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. PDFrank says:

      This testimony today by Deputy attorney general Rosenstein is proof that the Feds are still living 40 plus years in the past regarding recreational and medical marijuana laws.For starters, Congress must act and respect the will of the majority of their constituents and pass HR 975 The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017.

      • guestguestguest says:

        Wow, that’s very interesting. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. You know infowars is censoring open reader posts, perhaps I should frequent NORML more often. Thank you Norml for changing the way we live for the better in CO.

      • Anonymous says:

        The classification is a lie.
        Cannabis is NOT a hallucinogen, why is it Schedule 1?

      • Gary says:

        Who can question Dr. Rosenstein’s expert medical opinion?

        • Anonymous says:

          The famous Dr.Sanja Gupta could put them to shame over this issue who use to be anti marijuana but now adter seeing scientific proof of its medical value has changed to pro medical marijuana.
          These asshole I bet all drink alcohol the WROST DRUG avaviable causing more problems than all other drugs combined.HYPOCRITES

    2. Matt says:

      The madness continues….I worry, folks, I am very, very worried about a crackdown….however, maybe Rosenstein is saying he does not know because he knows the Feds don’t have the immediate resources to fully crackdown and start raids, even if they do they would have to do it gradually, if not sporadically. We need California shops on board, and I say again, we need more states. Every state we add makes it harder and harder for them to crackdown. Sessions seems distracted right now, but this…Rosenstein matter is not good for us. Not good at all. Still, stay strong, and keep fighting! Victory is already in our hands, any crackdown will NOT look good for the DOJ, and DEA, and I DO think they know that.

      • fireweed says:

        purposeful intentional lies….for some reason keeping marijuana illegal fits their agenda. Like everything else in their perverted agenda, they bend toward blatantly ignorant views (creationism as a science, conversion therapy, denial of climate science, favoring of most restrictive and most authoritarian sect of Christianity, to name a very few).

        I suspect that they know very well that cannabis in fact does have medicinal benefits-MANY-as well as perhaps intellectual benefits or even spiritual benefits that don’t fit their agenda.

        My take, based on personal experience, is that pot enhances critical thinking if you use it wisely, and it promotes a view of universalism (have you ever had the “world within worlds” conversation when stoned where you theorize that you might also be a cell in some giant’s body?) that leads you to want to detach from the commercial rat race. For me this has led to a realization and confirmation that I don’t want to work insane hours for the opportunity to go to Disneyland once a year, nor do I want to participate in the insane pursuit for the next greatest gadget and contribute to the production and disposal of plastics and harmful chemicals that get dumped in our oceans or shipped overseas for poor brown kids to sift through.

        If they attempt to crack down on medical-or recreational-cannabis, I think there has been enough public experience with managing marijuana in society that there’s no turning back. Since legalization in Washington Oregon and Colorado went into action, the benefits have vastly outweighed any drawbacks, so much so that other states have adopted similar policies and it’s getting talked about more an more in state governments. And now California has crossed the river, so look for those dominoes to fall. And the California governor already has a contentious and defiant attitude toward the WH so doubly look for a showdown if they try to roll back the progress that’s been made.

        • Julian says:

          Very well said Fireweed. Marijuana has indeed contributed to my own personal evolving neurogenesis, epiphany and coevolution that deflates my ego enough to accept that we are components of a living, breathing, thinking and feeling Universe. After all, would we live without the several pounds of microbial life that live in our guts and permeate our flesh? It is precisely marijuana’s own synergetic, living chemical key that it has coevolved with our collective mind and spirit that allows us to understand this vital symbiotic concept of micro and macroorganisms. Once we have learned how to coexist with the psychoactivity and homeostatic balance cannabis provides us, cannabis becomes more than a tool but a force of nature and perspective. This intuitive insight naturally helps us cut through all the political bull$hit and connect our collective resources to those that would prohibit them for profit. Probably why Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act… those pesky hippies were conquering their fears and asking the government too many questions…

        • Anonymous says:

          Strange thing happen with me when I srated smoking pot in college my grades shot up and made Deans Honor Roll 5 times ,and President Honor Roll once. Hum.

    3. Matt says:

      My god, WHY don’t they just reschedule it and get it over with already? Vested interests in Pharma? Look at the potential billions legalization could bring in! Who needs Pharma if marijuana becomes legal. A stupid thing to say, plenty of people need Pharma, but I think you know what I mean.

      • Matt says:

        “properly scheduled.” What a joke, the DEA just does not GET IT. Or, maybe they do, equally as scary if not more so. What a joke, Rosenstein. The DEA needs better guidance. Why not focus on the opiate, heroin, and fentanyl crisis instead? The leadership at the DEA is a total joke, and none of us are laughing. I am surprised a leader like Obama appointed Rosenberg.

