According to numbers released by the New York Times, over 90% of employees at the Office of National Drug Control Policy have been staying home during the federal government shutdown. Out of 88 employees working for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, only 8 have been reporting during the federal government shutdown. Any reduction in staff is a welcomed change to marijuana activists, although we are still rooting for a full shutdown.
But before people get too happy, realize that drug enforcement agents are still considered ‘essential personnel’ according to the United States Department of Justice. So before you think that raids against marijuana consumers are going to end during the government shutdown, think again. Sadly, money will still be wasted on marijuana enforcement at the federal level, despite all the other things that will go unfunded because they are considered ‘non-essential’.
According to the New York Times employees that are not considered to be ‘essential personnel’ include pesticide regulators, most national park employees, renewable energy researchers, food inspectors, environmental engineers, and auto recall inspectors. So if you are smoking a joint in the privacy of your own home, the people that come to rip apart your life are still on the clock because you are considered to be such a danger to society. However, if you work with dangerous pesticides, or are trying to slip some contaminated food into stores, you have nothing to worry about!
I think Radical Russ put it best when he said, “If this were a just world, 100% of the Drug Czar’s office would be declared non-essential and drug policy would be handled by the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and the Surgeon General’s office. You know… scientists, researchers and doctors, not cops and ex-military.”