No one is waving banners, yet, but there is hope a new DEA Chief may mean a new day for cannabis policy.
Earlier last week, the Justice Department announced that Chuck Rosenberg, who served as chief of staff to the director of the FBI, would be stepping in to replace Leonhart as the administrator of the DEA. Attorney General Loretta Lynch called Rosenberg an “exceptional leader” with “unshakable integrity” in a statement regarding his appointment, yet proponents of pot reform have been left wondering whether the change will be for better or worse.
Although there was speculation that the person ultimately charged with protecting the integrity of the Controlled Substances Act would not deter from the agencies ancient handbook of shakedowns and other underhanded tactics aimed at locking away the average citizen with a love for the leaf, a recent report from the Los Angeles Times indicates that Rosenberg will not place a heavy emphasis on indiscretions associated with marijuana.
Instead, Rosenberg, who will serve as the DEA’s acting administrator until the next presidential administration takes the reins, is expected “to improve the DEA’s procedures on classifying, declassifying and reclassifying drugs,” by focusing less on the enforcement of marijuana laws and more on the scourge of heroin and other dangerous narcotics, according to the Times.
Although it is too early to tell whether the new DEA chief will swoop in and actually sink his teeth into the Obama Administration’s attempt at allowing states the right to reform their marijuana laws without federal interference, there is a relatively good chance that he will work to repair some of the damage done under Leonhart’s command.
Marijuana activists . . . say they are cautiously optimistic about Rosenberg’s intentions. “Let’s hope he’s in line with the political consensus in favor of scaling back mass incarceration and the worst harms of the drug war,” said Bill Piper, DPA director of national affairs.
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