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Obama’s DEA chief is out, but who is in?

Nick Meyers Oct 5, 2017 1:00 AM

Yet more cause for the uncertainty of the marijuana industry struck this week as Chuck Rosenberg, head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, announced he's leaving the position.

Rosenberg has a reputation for stickin' it to his superiors when he disagrees with policy, the Washington Post reports, and the Trump administration has been no different.

In addition to disagreements over providing licenses for marijuana growers to provide product for experiments, he called out President Donald Trump in July for his suggestion that arrested suspects should be treated more harshly in police custody.

"We have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong," he wrote in an email to his staff at the time.

Rosenberg is an Obama-era leftover, and it's been long expected that Trump would announce a replacement. But some you're busy watching Fox and Friends.

While Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did ask Rosenberg if he'd stick around, Rosenberg seemed to have no interest in working for Trump as he rejected talks of any openings in the Justice Department.

Rosenstein, too, has had his disagreements with his immediate superior, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, over specifically which gangs to target. Sessions seems to have a fetish for going after MS-13 while DEA officials have suggested going after larger cartels, like the Sinaloa Cartel.

For the Trump administration, this is an opportunity to further pad the ranks of national agency administrators with ponies that will follow the president's carrot.

A conscious leader might value contrary viewpoints and wise counsel, but with few left in the inner circle to temper Trump, Rosenberg's replacement will likely be another step in the direction of Trump's nightmare.

One consideration, according to the Post, is New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph R. Fuentes, who has led the force since 2003 and sits on Sessions' Global Advisory Council.

Fuentes was a vocal critic of the previous administration's decision to lift sanctions on Cuba, citing the presence of several wanted terrorists on the island as a reason to be leery of diplomatic relations.

Fuentes hails from the same state as one of marijuana's biggest congressional allies, democratic Sen. Cory Booker. Booker introduced legislation this year to legalize marijuana nation wide due to the disproportionate effect enforcement has on low-income and minority individuals.

But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vehemently opposed legalization, and seems more so cut from the same stem as Fuentes.

The DEA administrator tends to follow the orders of the administrations, absent of any major policy decisions. For now, a cloud of speculation hinders experts' foresight.

While small steps were taken to loosen restrictions on marijuana research under Rosenberg, the DEA still took aim at the industry, watching carefully for any indiscretion on the part of legal growers and sellers.

The DEA has yet to even take one small step as applications that would end the monopoly on federally-sanctioned research marijuana go unprocessed. Currently, the University of Mississippi provides the only marijuana allowed to be used for research with federal agencies. And according to Phoenix researcher, Sue Sisley, it's schwag.

As with the next DEA chief's appointment, it'll probably a while before anyone takes a look at those applications.

things inevitably get overlooked when you're busy watching Fox and Friends.

While Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did ask Rosenberg if he'd stick around, Rosenberg seemed to have no interest in working for Trump as he rejected talks of any openings in the Justice Department.

Rosenstein, too, has had his disagreements with his immediate superior, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, over specifically which gangs to target. Sessions seems to have a fetish for going after MS-13 while DEA officials have suggested going after larger cartels, like the Sinaloa Cartel.

For the Trump Administration, this is an opportunity to further pad the ranks of national agency administrators with ponies that will follow the president's carrot.

A conscious leader might value contrary viewpoints and wise counsel, but with few left in the inner circle to temper Trump, Rosenberg's replacement will likely be another step in the direction of Trump's nightmare.

One consideration, according to the Post, is New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph R. Fuentes, who has led the force since 2003 and sits on Sessions' Global Advisory Council.

Fuentes was a vocal critic of the previous administration's decision to lift sanctions on Cuba, citing the presence of several wanted terrorists on the island as a reason to be leery of diplomatic relations.

Fuentes hails from the same state as one of marijuana's biggest congressional allies, democratic Sen. Cory Booker. Booker introduced legislation this year to legalize marijuana nation-wide due to the disproportionate effect enforcement has on low-income and minority individuals.

But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vehemently opposed legalization, and seems more so cut from the same stem as Fuentes.

The DEA administrator tends to follow the orders of the administrations, absent of any major policy decisions. For now, a cloud of speculation hinders experts' foresight.

While small steps were taken to loosen restrictions on marijuana research under Rosenberg, the DEA still took aim at the industry, watching carefully for any indiscretion on the part of legal growers and sellers.

The DEA has yet to even take one small step as applications that would end the monopoly on federally-sanctioned research marijuana go unprocessed. Currently, the University of Mississippi provides the only marijuana allowed to be used for research with federal agencies. And according to Phoenix researcher, Sue Sisley, it's schwag.

As with the next DEA chief's appointment, it'll probably a while before anyone takes a look at those applications.