DEA official: Jackson may have broken the law by handing out Ambien

DEA official: Jackson may have broken the law by handing out Ambien
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An official from the Drug Enforcement Administration says Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson may have broken the law if the allegations that he handed out Ambien on planes are true.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterGOP braces for Democratic spending onslaught in battle for Senate Former rancher says failure to restore meat labeling law is costing rural America 'billions' Tester: Our forefathers would not have tolerated Trump asking Ukraine to investigate Biden MORE (D-Mont.) said earlier this week that Jackson, President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), was nicknamed “the candy man” because he would hand out prescription drugs on planes.

“In overseas trips, in particular, the admiral would go down the [aisle] of the airplane and say, 'All right, who wants to go to sleep?' and hand out the prescription drugs like they were candy,” Tester said.

“You could be prosecuted,” a spokesman for the agency told The New York Times, saying that giving out the drug in that manner would violate the Controlled Substances Act.

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Jackson, White House doctor under both Presidents Obama and Trump, withdrew his nomination for VA secretary on Thursday after facing a series of allegations related to his conduct, including accusations of drinking on the job and crashing a government vehicle while drunk.

In his statement, Jackson said that the allegations against him were “false and fabricated.”

Current and former employees in the White House medical unit said that the allegations mirror the culture of Jackson’s office dating back to the Obama administration.

Sources told CNN that Jackson’s office operated like a “grab and go” clinic, saying that there was “loose control” of medications, and that officials and staffers could obtain medication without basic medical consultation.

One source told CNN that Jackson was “directing people” in the office to hand out prescriptions to people, even those for whom the prescription was not intended.

“They'd come in and say, 'Hey, can I have an Ambien?' And we would just hand them out. Without having to sign a thing," said one source. "We all had a huge problem with it."