Visitors to the DEA Headquarters building, located in Washington D.C., may be surprised to learn that there is an actual museum onsite. Fun for the whole family, hard-earned taxpayer dollars were used to construct not only a fully detailed mock medical marijuana dispensary, but a quaint faux crack house right next door. Because, you know, Schedule I, etc.
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart passes by the monuments to the War on Drug’s failures each day when she arrives to work, and the constant reminder has her lashing out with blame for everyone but her own department.
It should come as no surprise that the powers that be at the Drug Enforcement Agency cannot seem to tell the difference between voter-approved, medically-valued weed and…well…crack cocaine.
After all, when Leonhart was grilled by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) with one simple question in a House Judiciary Subcommittee meeting in November of 2012, she blatantly refused to answer.
“Is crack worse for a person than marijuana,” asked Rep. Polis.
With a blissful ignorance, she replied, “I believe all illegal drugs are bad.”
Polis, unimpressed, pressed on, “Yes, no, or I don’t know? If you don’t know, you can look this up. You should know this as the chief administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency.”
More recently, when the Justice Department announced its intention to allow the newly crafted pro-pot laws in Colorado and Washington to be enacted without federal interference, it was Leonhart and the DEA who labeled the move “reckless and irresponsible”.
When studies were released showing that marijuana use among American teenagers was on the rise, but that smoking, drinking, and other harder drug use was all on the decline, Leonhart missed the point completely, and blamed such “reckless” state-level legalization efforts for, in her view, corrupting our youth.
“Those who aspire to see their own or others’ children accomplish great things in life or who want to live in a nation of increasing prosperity should be very concerned about the increase in marijuana use by teenagers,” warned Leonhart in the wake of the study. Maybe someone should have warned the parents of the last three U.S. presidents, Oprah Winfrey, George Soros, Martha Stewart, or Olympic Gold Medalists Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.
In an interview with The New Yorker in January of this year, President Obama was quoted as saying that he still believes that smoking pot is “not very healthy”, but that in his opinion, marijuana is not any more dangerous than alcohol.
Really, a pretty safe and vanilla reply, considering how much political cover recent polling on the issue of marijuana could provide for him. But still, Leonhart roared.
In a closed-door conference in the nation’s capital just over one week ago, Leonhart spoke to a roomful of sheriffs from across the country as part of their annual conference retreat in D.C. In her speech, she took the president to task for his comments to The New Yorker, expressing her “frustration” at the “mixed messages” coming from the White House.
Prohibitionist sheriffs in attendance and across the country applauded Leonhart’s tough talk while simultaneously making bets on how quick she’d get fired for saying them.
A holdover from the befuddled Bush Administration, Leonhart was appointed by Barack Obama after a storied career as a Baltimore cop, followed by years of DEA ladder-climbing. She is so rigidly anti-weed, she apparently got upset that the White House softball team took part in a charity event with a pro-pot cannabis reform team called “The One Hitters”.
According to Bristol County, Massachusetts, Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson, Leonhart told the sheriff’s association meeting that “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 Marijuana Policy Project has drafted a petition to have Michele Leonhart immediately terminated from her position of DEA Administrator. A link to the petition was posted on the popular website Reddit, and now has over 25,000 signatures.
Hopefully she at least gets a souvenir from the gift shop on her way out.