|DEA begs Obama to ignore voters|
|DEA begs Obama to ignore voters|
|Written by Mark Nichols|
Massachusetts decided to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana way back in 2008. Police and prosecutors fought hard to keep the law the way it was but were overwhelmed by the will of the voters. Thankfully none of the predictions about crime spikes or six-year-olds smoking weed in public have come to fruition. Now that scores of states, most recently Washington and Colorado, have followed suit, retired drug warriors are speaking out.
Eight former heads of the DEA — under Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford — recently wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
In their letter, they encourage him to press Attorney General Eric Holder to “vigorously enforce” the Controlled Substances Act, which lists marijuana as a deadly Schedule I drug like meth or heroin.
“Marijuana is not a harmless substance, nor is it a useful medicine,” the former DEA administrators wrote.
“Research has proven that marijuana is addictive. It is the number one reason why children are admitted to substance abuse treatment in the United States and is second, behind alcohol, for adult treatment admissions.”
The facts lie elsewhere. Marijuana, unlike cocaine or alcohol, actually has no addictive properties
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) recently spoke up for the people and chastised the former government employees for ignoring the will of the people that paid their salaries.
“The federal government should concentrate on shutting down meth labs — not the laboratories of Democracy,” Cohen said in a statement. “The people of Colorado and Washington voted to implement these laws, and the federal government should respect their will.”
“It is arrogant of these former DEA chiefs to encourage the president to nullify these laws,” he continued.
But when you’ve been singing the same song for decades it’s hard to change one’s tune - despite changing attitudes, laws and science.
For instance, during a rather remarkable bit of testimony before Congress recently, the current head of the DEA displayed shocking ignorance as to the dangers of using specific drugs.
During a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart repeatedly refused to admit that anything was more addictive or harmful than marijuana.
Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado was incredulous.
He grilled Leonhart on whether illegal drugs like methamphetamine and crack, as well as legal prescription drugs, caused greater harm to public health compared to marijuana.
Leonhart dodged the question eleven times in less than three minutes.
“Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?” Polis, who has called for an end to marijuana prohibition, asked.
“I believe all illegal drugs are bad,” Leonhart responded.
“Is methamphetamine worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?” Polis continued. “Is heroin worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?”
“Again, all drugs,” Leonhart began to say, only to be cut off by Polis.
“Yes, no, or I don’t know?” Polis said. “If you don’t know this, you can look this up. You should know this, as the chief administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency. I’m asking a very straightforward question.”
It’s always said individuals, agencies or organizations wind up on the wrong side of history if they refuse to accept the facts and evolve based on new information.
© Copyright 1996-2010 - American Police Beat., All Rights Reserved. Website Maintained by: JM-Experts!