Justice Department Names New DEA Acting Administrator

The Department of Justice has officially designated Robert W. Patterson as the Drug Enforcement Administration acting administrator.

New DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson.

Patterson’s appointment comes after the resignation of now-former DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg, who stepped down because he feels President Trump doesn’t respect the law. Patterson was appointed as DEA’s principal deputy administrator in November 2016. In that role, he served as DEA’s chief operating officer, overseeing all of the agency’s enforcement, intelligence, administrative, and regulatory activities worldwide. He is the highest ranking career special agent at DEA.

Patterson came to this position after serving as DEA’s chief inspector beginning in November 2015. As the chief inspector, he had oversight of the Office of Inspections, the Office of Security Programs, and the Office of Professional Responsibility. Collectively, these offices comprise DEA’s internal affairs, compliance, and security programs and provide guidance and support to DEA Headquarters and Field Offices.

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DEA Chief Resigning by Week’s End

Chuck Rosenberg, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will resign at the end of the week, according to law enforcement officials.

According to a report today by the New York Times, Rosenberg plans to retire as he’s become convinced that President Trump has little respect for the law. Rosenberg, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015, has twice served as chief of staff to the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, who was fired by Trump in May.

Rosenberg’s exit doesn’t come as much surprise; In late July he reportedly told the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein that he did not want to be considered as the permanent administrator of the DEA.

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Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Send Letter to President Obama Calling for DEA Chief to be Fired

DEA Chie.
DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg (photo source: Getty Images file).

Yesterday, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer made comments on the House floor calling for DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg to be fired for calling medical cannabis “a joke”, Now, Blumenauer has sent a letter to President Obama, signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, asking him to replace Rosenberg.

“On November 4th, Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in comments widely covered by the press, called the notion of smoking medical marijuana “a joke””, the letter begins. “His statements are indicative of a throwback ideology rooted in the failed War on Drugs. They do not reflect the overwhelming body of testimonial evidence, reforms happening across the country at the state level and in Congress, or the opinion of the American people – and they certainly don’t reflect statements you’ve made or actions you’ve directed your agencies to take. Rather, these statements demonstrate Mr. Rosenberg is not the right person to lead the DEA.”

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DEA Chief: Cannabis ‘Certainly is Not as Dangerous’ As Other Schedule 1 Drugs, Opposes Rescheduling Anyway

chuck
DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg.

Chuck Rosenberg, Chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), stated in a recent interview that he believes cannabis “certainly is not as dangerous as other Schedule I controlled substances”. Despite this, Rosenberg says that cannabis has no medical value, and should remain a Schedule 1 drug which puts it alongside actually dangerous substances such as heroin.

In May, Rosenberg was selected by President Obama to succeed Michele Leonhart, who stepped down amidst controversy. Just a few months later, in August, Rosenberg made the news and excited cannabis reform advocates by saying that “heroin is clearly more dangerous than cannabis”, a fact that no prior DEA Chief has been willing to admit.

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President Obama Selects Chuck Rosenberg to Head DEA

By Drug Policy Alliance

DEA Increasingly Scrutinized as States Legalize Marijuana and Public Opinion Turns Against Failed Drug War

Chuck Rosenberg.
Chuck Rosenberg.

A senior F.B.I. official and former U.S. attorney, Chuck Rosenberg, has been selected by President Obama as acting director of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Rosenberg has served as the chief of staff to the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, for the past 18 months.

Outgoing DEA head Michele Leonhart announced her retirement last month in the wake of numerous scandals. She came under intense criticism for opposing the Obama administration’s efforts to reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and for opposing the administration’s hands-off approach in the four states that have approved legal regulation of marijuana.

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