May 012014
 May 1, 2014

michele leonhart dea marijuanaBy Phillip Smith

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to warn of the dangers of marijuana legalization and affirm her support for mandatory minimum sentences.

Her testimony put her increasingly at odds with the administration that employs her. The Obama administration has made clear that it is not going to interfere with legal marijuana in states that have approved it—unless some of its eight listed enforcement priorities are in play—and it has made it clear that it views mandatory minimum sentencing as a failed policy.

Leonhart mentioned two of the enforcement priorities—the leakage of marijuana to non-legal states and the use of the herb by minors—in her statement to the committee. She said she is worried by an increase in marijuana trafficking in states surrounding Colorado and that the same thing could happen in Washington state. She also worried that increasing acceptance of marijuana would lead to increased use.

“The trends are what us in law enforcement had expected would happen,” she said. “In 2012, 438,000 Americans were addicted to heroin. And 10 times that number were dependent on marijuana.” But she did not provide any evidence tying the number of marijuana users to changing attitudes or laws.

The DEA is indeed concerned about marijuana legalization. Three months ago, DEA chief of operations James Capra called legalization in the states reckless and irresponsible and warned of looming disaster.

“It scares us,” Capra said during a Senate hearing in January. “Every part of the world where this has been tried, it has failed time and time again.”

Except that marijuana legalization has never been tried anywhere before Uruguay, Colorado, and Washington made the leap too recently to cite. In the Netherlands, where authorities turn a blind eye to sales at cannabis coffee shops and which is often cited as an example of “legalization,” life goes on and marijuana use rates are well with European norms.

Leonhart continued singing the same old tune Wednesday, warning that emergency room visits related to marijuana increased by 28% between 2007 and 2011.

ER visits may be up, but it’s the quality, not just the quantity that also matters. Marijuana has no overdose potential; most marijuana-related ER visits are panic attacks or anxiety reactions, not life-threatening events.

Leonhart also had kind words for mandatory minimums, even though her immediate boss, Attorney General Eric Holder has said they create cruel, disproportionate punishments and contribute to federal prison overcrowding.

“Having been in law enforcement as an agent for 33 years [and] a Baltimore City police officer before that, I can tell you that for me and for the agents that work at the DEA, mandatory minimums have been very important to our investigations,” said Leonhart, in response to a question from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). “We depend on those as a way to ensure that the right sentences equate the level of violator we are going after.”

Leonhart is a holdover from the Bush administration. It is unclear how long she can continue to fit in under an Obama administration that is moving forward on drug policy reform.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.orgCreative Commons LicensingDonate

Print Friendly

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • rowel duke

    Get the Naacp involved to ask obama about leonhart and she’ll be gone mandatory minimums and weed laws are racist in their initial implementation. the question the naacp needs to ask obama is leonhart helping or hurting families of color

  • token420

    Michele Leonhart has a nice smile for someone who is destroying humanity.

    • Skrunklesthepig

      Those of the Lucifarian Path of Light shine outwardly, while acting in harmony against humanity and God. They also let you know in advance of their actions when they involve taking away liberty, causing fear, sacrificing, hurting or killing children and adults so to “consume” the emotions of those they intend to affect for spiritual ascension. People, use your God-given wisdom and powers of observation and recall, in the way He intended and all will become obvious. The war for your souls has already begun and your families and children will pay for your willful ignorance if we don’t stop the Satan Worshipping globalists this next time…run away from both GOP republicans and all democrats this next political cycle (of trash).

      • Katmuse

        ok..anonymous….
        wtf?

        • Skrunklesthepig

          Can’t follow it? It is a convoluted set of ideas and profoundly serious ones at that. Reread it.

          • Katmuse

            I can’t reread it…it’s not important.

            I don’t “believe”..in satan or god…..and it soundz’ just like god & satan ta’ fuckin’ wage war…its just the silliest thing I everheard someone type sir…i’m not buyin it…
            >>> Smack >>>

            I am a demacrat…so whay the fuck would you comment ta’ a satan worshipin’ globalist?
            And…stop skrunlein’ that fuckin pig!
            It can’t B good…….

          • Skrunklesthepig

            I see your a “demacrat” by your lack of literacy and other uninformed ignorant replies like “whay the fuck…” I figured you had a hard time with it so instead you attack the messenger. No wonder America is so divided when on one side there are those like you, so profoundly undereducated and ignorant, easily manipulated and made into the useful idiots those like you are, and then there are good people who try and elevate their understanding of what is going on with our government and social engineering, which is ruining America, thanks to dimwits like you who voted for Obama twice. That pretty much says it all. Twice people voted for the “con in chief.”

