The DEA Wants to Study the Effects of Marijuana, But the Department of Justice Won't Let Them

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is often the main tool used by the U.S. government in the War on Drugs. But according to a new report, the Department of Justice may be preventing the DEA from loosening some of its policies.

The Washington Post reports that the Department of Justice has denied several requests from the DEA to study marijuana. Last year, the DEA accepted applications to grow marijuana for research, but the DOJ will not sign-off on them to move forward with the program. According to a spokesman, the DEA "has always been in favor of enhanced research for controlled substances such as marijuana." 

This is just another disagreement between the DEA and the Trump administration. Last month, acting DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg wrote that the president had "condoned police misconduct" but saying cops didn't need to protect a suspect's head when putting them into police vehicles. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the DOJ have also pushed the DEA to move aggressively against the gang MS-13 despite the DEA's insistence that the gang is of minor importance in America's drug trade and their resources would be better focused on Mexican cartels and other threats. 

While the DEA may be interested in studying marijuana and its effects, it's still not an ally to the legalization movement. Rosenberg refused to lower restrictions on cannabis use and maintained its classification as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. But apparently compared to the Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice, they actually look progressive.

Rosenberg is also an Obama administration appointment, so it may not be incredibly surprising that the Trump White House is putting up roadblocks to his programs.

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