The US Drug Enforcement Administration’s push to get Massachusetts doctors out of the medical marijuana business drew the ire of members of Congress Wednesday, with one California lawmaker accusing the agency of creating an “atmosphere of fear” among physicians.
US Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, was commenting on the agency’s ultimatum to Massachusetts physicians to sever all ties to marijuana companies or relinquish their federal licenses to prescribe certain medications. He called the action short-sighted during a conference call with national news organizations.
“What they are doing, obviously, is not only suppressing doctors, but wasting resources,” said Rohrabacher, who sponsored a measure approved by the House last month to restrict the DEA from using its funding to impede state medical marijuana laws. “If they want to fight crime, let’s use those resources to hire police to come and do more patrols in neighborhoods where there is high crime.”
US Representative Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat who cosponsored Rohrabacher’s amendment last month, chided the DEA during the call, calling the agency heavy-
“It’s intimidation,” Cohen said. “We should encourage doctors to be involved with medical [marijuana] dispensaries . . . yet they are trying to run people off.”
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