          • Barbara Hermann

            This is the last I’m going to reply to this thread because I am giving it no more of my time BUT…
            you have been brainwashed and your mind has been stolen. Get the hell away from who or whatever has managed to fk you up and become a real person instead of a bot. Good luck to you.

          • Skrunklesthepig

            You sick pig behind a keyboard…you’re nothing. You have nothing intelligent to offer.

          • Katmuse

            I think U may need ta’ correct yer’ fine comment…….. Troll.
            First: You use the word “your”.
            If U mean “I am” a Democrat, then “your” needs to be corrected to read “you’re”.

            Second: The phrase “lack of literacy” is….
            Never mind U git’ my drift I’m sure. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone..but if YOU were, I think you did a piss-poor job of it, judging by the way you have structured these sentences.

            > I figured you had a hard time with it >
            Obviously YOU are in a position to “help” me out with YOUR brilliance. (Did you notice how I was able to correct YOU?)

            > So instead you attack the messenger.
            No. Where are these “facts” I need to site before I resort to attacks? Up your ass that’s where…

            I saw not one factual statement in your comment. If I am mistaken sir, I suggest you git’ ta copyin’ & pasting that shit back at me! It doesn’t count if YOU use this:
            > you who voted for Obama twice

            I don’t “believe”..in satan or god…..and it soundz’ just like god & satan ta’ fuckin’ wage war…its just the silliest thing I ever heard someone type sir…i’m not buyin it…
            I see a statement of fact followed by an opinion.

            > Can’t follow it? It is a convoluted set of ideas and profoundly serious ones at that. Reread it.

            Who attacked whom first sir? Throwin’ out yer’ line there & YOU thought YOU hooked ME? I would advise against using condescension for bait in the future. I saw what YOU were from the gitgo. A TROLL.

            I reiterate..I do not believe in your “it”. Your “it” is based on fantasy in my opinion. I wouldn’t attempt to understand what I consider to be nonsense. It’s non-productive for me.
            I am a democrat & there is no reason for you to address me if you hate democrats is there? Maybe you want to convert me or prove I can’t understand your convoluted “theory” so you can convince yourself that you are superior to me? Whay would someone want to attack an elderly woman with arthritis in her hands who finds it hard to type, because she never learned to type and lives with constant pain? Why? Because someone is paying you. You haven’t a clue who I am, But I know what the fuck you are….A TROLL,. Just a common troll dressed up in intelligent “sounding” Garb.

            I know the exact definition of convoluted, but for me..in this instance, it has a negative connotation in that it’s TWISTED NOT COMPLICATED… into so many knots it’s not worth my effort to untangle it. I do not believe in deities or god so it would be a waste of my time to do so.

            > you, so profoundly undereducated and ignorant, easily manipulated and made into the useful idiots those like you are,
            > dimwits like you
            These are personal attacks. Now why don’t you copy & paste the personal attacks I made on you?
            I only relied to you because I’ve been practicing my typing and you’re a lousy troll so I knew it would take time to point out ALL the CRAZY in that thar’ Manifesto U got there! Yikes! I’ve been at this quite a while. Hours as a matter of FACT.
            Practice makes perfect…& I don’t use autocorrect!
            Also, as you so correctly pointed out I am a shitty fuckin’ typer…..
            I have no stake in convincing you of anything. YOU, on the other hand have alot at stake…a paycheck & the absolute pollution of what could have been a good brain.
            Go git’ that Noggin’ checked…I think you have a leak.
            Could B dangerous.
            sssss sssss sssss
            p.s.
            > Satan Worshipping globalists
            Where’s the capitol “G”? AND… I could go on if YOU like. I just saw anuther one! I’m good at it cuz’ I fuck it up ALL the time!
            I just wish ppl like you & Bob Munck didn’t find so much pleasure in pointing it out to me. It’s personal, mean & creepy.

          • fuck off

            What the literal fuck did you just say. Seriously.

          • Katmuse

            You need to read it once again?
            /Users/Kat/Desktop/MEME PIX/Dead Topic.jpg

      • Barbara Hermann

        You are totally affected and infected. Get help.

      • Katmuse

        > ok..anonymous….
        wtf?

        This is me hookin’ YOU.
        I never let a BAD TROLL or a GOOD TYPING opportunity pass ME by. I have plans.
        >>> smack >>>

    • Katmuse

      Kindness can kill…believe you me…..
      They all have this sicky sweet smile..it’s vacant like eyes sometimes are….
      I’m hypnotized…but I can still think. I think “wtff? I can’t believe that mouth is sayin’ those words..must be a bot….robot? I’m happy…Then I snap outta’ it….damn they do it every time!

      • Barbara Hermann

        Wow… that’s how I’d describe a shark.

