According to the federal government's controlled substance classification list, heroin and marijuana are the same. They are both Schedule I controlled substances according to the federal government. That is something that has defied logic for several decades now. Recently federal politicians have questioned the fact that heroin and marijuana are classified the same, for obvious reasons. Until recently, every DEA leader in American history has maintained that they are equally dangerous, and tried as hard as they could to squash the discussion.
However, the tone from the DEA changed a bit this week when the new DEA Chief admitted that heroin is 'clearly more dangerous than marijuana.' Per The Joint Blog:
Chuck Rosenberg, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), says that "heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana", the first sitting DEA chief to admit what most people have known for years.
The comment was made by Rosenberg during a conference with reporters on Wednesday morning. Rosenberg was clarifying comments he made last week, when he said that cannabis is "probably not" as dangerous as heroin.
Although most people understand that heroin is far more dangerous than the non-lethal cannabis plant, federal law still finds the two substances in the same category, with both being Schedule 1 controlled substances.
This is a significant thing. Is it as significant as rescheduling marijuana? Of course not, but it's a step in the right direction. There were many times in my life that I thought I would never hear the head of the DEA admit that heroin is more dangerous than marijuana. America's drug laws should be based on science, and not reefer madness. Hopefully now that the DEA Chief is toning down the agency's rhetoric there will be reform movement at the federal level sooner than later.