The DEA chief previously said pot is “probably not” as bad as heroin, but that he was “not an expert.”

On Wednesday, the head of the country’s top Drug Enforcement Administration has finally  acknowledged that marijuana is safer than heroin.

DEA Acting Chief Chuck Rosenberg publically admitted “heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana.” This is after just last week, Rosenberg had said marijuana is “probably not” as dangerous as heroin, but added that he was “not an expert.”

Currently marijuana is still classified by the DEA as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD. Schedule 1 is the category reserved for drugs with the highest potential of abuse and no medical value.

Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and 23 states have legalized it for medical purposes.

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, making the Golden State the first in the union to allow for the medical use of marijuana. Since then, 22 more states, the District of Columbia and Guam have enacted similar laws.

A total of 23 states, the District of Columbia and Guam now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs. Recently approved efforts in 16 states allow use of “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for medical reasons in limited situations or as a legal defense. Those programs are not counted as comprehensive medical marijuana programs.

In response to California’s Prop 215, the Institute of Medicine issued a report that examined potential therapeutic uses for marijuana. The report found that: “Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation; smoked marijuana, however, is a crude THC delivery system that also delivers harmful substances. The psychological effects of cannabinoids, such as anxiety reduction, sedation, and euphoria can influence their potential therapeutic value. Those effects are potentially undesirable for certain patients and situations and beneficial for others. In addition, psychological effects can complicate the interpretation of other aspects of the drug’s effect.”

Further studies have found that marijuana is effective in relieving some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis.

If you have been arrested for marijuana, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for the best possible results.