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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of Congress grilled a representative from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Tuesday at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and slammed the office for failing to acknowledge key facts about marijuana.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) chided the drug czar’s office for relying on marijuana “propaganda.” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) criticized the office for failing to address the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s obstruction of research into the medical benefits of marijuana.
During his testimony regarding the Obama administration’s marijuana policy, ONDCP Deputy Director Michael Botticelli refused to acknowledge that marijuana poses less potential harm to the consumer than heroin or methamphetamine.
“It was made abundantly clear that the drug czar’s office either does not have its facts straight on marijuana or is unwilling to acknowledge them,” says Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. ”If someone cannot simply agree that marijuana is less harmful than drugs like heroin and methamphetamine, they are not fit to be overseeing our nation’s drug policy. Anyone who can read and is willing to review the evidence objectively will arrive at the conclusion that marijuana is actually much safer than alcohol.”
“This is just more evidence that it’s time for a new approach to marijuana policy in our nation’s capital. Our marijuana policy should be guided by scientific evidence and not the antiquated views of some federal officials.”
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