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DEA Chief Faces Backlash For Criticizing Obama’s Marijuana Comments

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dea marijuana obamaBy Phillip Smith

Criticism is mounting over reported remarks last week of DEA chief Michele Leonhart in a speech to the Major Counties Sheriffs Association. Leonhart criticized her boss, President Obama, for acknowledging in a recent interview that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol and that the experiments with marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington were “important.”

Precisely what Leonhart told the gathered sheriffs is unclear because no media were allowed in the room, but the anti-legalization sheriffs ate it up, according to the Boston Herald, which spoke with some of them.

“She’s frustrated for the same reasons we are,” Bristol County (MA) Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said. “She said she felt the administration didn’t understand the science enough to make those statements. She was particularly frustrated with the fact that, according to her, the White House participated in a softball game with a pro-legalization group… But she said her lowest point in 33 years in the DEA was when she learned they’d flown a hemp flag over the Capitol on July 4. The sheriffs were all shocked. This is the first time in 28 years I’ve ever heard anyone in her position be this candid.”

The hemp flag was flown at the request of Colorado Rep. Jared Polis (D), a strong marijuana reform supporter.

Kern County (CA) Sheriff Donny Youngblood, head of the sheriffs’ group, said Leonhart criticized Obama for making what he described as “irresponsible” remarks that were “a big slap in the face” to police officers who lost their lives prosecuting the drug war.

“This is a woman who has spent 33 years of her life fighting drug abuse in the DEA, her entire life. To have the president of the United States publicly say marijuana was a bad habit like alcohol was appalling to everyone in that room,” Youngblood said. “I think the way that she felt was that it was a betrayal of what she does for the American people in enforcing our drug laws… She got a standing ovation.”

Hodgson said sheriffs see marijuana as “gateway drug” (Editor’s Note: Despite the notion having been repeatedly debunked) and that political leaders should be preventing drug use, not playing down its dangers and providing kids with excuses.

“The last person we need saying this to kids is the president of the United States,” Hodgson said.

While Leonhart’s remarks played well with law enforcement officials with a vested interest in maintaining the prohibitionist status quo, they didn’t sit nearly as well with drug reformers.

“Whether Ms. Leonhart is ignorant of the facts or intentionally disregarding them, she is clearly unfit for her current position,” said Dan Riffle, MPP director of federal policies. “By any objective measure, marijuana is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and society. It is irresponsible and unacceptable for a government official charged with enforcing our drug laws to deny the facts surrounding the nation’s two most popular recreational drugs.

The group has launched a Change.org petition calling on the president to fire Leonhart and replace her with someone who will base decisions on science and evidence instead of politics and ideology.

“The DEA administrator’s continued refusal to recognize marijuana’s relative safety compared to alcohol and other drugs flies in the face of the president’s commitment to prioritizing science over ideology and politics,” Riffle said. “She is neglecting the basic obligations of her job and fundamentally undermining her employer’s mission. This would be grounds for termination in the private sector, and the consequences for Ms. Leonhart should be no different.”

The petition calls for Leonhart to be replaced by “someone who will uphold [President Obama’s] mandate that administration decisions be guided by science instead of ideology and politics,” the group urged.

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306 Comments

  1. thanks to all the good folk i really will miss
    the bridge on the rail trail shaped strangely shaped in a triangle kind of but i will trade miss for bliss:-)
    it reminds me of the day of that nifty vision so vividly seen that strange time i had
    who would though ever believe it, but there really is a reality ramped up beyond the commons’ comprehension, and it is sad
    that the common thinkn that going to sleep or a stupor is proper, when that is shutting off the brain, not using more of it happily while awake
    nothing wrong with a good cannabis experience for heaven’s sakes
    it really does sound doesn’t it though kind of like the word mafia, that chilling type of a word that roughians use or are
    how could it be that the so called law people have gone so too far
    to carry out orders to go again the constitution
    is grounds for some sort of penal institution
    for if they were really legit
    they’d never commit perjury, and never go against people they swore under oath to protect,
    and they would protect, more like the characters of car 54, not act all menacingly, and direspect

    actully the law around here is really kind
    even helped me the other week with ideas for paint for my bike, i was thinking of the ones in prison, and the

    mean people that put them there
    it seems to me to be so incredibly unfair

    the government needs to get with the real earth
    real people do not do things to hurt others and try to make them feel they have no worth

    thats what the governemnt does when it deems people like myself unfit for any paid activity
    my response time was tested as excellent in a response test done at the mall in some event i can’t remember while very canna-medicated too, anyway, sorry for all the negativity

    i’m learning though to not let the meanies get me down
    for really, we none of us knows how much time GOD almighty grants us here on this earth so sorry for the frown

    its that when you can see a way of prevention
    of unhappiness, but the common dont wish for you mention

    its just really weird like you know? lol
    can’t get that random song i heard on the radio a bit ago while my toke sesh – cant get that thing out of my head that selfie thing lol
    maybe that though is the real earth as it goes in our day to day lifes
    more random rather than some rehearsed sequential set of events planned out far in advance, and for me, cannabis use has thank you GOD! ended my life strife

    other stuff i wanted to add, but forgot to take some notes

    if i dont write something down, i can loose track of the thought
    as i move on to something else or what not

    what a nice day, i should really get out and enjoy it, rather than sitting in here reading sad news stories on google, they can really get a person down is what the moment for me it taught

    got to not give energy to negative stuff, but i realize we can never ignore it either, but to dwell on it every

