Medical marijuana supporters say they are “outraged” over President Obama’s re-appointment of Bush Administration holdover Michele Leonhart as chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“The retention of this Bush-era holdover is a profound disappointment to all of us who hoped that Obama would bring meaningful change to Washington,” lamented Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).
|Photo: California NORML|
|Dale Gieringer, CA NORML: “A“|
Leonhart is to blame for having blocked the approval of a medical marijuana research garden requested by leading researcher Dr. Lyle Craker at the University of Massachusetts, overruling a decision by DEA administrative law judge Mary Ellen Bittner.
|New DEA Director Michele Leonhart is against even doing any research on medical marijuana.|
Leonhart’s action effectively blocked the development of marijuana for FDA approval, since without licensed producers FDA development and approval are impossible.
“If there’s one thing on which supporters and critics of medical marijuana agree, it’s the need for FDA studies,” Gieringer said.
“This appointment calls into question whether the administration has any desire to move towards FDA regulation or abandon the bankrupt policies of its predecessors.”
California NORML is calling on the U.S. Senate to “reconsider” Leonhart’s nomination in view of her damaging — and ongoing — opposition to medical marijuana research.