DEA begs Obama to ignore voters E-mail
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.
Regurgitating claims largely debunked by medical professionals and scientists, the former DEA bosses say, “Regular use of marijuana compromises the ability to learn and to remember information by impairing the ability to focus, sustain, and shift attention.”

“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.

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Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Marshal, April 18, 2013
The voters of Colorado were misled about the funding the state would get. The majority that voted for legalizing marijuana thought the state would get a lot of money for education. But if you stop and think about it they aren't going to get much money. Do they really think that the drug dealer who has been breaking the law all these years is really going to start claiming his sales on his taxes? Do they really think that the people that have been buying for years from the dealer are going to go to a store and pay twice as much as they are paying from their dealer? I don't think so. Already they potheads are breaking the law by smoking in public and pushing the law by creating "private pot clubs" that really aren't private when anyone can pay a small fee to go in and smoke pot. Now the state is changing their minds on not letting outside pot come into the state. So tell me Colorado, where is all this money going to come from? So now you can get high all you want but can't have guns. The comment in this article says that pot has no addictive qualities is BS. The addiction to pot isn't the issue. People start needing a bigger and better high and move on to the bigger drugs. That is why pot has always been called the gateway drug. If the feds don't enforce their laws on this then what other laws can we elect not to follow? Maybe we can vote to not pay federal tax and still expect the feds to fund us. Wake up and pay attention.

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