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  • DEA Chief Finally Says It: Heroin Clearly More Dangerous Than Marijuana

    Chuck Rosenberg, the new Drug Enforcement Administration chief taking over for Michele Leonhart, admitted Wednesday that heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana.

    The remarks represent a shift from similar comments Rosenberg delivered last week, in which he said marijuana is probably not as dangerous as heroin.

    “If you want me to say that marijuana’s not dangerous, I’m not going to say that because I think it is,” Rosenberg said, according to US News. “Do I think it’s as dangerous as heroin? Probably not. I’m not an expert.”

    While Rosenberg still thinks marijuana is dangerous and harmful, he now believes heroin is far more dangerous, Huffington Post reports.

    Previous DEA heads have exhibited incredibly hardline stances when discussing the drug. Leonhart notably refused to acknowledge that marijuana was not as dangerous as harder substances like crack, instead maintaining that “all illegal drugs are bad.” Leonhart resigned earlier this year following revelations of drug cartels funding sex parties for DEA agents. (RELATED: Marijuana Advocates Thrilled At DEA Administrator’s Expected Resignation)

    At the time of Leonhart’s resignation, marijuana advocates were hopeful that the replacement might take a more reasonable approach to public discussions of cannabis. The wish appears to come true with Rosenberg, albeit in a very small manner.

    Yet, Rosenberg’s stance on drug reform is somewhat unclear. Although he’s stated that marijuana enforcement is certainly not a priority for his agents, he has not gone out of his way to redirect the agents from “the biggest and most important cases there are.” Additionally, Rosenberg intends for current marijuana laws to stay in place, leaving marijuana as a Schedule I drug.

    “It’s sort of remarkable that a DEA chief simply saying heroin is more dangerous than marijuana could actually make news,” Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, told Huffington Post. “I guess that’s a reflection of how out of touch his predecessor was — that she couldn’t bring herself to simply state the obvious.”

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