        • Katmuse

          Yup…they have ta’ keep swimming….
          We may be here awhile…huh?
          Warding off sharks?
          ;_/

    • Barbara Hermann

      So does a devil…

  • john

    I have lung and throat cancer, marijuana helps a great deal but im not allowed to legaly use marijuana? I am however given bottles of moriphine, jars of moriphine pills, xanax pills for nerves, valium to stay calm, anti syco medicines god knows why and where did I find all these drugs a month ago when all cancer treatments stopped, on my front porch, left on a chair where many kids play. So there maybe a war on weed, but theres no war on drugs as long as you use drugs the polititions have stock in! The government will allow one to suffer, before they will sllow marijuana uee to help cancer patients!!! There is corruption on our highest floors.

    • Katmuse

      john…thank you for your comment..
      This Country needs to wake the EFF’ up! Hang in there. I know from personal experience that those pharm meds R probably causing you more suffering when U consider the side-effects they produce. BUT…Relief is relief…Take that shit if it’s helpin’ you! Marijuana legalization is coming…unfortunately too late for too many Good American Citizens!!!
      Power to The People……………….

    • Barbara Hermann

      Have you tried oil rather that smoking. Also I have a dr. friend who makes some kind of cannabis tincture and freezes it in ice cube trays. He puts it in his tea. John you should be ingesting cannabis, not smoking it. Best to you <3

      • Katmuse

        I was so angry I didn’t mention the oil…I make coconut infused oil & put it in capsules..I rub into my hands & muscles in my back & hips..you can make edibles of course.
        I don’t know how strong they are..but I’m off all meds except cannabis after making everything I can think of with this oil. I wish I had done it sooner. I missed an opportunity to mention this in my anger. Barbara I owe you many thanx..
        It’s no excuse. I saw his comment & no reply from anyone. Then I was an asshole & didn’t give him the info. He needed.
        My apoligies. This is no joking’ matter.

    • Katmuse

      john I meant be helpful…I blew it. Plz’ accept my apology? Check this out.

      This is very simple and takes absolutely no special tools..The gel capsules are availible at health food stores.
      If ppl are leaving marijuana on your porch I wouldn’t worry too much. If they know you’re supossed to smoke it they’ll be fine. If younger children run across it I doubt they could figure out what it is or want to eat it. IF… it was in edible form..cookies ect., the child would become very very very sleepy but it won’t hurt them in any significant way. Don’t worry.
      Have less pain.

  • Jimmy

    What an uninformed , biased lady.Pitiful that she heads the DEA.
    No underage person should use anything til their brains are formed..its a fact, but dont tell adults that pot is worse than alcohol , just ridiculous.

    • Barbara Hermann

      Obama should fire her. It’s that simple.

  • Leonhart is my hero!

    In the U.S., deaths directly attributable to alcohol number almost 100k, and tobacco kills nearly 500k a year (according to the relatively conservative CDC). How many does cannabis kill again?? Mandatory minimums lead to a country having the highest incarceration rate of ANY in the world. USA: roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, over 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. “Land of the Free”

    • Katmuse

      Loenhart > “.How many does cannabis kill again??”
      Today I read that vaping hash oil is “Dangerous”. That’s just one article. I read several.. so many….if fact… I don’t know where the article is stored! Lost it…
      Cannabis has been atributed to ZERO deaths. Bears repeatin’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Barbara Hermann

      This many… 0.000000000

  • Josh

    The fact that Leonhart has as much power as she does is simply terrifying. The only argument she’s offered against legalization is the same prohibitionist jargon thats plagued the world since the 1930s and a few vague, apocalyptic warnings of how the sky will fall if cannabis is legalized. Either find a valid reason to support your argument, or kindly step down and let someone who’s actually qualified fill your position.

  • Staff

    OZs for 200, QPs for 700, HPs for 1100 & Lbs for 2200…(prices vary in store)
    ———————————— Certified grower for
    “Market Greens” Dispensary.
    ————————————
    For Menu contact me at GreencrossStaff@yahoo.com

    ————————————-
    Registered patients can visit us at 4255 Market St, San Diego, CA 92102

  • Jake

    For those of you thinking of taking this deal DO NOT!! A lot of times these kind of ploys are under covers trying to bust your ass for stupidity. The other times the person ends up fucking you over in the end. If they offer to mail it to you or deliver it to your door just say no. If they offer to meet up its up to you on if you want to do it but id still be careful. Just think of it this way: if you send them money and in return they send you a brick (literally not just bricky weed but a fuckin actual brick) what can you do about it? You have no information about them and not only that but you cant go to the cops and complain about someone screwing you over on an illegal deal. In the end you just end up getting caught with your pants around your ankles and your willie hanging out.