The Obama Administration’s Drug Czar Michael Botticelli chatted it up on Politico’s Pulse Check podcast recently where he discussed the federal government’s approach to drug addiction and rehabilitation, among other topics. But Botticelli did take a moment to discuss marijuana, and specifically the government’s historical role in making it difficult for researchers to study the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Speaking with Dan Diamond, the host of Pulse Check, Botticelli was asked about the DEA’s decision in August to maintain cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic. The Drug Czar replied, “Our office does not have a formal role in that,” referring to the decision by the DEA to keep marijuana classified as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin and LSD.
After washing his hands of the DEA’s decision, and denying his office was culpable in keeping marijuana a Schedule I drug, he stated the Obama administration had made it one of their priorities to investigate cannabis’ health benefits.
However, he then went on to confirm what had long been a conspiracy theory of sorts — that the federal government purposely prevented marijuana from being researched for its therapeutic benefits.
Botticelli confirmed suspicions that the feds have purposefully kept marijuana from being thoroughly researched for positive health benefits when he said, “I do think it’s a somewhat fair criticism that the government hasn’t wholly supported research to really investigate what’s the potential therapeutic value.”