The DEA Seems Confused About the Truth Worrying Cannabis During Public Hearing

Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia truly hammered new DEA Administrator Robert Patterson during a Home Judiciary Committee hearing last Tuesday worrying the alarming opioid epidemic facing the United States. It feels as though little is being achieved to fight the epidemic on the federal level and the one piece of data that has actually revealed some ability to fight the concern, marijuana, is being neglected.

Agents at the hearing wanted to know more about why the DEA will rule out eliminating marijuana as a Set up 1 drug, particularly if it can assist slow the rate of deaths due to overdoses on opioids. Rep. Johnson needed to know from DEA Administrator Patterson simply the number of the over 64,000 deaths caused from overdoses in 2016 were due to cannabis.

“I know a couple of deaths from marijuana,” DEA Acting Administrator Robert Patterson told congressional lawmakers with a straight face on Tuesday.

“I don’t recall even seeing that on the charts,” Patterson stated, adding, “I understand a few deaths from cannabis.”

“I understand the problem here, which is [opioid] is not comparable [to cannabis],” he said.

Patterson’s answers brings into concern the DEA’s thinking for not getting rid of marijuana as an Arrange 1 drug. If they are uncertain of deaths caused solely from the usage of cannabis and they do not have any information supporting their conclusion that individuals have died from cannabis overdoses, then why are they so rigid about the illegal status of marijuana?

Earlier this year, a case was brought before a federal judge to have marijuana rescheduled, but the judge stated it fell out of his jurisdiction which the case needed to be taken up with the DEA. Numerous efforts to take legal action against the DEA for keeping marijuana a Set up 1 drug have failed. Why is it that the DEA appears intentionally obtuse on the concern of cannabis?

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