Last updated on: 9/6/2016 | Author:

Robert C. Bonner, JD Biography

Former Administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance not because it is more dangerous than morphine or cocaine (it isn’t) but because it has no scientifically proven medical use.

When I headed the DEA, I adopted the same policy as the Food and Drug Administration for approving a new drug: whether there are scientific studies demonstrating that a drug is safe and effective. At that time, there were no such studies indicating that marijuana was safe and effective for any medical purpose.

If the proponents of medical marijuana would finance some true double-blind studies by impartial researchers, as opposed to funding more medical marijuana initiatives, we would finally know if marijuana is medically effective. Still, one has to wonder how safe a medicine is that is smoked.”

“Re: ‘On Marijuana, Just the Facts,” Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Mediator and arbitrator, Phillips ADR, 2015-present
  • Senior Principal, Sentinel HS Group (homeland security consulting firm), Jan. 2008-2015
  • Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm, 1993-2003 and 2005-present
  • First Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Mar. 2003-Dec. 2005
  • Commissioner of US Customs Service, appointed by President George W. Bush, Sep. 2001-Mar. 2003
  • Administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Aug. 13, 1990-1993
  • US District Judge for the Central District of California, May 24, 1989-Aug. 12, 1990
  • US Attorney for the Central District of California, 1984-1989
  • Attorney, private practice, 1975-1984
  • Assistant US attorney, Central District of California, 1971-1975
  • US Naval Reserve Lieutenant, JAG Corps, 1967-1971
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations, Pacific Council for International Policy, Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Board of Directors, Homeland Security Advisory Council, Region One
  • Former Chair, California Commission on Judicial Performance
  • JD, Georgetown University, 1966
  • BA, University of Maryland, 1963
  • Born Jan. 29, 1942 in Wichita, Kansas
  • Law practice focuses on internal investigations, high-stakes civil litigation and defense of government enforcement actions; he advises on homeland security, international trade and customs issues.
Quoted in:
  1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?