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The New(ish) Sheriff In Town Hates Your Weed – Will DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg remain at the DEA?

Jun 8, 2017 • 3:32 PM EDT
Chuck Rosenberg.png
3 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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Derek Thomas – Political Analyst

Six months into the Trump administration and a lot of remaining Obama appointees have been replaced. Some fairly routine, like ambassadors, the surgeon general, some US district Attorney’s US Attorneys. Some more inflammatory like an FBI Director. And many posts either remain vacant or occupied by Obama-era appointees.

Of all remaining appointees, DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg is in the strongest position to flex his unfortunate prohibitionist values on the marijuana industry. It’s pretty shocking that one of the most anti-marijuana members of federal government in Trump’s administration is left over from the Obama era.

So who is Chuck Rosenberg and what does he have planned?

Before joining the DEA, Mr. Rosenberg served as the chief of staff and senior counselor to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Comey.  Before rejoining the FBI, Chuck was a partner at a Washington, D.C. law firm.  Prior to that, Chuck served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. As the chief federal law enforcement officer for the district, Chuck supervised the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of all civil matters involving the federal government.  From June 2005 until March 2006, Chuck served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas – one of the largest districts in the nation.

Chuck also served in several senior posts at the Department of Justice, including service as chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey (2004-2005), counselor to Attorney General John Ashcroft (2003 – 2004), and counsel to FBI Director Robert Mueller (2002 – 2003).  From 1994 to 2000, Chuck was an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. 

His educational pedigree is impressive as well and includes; a B.A. from Tufts, a M.P.P. from Harvard, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. Clearly he has the education and experience to administer the DEA.

But does he have the values?

Not at all.

Under the Obama administration, it was Rosenberg and his team of prohibitionist enforcers who not only denied millions of people access to medication that could drastically improve their lives, but doubled down on their stance with puzzling moves like singling out CBD on the controlled substance act.

And who could forget this quote the DEA chief said about medical marijuana as part of a Q&A session with reporters in November, 2015:

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

“There are pieces of marijuana – extracts or constituents or component parts – that have great promise” medicinally, he said. “But if you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana – which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana – it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.”

How can we have an intellectual debate after comments like those? It’s this incredible narrow minded antiquated way of thinking by the lingering fuddy-duds of society that are truly holding back intellectual debate. What’s worse is that their words are a cover for the true desires, which are made much more visible by their actions – which are taken without ANY intellectual debate.

Trump still has many positions to replace and fill. It’s hard to say whether Chuck Rosenberg should stay or go…sometimes the enemy you know is better than the enemy you don’t. It’s still shocking to think this lingering enemy comes from the Obama era. If he does stay, we hope that his prohibitionist views do not become more emboldened now that he is surrounded by people like Jeff Sessions.

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.


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