharma and big prison? Sessions should recuse himself and be sanctioned. What can be done? We The People. We have spoken. Legalized MJ reduces crime and gateway access to actually dangerous drugs dramatically. Hemp; Food, Fuel, Fiber, Medicine.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        We will never support that evil piece of shit Trump.

      • Julian says:

        While Colorado’s legalization most certainly has reduced illegal cartel trafficking, there is a cartel in operation since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and it is being run primarily by our AG Sessions out of the DOJ, President Trump, our Commander-in-Chief who sets forth executive policies, and CONGRESS, who ultimately makes or breaks the law. The ONDCP uses our tax payer dollars to deny the medical efficacy of marijuana, so the DEA can lie to Congress like they did a few weeks ago after killing innocent people for cash on a water taxi in Honduras like the thieves and murderers they have been deputized to be.
        All of the above accept money from synthetic pharmaceutical companies, private prisons and Trump $upporters, so do us all a favor and vindicate your poor choices by donating to NORML, clicking on the ACT tab, then calling and VISITING your state and federal representatives to help reform marijuana law. Check out the Congressional scorecard and vote for the good graders:


    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      Let us acknowledge what is happening here: white supremacist, authoritarian fascism.

      I don’t think people yet fully understand that we are now an arm of the Soviet Union. Trump has no intention of yielding power to anyone, and the openly racist GOP is all in, fully complicit. And Trump supporters? Too stupid and violent to care one way or the other.

      Do you really think Trump will allow anything to get in the way of his absolute power? Then you haven’t been watching.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        In my above comment, I meant to say Russia, instead of The Soviet Union, but whatever… The point is that marijuana legalization, along with all other causes for social justice, are doomed unless we can defeat fascism. The problem is much worse than it appears, and as bad as it looks, it is actually much worse. Forget about voting — even protesting is quickly becoming illegal. That’s your fascism barometer. Look at how they deal with protestors in Russia, and compare that to the bills that Republicans all across America are trying to pass regarding the right to protest: same damn thing.

        When Trump starts assassinating reporters, will you be surprised? Not me. Shocked, horrified, yes… But not surprised. I called it right after the election — I said it was a total scam, and I was right.

        So eat shit, Republicans.

        The thing about fascism, you have to stop it at the beginning, or it solidifies, and we lose our freedoms, our rights, and naturally, our weed.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          Did you see the recent, televised circle-jerk Trump arranged, where everyone who works for him had to blow him, publicly?

          The press said, “Wow, that looks like fascism,” which is true; but it would have been more accurate to say, “That IS fascism.”

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          Look at the chain of reasoning. Even before the election, it was clear that, for Trump, a run for the presidency was never about public service. Please. Give me a break. So, what, then? Answer: money, obviously. Self-enrichment, one way or another.

          Trump scammed you out of your wallet, motherfuckers, except that wallet is The United States Of America. Now what do you think he’s going to do with it? Answer, enrich himself. And that is where the Russian Oligarchy come in. Trump gets rich, and the rest of the oligarchs divvy up USA for good.

          This is a broad outline, but don’t take my word for it — there it is, take a look!

    4. Matt says:

      To go along with my email to Director Henderson, of Perrysburg, Ohio, who wants a medical ban in the city. I found this article, some good news for elsewhere. Hope Perrysburg follows suit and rejects a medical ban. I don’t know what happened with those Tenn. cities whose legislators, some of them, wanted a repeal of legalization. Hope they see common sense, too, but this article is some good news that some areas of Ohio are waking up. Hold onto your hope, we will get legalization done. City by city if we have too, or otherwise.


    5. Jerry says:

      It’s all big pharma,tobacco, the textile industry,and racism. Its all about the filthy rich getting richer. Marijuana is a tool for the political base to arrest and remove voting rights for certain people in this country. There is one legal state that will only let the rich get into the industry.

    6. Jerry says:

      Don’t forget about the alcohol industry.

    7. Joel: the other Joel says:

      My political statement that has a big direct cause of why marijuana would not become legal under Federal law.

      No matter who you voted for president, the Yankees has it all controlled. The Democrats v.s. Republicans or the Liberals v.s. Conservative are just names of teams under one secret party. When States defy federal law, their days are always numbered because they have no rights. What’s given to the states is temporary. They can take it away anytime they want.
      I have no solution, but that is the way it has always been.

      Have a Happy Fourth of July 1776!
      Celebrate Liberty, Freedom, and Independence.

      During the War of 1812, find out what New England did?

    8. TOPDOG1 says:

      This nation is not grateful that Trump appointed Sessions, an obvious crackpot. His also’obviously’ advanced senility should not place him in any position of responsibility or for his job as AG. Sessions should join with Lamar Smith and go into retirement. They could sit in their rocking chair where they can rant and rave all the day long

      • Dain Bramage says:

        We didn’t vote for Trump, either. We gave more votes to Hillary than Trump. He’s still a fucking loser.

    9. Anonymous says:

      “Properly classified?”
      How is it that the “science” serves to support the LIE that cannabis is a hallucinogen?

    10. vickia 52 says:

      I shake my head,where do these people come from?!

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