Colorado DEA Chief Dismisses Medical Value Of Marijuana


The Denver Post
Special Agent Barbra Roach, DEA: “By federal law, marijuana is illegal. There is no medical proof it has any benefit.”

​The Drug Enforcement Administration’s new regional chief in Denver, Barbra Roach, wasted no time in offending Colorado. Claiming that marijuana has “no known medical value,” she also said that she will find a place to live that does not allow medical marijuana businesses.

“It is not surprising that in Colorado, where voters have approved medical marijuana, some find her comments more than a little offensive,” reports Scot Kersgaard at The Colorado Independent.
“By federal law, marijuana is illegal,” Roach — who is replacing Jeff Sweetin, who was promoted to run the DEA’s training center in Virginia — told The Denver Post. “There is no medical proof it has any benefit,” she said, ignoring literally hundreds or thousands of medical studies.
Roach told the Post that marijuana is illegal despite Colorado’s constitutional amendment which allows it for medicinal use. She didn’t return subsequent calls seeking further comment.

Colorado U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a longtime advocate of medicinal cannabis, took immediate exception to Roach’s comments.

Wikimedia Commons
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis: “The fact that an opponent of medical marijuana uses arguments like ‘it causes water damage to homes’ shows how bankrupt that side is of facts”

​”Her choice of where to live in our state is absolutely her own decision (though I question her judgment, she is entitled to her decision) but to publicly state shortly after arriving in a state that living in our premier city and many of our great towns is outright unacceptable to you is nothing short of an affront to our entire state,” Rep. Polis said.
Polis posted on his Facebook page:
She concludes that her goal is to “focus on dismantling the ‘top echelon’ of drug organizations.” And “to strive for the large drug trafficking organizations — not just domestically, but internally.”
On this, I wish her well. Ironically, Colorado’s legalized and regulated marijuana industry has probably done more damage to large drug trafficking organizations than her work will ever accomplish, but I certainly wish her well in her efforts unless she starts raiding Colorado businesses who are abiding by our laws. 
Roach also seemed to be particularly — nay, oddly — concerned by the specter of water damage in homes where marijuana is grown. That didn’t except the notice of Rep. Polis:
Then Agent Roach just gets, well, weird: “People are not taking into account what can happen to those who are growing it (marijuana). There are homes with mold and water damage in the hundreds of thousands.” Oh my. That’s just a very strange thing to say. No doubt that some idiots have flooded their basements growing marijuana. No doubt that some idiots have flooded their basements growing tomatoes. I stained my tiles in my living room last year growing narcissus. Ok. So for this we need a federal cop busting people?
I mean, if you are dumb enough to flood your basement or create hundreds of thousands of dollars of mold damage, that is entirely your own fault and federal law enforcement should NOT be in the business of preventing you from ruining your basement. The fact that an opponent of medical marijuana uses arguments like “it causes water damage to homes” shows how bankrupt that side is of facts.
Polis isn’t the only one wondering why on earth the the DEA would promote someone to run its operations in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah who is openly hostile to, and dismissive of, medical marijuana.
“Kudos to Rep. Polis for highlighting and responding to DEA Agent Roach’s silly comments about marijuana and derision of communities throughout Colorado,” said Mason Tvert, a leader in efforts to legalize cannabis in Colorado. “Polling shows a majority of Colorado voters believe it is time to end marijuana prohibition, and this November they will have the opportunity to do just that.
“As a recent transplant to Colorado, I hope Agent Roach will respect our state’s ongoing discussion about the benefits of regulating marijuana like alcohol and refrain from using her government job to interfere with the debate,” Tvert said.
“This is just part of the DEA’s new approach,” said Jim Gingery, executive director of the Montana Medical Growers Association. “Are these people serious? I’m concerned that we have anyone in public office who is not up on the current research.”