Washington, DC (November 19, 2015) – Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), joined by Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Jim McDermott (D-WA), sent a letter to President Obama calling for new leadership at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) following recent comments by the Acting Administrator, referring to the notion of smoking medical marijuana as ‘a joke.’

“Mr. Rosenberg’s comments are outrageous and misleading. The last 20 years has shown overwhelming testimonial evidence of the benefits of medical marijuana, leading 23 states, DC, and Guam to change their laws,” said Representative Blumenauer. “President Obama has taken action to respect state medical marijuana laws. Mr. Rosenberg is out of step with the Administration and out of touch. It’s time for new leadership.”

In the letter, the lawmakers also call out Rosenberg’s hypocrisy in statements he made highlighting a lack of information demonstrating the safety or effectiveness of marijuana as medicine. Current federal policies make it very difficult for doctors and scientists to conduct the medical research with marijuana necessary to obtain this information, and the DEA has been integral to limiting access to marijuana that can be legally used for research.

“The real joke is that the DEA has played a huge role in propping up federal policies that have systematically blocked research of marijuana’s medicinal value. If there are any questions about its safety or effectiveness, it’s because the federal government continues to stymie science,” said Representative Blumenauer.

Yesterday, November 18, Representative Blumenauer took to the floor of the House calling for a new DEA chief. Additionally, a petition organized by Marijuana Majority on Change.org demanding that Rosenberg be fired has garnered more than 90,000 signatures.

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