      • Evening Bud says:

        Matt, you ask good questions.

        One your questions, asking why the DEA isn’t focusing on the real drug problems of the country, opiates, heroine, etc, have been discussed on these boards: Certain Senators and Congressmen are benefitting financially from the prison-industrial complex, and the pharmaceuticals.

        I believe that the other reason for the refocus on marijuana, has to do with the old drug warrior mentality. Some of the most vehement opponents of MJ legalization are old cold-warriors from the friggin’ 1970s and 1980s! (See asshole Jeff Sessions and co-asshole Rod Rosenstein.)

        Tho assholism is not a partisan phenomenon, the GOP seems over-heavy in this regard. (And they are currently emboldened by Drumpf’s election.)

        I honestly believe that if we can weather this current storm–the eye of the hurricane being Drumpf himself–that we can emerge from it in a position to finally push legalization through on the national level.

        However, this will only happen in the near future if the Dems regain control of the House. The Republicans won’t have our backs for at least another decade, likely longer.

      • fireweed says:

        when something doesn’t make sense, suspect a hidden agenda. for some reason legalizing marijuana gets in the way of some agenda with them. Maybe it makes people want to slow down and drop out of the rat race. Maybe the health benefits prevent chronic illnesses so decreased demand for drugs and medical devices. Maybe it makes you think more deeply so you don’t fall prey to draconian religious mindsets.

    4. John Riggins says:

      Rosenstein can squawk and rattle his cuffs, but this genie will not be put back in the bottle.

    5. Rene says:

      Cannabis is helping the opioid epidemic… Pharmaceuticals are killing Americans on a daily basis. Of course Cannabis is medicine. Apparently Mr Sessions is committed to big pharma!

      • guestguestguest says:

        Close but no cigar. The ‘opioid epidemic’ is a pro propaganda piece cleverly timed to go along with insider plays at the federal level, to roll back and inhibit the effective peoples movements to legalize MJ and bring free markets back to otherwise monopoly controlled industries. Most importantly though, you’re right, the medical industry does not want any other legal competition.

      • fireweed says:

        you got it

      • Julian says:

        [Legalized] Cannabis is helping [reduce] the [potential] of the opiate epidemic.

        We know what you meant, Rene, but we have to be careful and cite our studies from this website when we personalize pretexted scripts and write our Congressman on the Act link. 😉

    6. Rocky Coast says:

      I’d like Rosenstein and his buddies to go to some disabled veteran’s home and tell him/her that ‘marijuana is not medicine.’ Let’s see how long his capricious little attitude lasts then.

    7. Anonymous says:

      Why does the federal government have a patent on synthetic THC if there is no scientific evidence of usefulness?

      • Julian says:

        Excellent question. Evidence of a complete hypocrisy legally and morally. Scientifically, the difference between synthetic THC and whole plant cannabis is night and day. Big Pharma is investing heavily to create a legal distinction so they can market synthetic cannabinoids through the FDA process. They cant patent whole plant cannabis, which is safe and effective, so they invest in its prohibition while marketing deadly synthetics.

    8. Chris says:

      I hope you idiots who voted for Trump are happy with your decision.

      • guestguestguest says:

        Again; RED BLUE RED BLUE! Do you need a political cracker or something. I suppose you’d have rather had no borders, muslim migrants bombing everywhere like in the UK, UN troops door kicking and gun grabs, and continuation of the largest political cartel to hit this country ever? Please, only the simple minded people of this country actually believe one person can change the world. It’s up to you, where do you spend your money? The power of the purse and free markets is the only power that matters. Wake up!

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Without robust regulations (which corporations and Republicans hate,) the free market is nothing but a screw job on the poor (which corporations and Republicans love.)

          Capitalist swine!

        • Julian says:

          Smoke another one. You clearly have no balanced grip on reality.

        • mexweed says:

          Yep, I guess I’d have rather had no borders, in 1972 they kicked me out of Europe for a piece of hashish the size of your fingernail.

      • Gary says:

        You betcha! Proof Trump is doing a great job is the libtard democrats are getting more and more upset.

        • Negative Nancy says:

          @ Gary,
          I think you will find, in the long run, that a political strategy that consists solely of pissing off people of good will, is going to backfire on you. It’s not exactly a brilliant strategy, now is it?

        • emma says:

          Its a little vague in the republican white house.no one seems to remember anything .sessions,rosenstein cant answer simple questions .i dont recall bleats sessions ..what a joke for the world outside america watching.good americans have never had it so bad.

