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DEA Chief Slams Obama For Pot Remarks

The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration slammed President Barack Obama this week for saying marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, according to a report Saturday in the Boston Herald.

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart reportedly told a group of sheriffs at a closed-door conference in Washington that she was frustrated by the administration’s recent openness toward state legalization. Although Leonhart’s remarks were not made publicly, her pointed references to the president could put her job in jeopardy.

“She was honest,” Mike H. Leidholt, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association, told the Herald. “She may get fired. But she was honest.”

The administration so far has shown itself willing to let Colorado’s and Washington’s experiments with marijuana legalization move ahead. But those baby steps toward respecting state legislation appear to have sown dissension at the DEA.

Leonhart, a former Baltimore cop and long-time DEA agent before ascending to the agency’s top role, staunchly opposes mainstreaming marijuana use. In 2012 House Judiciary testimony, she refused to answer a question from Colorado Rep. Jared Polis (D) about whether she thought crack or heroin were worse for a person’s health than marijuana. She said in December that legalization sends “mixed messages” to high-schoolers, and this month, one of her top deputies told Congress that legalization is “reckless and irresponsible.”

Leonhart also appears to have been upset by a flag made of hemp that flew over the U.S. Capitol on July 4 at the behest of Polis. Read more

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a 30 year old journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas and serves as Deputy Director for NORML of Waco. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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1 Comment

  1. kenny
    January 27, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Every state gets their kick back for every person they put in jail. They say it is not for money but the states get money for every person that is in jail! so that makes no since that it’s not for money.