    moment can be most irritating
    so thats all i am indicating

    oh yeah, lol, back to that random song
    sounded like kinda of like real thought, not that she is into cannabis i have no idea but umm any way selfie lol “not that I condone” tobacco use of any kind if i could use that 4 words heard from seinfeld
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdemFfbS5H0

    well what ever the law really is about, maybe they are just after the violent folks lets pray so, if not we are all having to wait for some terrorizing event to occur with them against us all in court and that sounds like not one that a cannabis consumer could ever win since the prisons filled with cannabis consumers tells me so, unless they are violent?? i somehow don’t think that is so, but i am feeling well now thank GOD on cannabis as i type this so i have no personal complaints, for me my freedom the government has seen fit to apparently grant myself, after all the years of my bickering of the law on high times as “umm” and a few others and typing to all the other posters on there for hours at a time, lol we had a good time some times when we were not thinking of the mean stories of the wrongs done to people in the cannabis community – they were swell

    well, i better be off
    need to see some friends- perhaps enjoy my calming cough lol

    cant get that song out of my head
    take a selfie keeps going on in there oh just listen to her random thoughts and what she said lol

    ok i am a bit windy so i mean it this time
    i am not going to write any more no matter what i think might be a nifty rhyme:-)

    love out to the nifty folk you really are nifty
    your kindness i am ever grateful for, may the world be full of good folk like you – you make me feel rather lifty:-)

  2. http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/04/christie_in_no_position_to_slam_colorado_on_cannibis_editorial.html
    really, christie is lucky people do not practice the art of tarring and feathering – or sending him away on some railroad line never to return
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarring_and_feathering
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbp54UD95kw
    lol
    however, not all rodents are bad, nor cats

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je1-2gxioS8
    Make mine FREEDOM TOO

  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2XQ97XHjVw
    Non-Newtonian fluid, notice how the people can walk on it as if magically
    i wonder if it could be used some how for tires, not so much to defy gravity

    but the strange stuff has the effect of being soft when moved through slow, but then gets very hard if you try to hit it or move fast through it
    the stuff seems like it would be a good thing to use in tires, it would be soft in the slow city driving, and but highway driving, it should get very rigid, making the tire hard, might even make for more efficient driving, what do you know?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Newtonian_fluid

    some day i’d like to tinker with some of these ideas to see if they would ever work to better what is
    but first thing is first, i must find some tokage and all that nifty bizz
    ltr

  4. http://fox59.com/2014/04/23/narcotics-officers-seize-more-than-200-marijuana-plants-from-broad-ripple-home/#axzz2zoeJzlGu

    Dont know what they did to have someone tell on them the way they did
    but i looked up the word seize and the fifth definition here http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/seize
    says “to take possession of by legal authority”
    it appears to me that the word legal is defined as meaning any mob vote of majority

    so i google’d the definition of “legal” and it said that legal is something “permitted by law.”
    is a law legal if it is unconstitutional i wondered of those who enjoy their fall?

    or is it only legal if it gains monies for those in the institutionals?
    or only legal in the eyes of the common if it gains injury to the cannabis community by some maul?

    google’s 1st definition of “law” is “the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.”

    who voted to take away the rights of the cannabis community?

    http://www.ask.com/question/does-federal-law-override-state-law

    shows that …”The Constitution and Federal law are the supreme law of the land, and override any similar state laws. States derive their rights from the fact that federal powers pertaining to the laws it can pass are limited, leaving the door open for states to enforce their own laws on most cases.”…

    Unconstitutional laws are ok then by indiana’s low moral pro slavery mentality type of ill pill loving thinking?
    i really do not know what the mafia is thinking

    my grandad used to spend time every day back in the late 60’s and early 70’s listening to radio shows warning of the destructive communists, it was really annoying to me
    it was staticy on that old am radio, seems like a name dr. mcbirny was heard and others, but and why he wanted to listen to it was beyond me

    https://www.google.com/search?q=define+community&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=define+commune&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official

    google defines a commune as “a group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities”
    https://www.google.com/search?q=define+community&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    and google defines community as “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common”

    it does seem like theft to me to steal from others, you even in a commune, you can not forcefully take from others and call that sharing
    problem in common society is that their is not much caring

    thank GOD i do not have to be so close to those who are so proud of their slavery
    1 more month, and i will experience bliss through the community of a better class of state that is more savory

    it is really disgusting what the common people do
    and they have the GULL to suggest that they are MORAL!? what is any sane person to do?

    i intend to move to where heaven can be found
    not stay here and become depressed behind bars, and then sad 6 feet underground

    no matter what the constitution says
    unconstitutional reasoning seems ok with the prez

    what better time could be spent in ones life
    than to guide people to heaven, and showing them the eternal delight

    that one can enjoy
    if they were allowed their constitutonal rights with out traitors to rat them out and annoy

    the definition of steal according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/steal?s=t
    is to ” take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force”
    what constitutional right do the officers have to STEAL any ones property?

    I really do not know the particulars to this particular situation, i have no idea if the folks growing was doing any other thing that they should not have been doing, prompting the officers to put an end to all their activity any way they can seems to me that any officers who go along with unconstitutional law that they don’t seem to doing their duty to protect everyones constitutional rights is all in the usa land

    filthy state, i am glad i was never around when the slave owners would whip and drag people by their hair if need be to the auctioning block
    I would never tolerate it, who would have known that years later, that another form of slavery would surface, and enforced by any cop

    one of my grandads was a cop who died on duty chasing a thief
    those cops in indianapolis make the justice system something that just stinks

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