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Surprise! DEA Boss Opposes Marijuana Legalization

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Obama's nomination of Michele Leonhart to head the DEA is generating a lot of discussion about how horrible she is. In particular, this exchange from yesterday's Senate hearing is raising disturbing questions about what she'll do with the vast, unchecked drug war powers the President seeks to bestow upon her:

“I’m a big fan of the DEA,” said Sessions, before asking Leonhart point blank if she would fight medical marijuana legalization.

“I have seen what marijuana use has done to young people, I have seen the abuse, I have seen what it’s done to families. It’s bad,” Leonhart said. “If confirmed as administrator, we would continue to enforce the federal drug laws.”

“These legalization efforts sound good to people,” Sessions quipped. “They say, ‘We could just end the problem of drugs if we could just make it legal.’ But any country that’s tried that, Alaska and other places have tried it, have failed. It does not work,” Sessions said.

“We need people who are willing to say that. Are you willing to say that?” Sessions asked Leonhart.

“Yes, I’ve said that, senator. You’re absolutely correct [about] the social costs from drug abuse, especially from marijuana,” Leonhart said. “Legalizers say it will help the Mexican cartel situation; it won’t. It will allow states to balance budgets; it won’t. No one is looking [at] the social costs of legalizing drugs.” [Daily Caller]

Before everyone freaks out any further about the implications of Leonhart's pledge to enforce federal drug laws in states that have legalized medical marijuana, let's not forget that she's actually been running the DEA for three years. Federal raids on medical marijuana providers have decreased during her tenure and it's unlikely any of that will change just because the word "interim" gets removed from her title.

As I see it, the only significant aspect to the Leonhart story is Obama's horrendous decision to keep her around in the first place. She should've been tossed as a formality back in January '09 and replaced with some boring stooge we'd never heard of before. I have yet to hear a compelling theory as to why that didn’t happen, but my best guess is that there just isn't an abundance of impressive people interested in defending the dreadful deeds DEA does every day. The Obama Administration's confusing and disingenuous effort to soften the tone of the drug war rhetoric in Washington means they need a DEA boss who will generally keep their mouth shut. Leonhart's done a decent job in that department, and there might not be much else to the story.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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I think you mean "January

I think you mean "January '09". Other than that, Leonhart's confirmation as DEA head means nothing has changed. Prohibition is probably going to last longer than if somebody else was running the DEA, but cannabis will be legalized sooner or later. Hopefully having an actual cannabis policy will convince lawmakers to regulate other substances as well, only time will tell. While I can't help but sigh whenever I read prohibitionist statements, this news does not seem worrying to me. I'll be looking forward to 2012.


'09, of course. Thanks.

The "Social Costs" of Legal Cannabis

What Michelle's really talking about when she talks about the "social costs" of cannabis legalization is the loss of jobs within the DEA.  And that would be no loss of jobs at all.  Just move them all over to the TSA.

jobs are a big part of it...

but far more than being just jobs.. these are positions of people like leonhart..society is only about power...thats what she means by "social costs"...

Your tax dollars at work

If any group that receives Federal SAMSHA grant money lobbied for OR against Leonhart they are in violation of federal law.


Lobbying with Appropriated Moneys US CODE OF LAWS • TITLE 18 > PART 1 > CHAPTER 93 > SEC. 1913 No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation; but this shall not prevent officers or employees of the United States or of its departments or agencies from communicating to any such Member or official, at his request, or to Congress or such official, through the proper official channels, requests for any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriations which they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business, or from making any communication whose prohibition by this section might, in the opinion of the Attorney General, violate the Constitution or interfere with the conduct of foreign policy, counter-intelligence, intelligence, or national security activities. Violations of this section shall constitute violations of section 1352 (a) of title 31. Title 18 > Part I > Chapter 93 > Section 1913 § 1913. Lobbying with appropriated moneys Title 18 of the US Code as currently published by the US Government reflects the laws passed by Congress as of Jan. 3, 2007, and it is this version that is published here. _________________

Write your senators and representatives about this misuse of YOUR dollars.

