It’s no secret what Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks about marijuana legalization. The longtime drug warrior actually believes that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” — which means he is not fond of 44 percent of Americans who say they use the relatively benign herb. But what does his deputy, Rod Rosenstein think?
Tom Angell, one of the best cannabis reporters now working for Forbes, unearthed a speech Rosenstein gave last week at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Here is what the deputy attorney general had to say:
“We are reviewing that policy. We haven’t changed it, but we are reviewing it. We’re looking at the states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, trying to evaluate what the impact is. And I think there is some pretty significant evidence that marijuana turns out to be more harmful than a lot of people anticipated, and it’s more difficult to regulate than I think was contemplated ideally by some of those states.”
This is not the first time Rosenstein spoke out against cannabis — and the will of the American people. Back in June, Rosenstein made waves when he hinted that federal marijuana regulations may get stricter. Before a Senate committee, he said:
“We follow the law and the science. From a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana it is an unlawful drug.”
In that same testimony, Rosenstein made the audacious claim that cannabis lacks therapeutic utility. “Scientists have found no accepted medical use for it,” he said.
“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.
Of course, if Rosenstein follows the law, he must concede that eight states have made recreational marijuana legal and 29 states have medical marijuana programs. And the science could not be more clear: Marijuana is a medicine for millions of Americans.