      • Jose Valdez says:

        What the hell does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Obama appointed Rosenberg you uneducated ignorant jerk. I voted for President Trump and will again! Questions?

        • Dain Bramage says:

          @ Jose Valdez,
          I have a question. Does the cavity in your cranium have an echo?

        • Julian says:

          “…QUESTIONS… Questions… questions… … questions?…”

        • Evening Bud says:

          Jose Valdez, csaaphill, MSimon–the Trump apologists are back–en masse no less.

          I have to wonder who gave you all your sudden marching orders. That’s the way it usually works with conservatives. You hear them all on all the talk shows repeating the latest talking points.

          Valdez, you said you’d vote for Drumpf again. So, I’m guessing you like his AG, and the fact that his AG wants to crack down on MMJ. You know that, right Jose? Or maybe you like the fact that Drumpf gave classified info the Russian ambassador? Or that Drumpf “drained the swamp” then promptly refilled it with worse vermin?

          Here’s another question Jose Valdez–Drumpf said during the campaign that states should be allowed to decide whether or not to have MMJ. Now, Prexy Drumpf says MMJ is bad, that we should not allow it. Which Drumpf do you believe, Jose?

          You asked if there were any questions–I just asked you a couple. Waiting for your ANSWERS, Jose.

          • Mark Mitcham says:

            Trying to reason with Republicans is like arguing with your TV set. You can’t have a two-way dilogue with a one-way marketing campaign! If you try, you’re being manipulated, and wasting your own time.

            Every Republican who does not reject Trump is complicit with Trump, and is every bit as much a racist, traitorous scumbag as Trump.

    9. Herbert Newsam says:

      What is so hard about just changing the damn law. We all know that these characters only have one thing on their minds and that is payoff money. They are still using the old tatics of touting how it is against the law and old outdated corrupted data from whom? the government…I say we have had enough of this inequality at the hands of bigoted people in the White House….Trump lied, about equality for all and stood and told us veterans that he was supportive of our medical use…these both have turned out to be lies….

      • guestguestguest says:

        You’re remiss to presume that Trump controls the policy of these other persons. Once he appoints someone he does not have control over them like you presume. Hopefully he will fire Sessions. You’re remiss to blame trump directly, but would be fully justified to state like I have; We will not vote Trump 2020 if he allows Sessions to take away hard earned rights regarding legal MJ. Please stop it with the ‘bigoted’ presumptions. You’re off point, because the reason MJ is illegal is about power and cash, prohibition of truly free markets where source materials are readily fungible without excess taxation.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Fuck capitalism. Who needs it?

        • Julian says:

          Wow. So by that logic, if I appoint someone to guard your house, knowing full well he is a serial killer, and then he murders you and your entire family, I am absolved of all guilt and responsibility? Hmmph. Thanks, I never saw it that way..,

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          @ guestguestguest,

          America is multi-cultural, multi-racial, and we reject Trump and his white supremacist agenda. He is racist and hateful, he is a liar and a fraud. You are a goddamn bigot. Only a bigot could support Trump. NORML, and the marijuana legalization community in general, opposes racism and bigotry. Your maniacal rants will not change that.

          By appointing and confirming Jefferson Peckerwood Sessions to the position of AG, Trump and the Republicans have certified and notarized their racist, sexist (see Warren) and wholly corrupt ideologies for all to see.

          So fuck off, redneck.

          • Mark Mitcham says:

            Point to remember: just as smoking marijuana does not make one a bad person, neither does it make one a good person. Similarly, just because a Trump supporter smokes pot, that does not make them a part of the marijuana legalization community. You have to actually support marijuana legalization for that. That is why a non-toker who votes for legalization is of more use to the cause than a Trump supporter who smokes an ounce of weed every day.

    10. TheOracle says:

      Rod Rosenstein x Chuck Rosenberg = the new Rosen-Steinberg hybrid cannabis strain!!!

      Hm, guys, your little echo chamber and love fest parroting incorrect information that has cannabis in Schedule I isn’t working. You two assholes + that asshole Sessions and anybody else in this administration who is a prohibitionist asshole, your opinion and official positions and legal positions don’t mean shit. You’re not going to stop legalization. Cannabis is simply NOT going away. You can’t arrest your way out of it. States are NOT going to help the feds fuck up a great jobs and revenue stream, plus the savings and more realistic relationship law enforcement has then with the public.

      These few assholes, influential as they may be, Can Not be everywhere all the time to arrest their way out of legalization.

      Give it up! Legalize now!

      Trump Cannabis & Seeds