Remembering Nuremberg

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience . . .
Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."

Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

1945 Nuremberg Charter—Definition of Crimes Against Humanity


Art. 6.  (c) ' Crimes against humanity - ' namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated [emphasis added].

Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

Art. 7. The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.

Art. 8. The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to the order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility….”

“Persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds” sums up the intent of prohibition.

The government’s alleged excuse of preserving public health through drug enforcement does not withstand scrutiny of the DEA’s reactionary stance against medical marijuana and cannabis research and development.  The inclination to target minorities for drug prosecutions shows a racist intent.  The fear mongering and political manipulations of voters over the drug issue shows a political intent.  And the tendency for members of the Religious Reich to wield prohibition as a weapon for establishing a dominant social identity for their particular group is a religious intent.

No prohibitionist, including Michele Leonhart, would prevail were they to be tried for crimes against humanity. 


"social costs of drug abuse, especially marijuana"

In the real world that would be "especially alcohol and other hard drugs". But the goddamn scientists and educators and public health folk who know better won't challenge the lying POS.

"I have seen what it has done to families". A lot of what she thinks marijuana is doing to families is either delusional or is actually prohibition and black market price related. But she doesn't want to talk for a second about the problems that prohibition causes, or about what alcohol does to families, which is where the far bigger problem lies, so she's not a serious person, just a blind bigoted cannabis hater.

Does she not know that alcohol is the drug of choice of child molesters? Does she not care?

I hate to call someone stupid

But it would seem to me that prohibition is just about the best way to ensure that kids will be able to get all the pot they need.I grew up before the drug explosion of the 60's and I was still able to see the way the drug squad of the day brutalized and framed addicts because at that time a cops word was sacrosanct and the word of an addict worthless.Unless the prosecution wanted or needed to use an addict as a witness.Addicts were ineligible for parole and were given sentences harsher than rapists,child molesters and bank robbers.The government passed a habitual criminals act ostensibly to jail the hard core felons for life but who got caught in the trap.You guessed it,drug addicts.It was found cruel and unusual in the mid 60's and guess what Stephen Harper and his evangelical government want to introduce?This woman is no prize but Eric Holder has been a harsher critic of any moves to legalize marijuana,sorry,cannabis.The M word has to be dropped just because it will confuse the tea party crowd and the evangelical righties in the south.What does cannabis have to do with addicts?Ask the heads of the treatment industry who are making a killing "curing"cannabis "addicts".They are also very fond of quoting the number of cannabis smokers in treatment at any given time forgetting to mention that they were sent there by the courts.Perhaps 5% of Cannabis users need a break from their abuse of the drug but a treatment center is way more than what's necessary.This is why the treatment industry is always formost in the fight against legalization.The head of thee DEA.Such a person has to be either deluded or a complete fraud.This woman,Take your pick.

Just another confirmation

Just another confirmation (not that one was really necessary...) that Obama could care less about drug policy reform.

Drur War Was Prototype For TSA

1. My anti-virus says your site is infected with a Trojan - FBJack. - Not nice

2. How about something about the search for contraband - drug smuggler, bomb smugglers. i.e. How the Drug War Was a prototype and set the legal precedents for the TSA.


Start here. For The Children

he just wants to keep on the

he just wants to keep on the job as long as he can

overpayed alcoholic WINDFUCxERS

Yeah your tax dollars at work, we have a special name for those kind of workers, it's WINDFUCxERS.

What does marijuana does to families? It whipes out all negativity, develops creativity, logic & forgiveness.

I smoked it all my life, i am the owner of my soul thanks to she who is wonderful & god given.

We all know about war profits, what god would tolerance bring to capitalism???

It's easier to be a slave owner if the slaves are hypnotized.

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