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Highlights Of DEA Administrator Leonhart’s FY 2014 Budget Testimony To Congress

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dea marijuana prohibition profitI was sitting here, counting stacks of Benjamins while sipping Cristal here at the luxury headquarters of the well-funded drug legalization lobby, when I saw the head of the Drug Employment Agency, Michele “10,000 Dead Mexicans is a ‘Signpost of Success'” Leonhart giving testimony to Congress regarding the Agency’s budget request for fiscal year 2014.  ”This is going to be good,” I thought, putting down the Cristal and picking up my diamond-encrusted black onyx bong to pull a few rips of the 2,700-year-old Chinese stash Mr. Soros so generously bought for us.  There is no way I could sit through Leonhart’s testimony without a good buzz; last time, she couldn’t tell whether heroin was more dangerous than marijuana and when I saw that sober, it made my mind ache.

Leonhart begins by stating some of the DEA’s “Recent Accomplishments”:

The efforts of DEA, and its Federal, state, local, and international law enforcement partners are having a real impact. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health—the Nation’s largest, longest-running, and most comprehensive survey on drug use—the overall rate of drug use in America has dropped by roughly 30 percent over the past three decades.

I guess citing your statistical improvement from 1979 counts as a “Recent Accomplishment” if our frame of reference is the history of the United States.  Since the DEA was created in 1971, I should think that “recent” would have to be within at least this century.  In 2001, 12.6% of Americans surveyed had used an illicit drug in the past year.  In 2011, the statistic was 14.9%.

More recently (since 2006), the number of past month (current) users of cocaine and methamphetamine have declined 44 percent and 40 percent respectively.

Yes, 2006 is “more recently” than 1979.  And yes, there are fewer monthly coke and meth users.  However, since 2006, more people are using marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, and oxycontin every month.

For FY 2014, DEA requests $2,428,869,000 for its Salaries and Expenses (S&E) and Diversion Control Fee Accounts (DCFA). In addition, DEA will receive an estimated 557 million in reimbursable funding from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the Asset Forfeiture Fund, the Department of State, and other agencies.

What, only a measly $2.4 billion for a single year?  How will the DEA ever combat the efforts of our well-funded drug legalization lobby with only 200 times more money?

DEA will have a total of 10,699 positions, including 5,303 special agents, including fee funded and reimbursable positions, and will utilize an estimated 9,639 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) in FY 2014.

What, only a measly 10,000 full time employees?  How will the DEA ever combat the efforts of our well-funded drug-legalization lobby with only 100 times more salaried employees?

The sequester is forcing DEA to make many difficult choices. … In this context, DEA has achieved significant savings by mandating that its employees purchase the lowest available fare for all official travel.

(I’m sorry, hold on, I need another bong rip before my blood pressure turns my head into that scene from “Scanners”…)

You mean to tell us this hasn’t been the travel policy all along?  I mean, sure, we in the well-funded drug legalization lobby aren’t forced to, say, scour Southwest.com, HorizonAir.com, and combined sites like Travelocity or Orbitz, desperate to knock off another $20 in coach fare with a two-layover red-eye flight, traveling with everything in an over-stuffed pair of carry-ons because we can’t afford bag check fees.  No, of course not, Mr. Soros lets us all fly non-stop on his private drug legalization jets, which give us the added bonus of not having to take off our shoes, our jacket, our rings, our watch, our hat, and our necklace while unpacking the laptop, the netbook, the sound board, the headphone amp, six mic cables, two mics, four AC cables, and two mic stands into seven bins for the x-ray while we step through the Rape-I-Scanner at the Theatrical Security Administration line.  Thanks, Mr. Soros!

DEA has placed a special emphasis on Mexican drug trafficking organizations because they control the smuggling of drugs into the U.S, as well as drug distribution in most U.S. cities, and their influence is growing. Drug-related violence in Mexico continues at high levels as Mexican cartels compete for control of drug smuggling routes and the transportation corridors along the Southwest Border.

Since 2006 seems to be our “more recently” year, we should note that Leonhart’s “Signposts of Success” - the deaths of Mexicans in the Drug War - have increased every year to over 12,000 in 2011.

During FY 2012, DEA denied total revenue of $2.8 billion from drug trafficking and money laundering organizations through asset and drug seizures. This includes nearly $750 million in cash seizures. Between FY 2005 and FY 2012, DEA has denied more than $21.5 billion in revenue from drug trafficking organizations, $5.8 billion of which was cash.

Last year, the Justice Department settled with British megabank HSBC for $1.9 billion to drop charges that they were laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and terrorist organizations (sorry for the redundancy).  ”Between 2006 and 2009, according to DOJ, HSBC failed to monitor $670 billion in wire transfers and $9.4 billion in cash transactions from its Mexico bank operations.”  Not a single banker faced a criminal charge or trial, despite having been caught doing this sort of thing before and warned before, and, in fact, the bankers got to keep most of their bonuses after a short deferral.

I was wrong.  The 2,700-year-old weed isn’t helping.  This woman still makes my head hurt.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation

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About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.