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DEA Head Tells Congress They are ‘Fighting Back’ Against Tolerance Of Marijuana Legalization


dea emails marijuanaWASHINGTON, D.C. — Michele Leonhart, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), repeatedly criticized the Obama administration at a hearing Wednesday on the DEA’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

In a memo released in July 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would not interfere with the effective implementation of laws regulating the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adults in Colorado and Washington. When asked by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) during a Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing whether the Obama administration’s tolerant views toward legal marijuana had affected morale at the DEA, which is a branch of the DOJ, Leonhart replied that “our agents are fighting back against those messages. It makes us fight harder.” She had earlier criticized the DOJ for a perceived delay in issuing a response to Washington and Colorado’s new laws, claiming there was “a lot of confusion in those 296 days.”

Leonhart also claimed that public opinion in Colorado is turning against the initiative making marijuana legal, yet two recent polls suggest Colorado residents are more supportive of the law than ever before. A Public Policy Polling survey from March showed that 57% of Colorado voters think marijuana should be legal, and a Quinnipiac poll from February showed 58% support for the state’s legalization law. It was supported by 54.8% of voters in 2012. Finally, Leonhart claimed legalization would be dangerous to pets in Colorado and warned of a surge in veterinary clinic visits due to dogs consuming marijuana.

While Leonhart was testifying to the committee, the Pew Research Center released a poll showing 75% of Americans believe the sale and use of marijuana will eventually be made legal nationwide, and more than 60% believe alcohol is more harmful to individual health and to society than marijuana. The poll can be viewed online at http://www.people-press.org/2014/04/02/americas-new-drug-policy-landscape/

The Marijuana Policy Project 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 petition currently has more than 29,000 signatures and is available at https://www.change.org/petitions/president-barack-obama-fire-anti-marijuana-dea-administrator-michele-leonhart.

Statement from Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:

Administrator Leonhart’s comments were shocking. The DEA is not simply ignoring the administration’s policies with respect to regulating marijuana, but actively undermining them. Publicly criticizing and questioning the competence of your supervisor would get anyone fired in the private sector. It’s frankly astounding to me that Ms. Leonhart is still employed and American taxpayers continue to foot her $165,000 salary to publicly campaign against the president’s policies.

As more Americans recognize that marijuana is safer than alcohol, more think we need to start treating it that way. Michele Leonhart is standing in the way, and it is time for her to go.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project - make a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. Michael L. Wallace Jr. on

    The DEA (included Leonhart) & The Cartel (include investors of Prisons, Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Screen Devices, Lumber, Paper, Pharmaceutical Medicines & all others That don’t come to mind) are fighting to keep that Billion Dollar Budget.

    Alcohol Enables People to do things that they Otherwise would NOT do like use Harder Drugs. Alcohol is THE ” Gateway Drug ” & The Original “Date Rape Drug”.

    Marijuana was Made illegal to Enable Racists To Murder Minorities in Prison Then & Now. also to make 2 Crooked Families Super Rich Then & Now. The Creators of Prohibition are Solely Responsible for the Destruction of Man & Earth.

    The Human Body is made up of Natural Cannabinoid Receptors the respond directly to Marijuana. All of Human Mothers Breast Milk is made up of Natural Cannabinoids. Ingesting Raw Unheated High THC Marijuana Daily Creates NO psycho-active Effects but it Prevents / Reverses Cancer Cell Growth & is an Essential Part of the Human Diet Especially in Young Developing Minds.

    For the Money lost from investors Bent on keeping Marijuana illegal They will settle for nothing Less then a Physical Killing War within America.

  2. Cut the DEA budget anyway so their job isn’t to fight against marijuana legalization, but to enforce the hard drugs law other than marijuana that has no jurisdiction in DEA!

  3. Of course they are going to be critical. It means DEA jobs are on the line unless pot legalization is overturned. Just look up the biggest lobbies against pot – it’s police, lawyers and jail systems.

  4. Is there a reason your brother and his mates are too scared to do something about their view or are they happy blindly following stupid orders???

  5. I am sorry but I don’t care to waste my time on her removal. She was vetted by Obama to do exactly what she is doing. I chose to focus on vetting the replacement for Obamau. In 2016 when the next fool comes harking some shit about change asking for my vote. I want and expect to know exactly where he or she stands on legalization. If that information is not clear then who is running the DEA her or someone else will be just another fool doing the same shit.

  6. They can’t give a reason why their against it. Its provided the DEA with free money, cars, houses, etc over the years and I’m sure their not so squeaky clean themselves. Pocketing a huge wad on a drug bust, using money from the drug busts to get new stuff for the department. Its funny when they have a news conference and say something like, “We got all this bad stuff off the street.” But they KEEP IT. They may burn the dope here and there, but the cash? Cars? Etc? HELL NO! I can guarantee, that is the real reason why. Just think. The only people that are against it are people that have something to lose.

  7. It’s sickening how an important resource like this (hemp/cannabis) became banned in the first place. More nauseating is how many still don’t know why. People are slowly waking up in America. But we need more people to hurry up and realize their power. The internet connects us all, and that is a power in itself. We need to fire the liars. We need to outlaw bribery/lobbying. We need to film them. We need to whistle blow and expose them. We need people on the inside to find their backbones and do that.

    We’re fighting against sugar and chemical laden minds here! Every time I see those couch/Flatscreen combos furniture stores are peddling, I think “Keep them pacified, placated, apathetic….and we’ll keep skimming the citizens”. Seriously, I wish Brian Williams and others would just go Rogue on live tv and show the truth. Most of the networks report the exact same stories, with the same trigger words, even having the stories run on parallel networks at the same time, commercials at the same time. It doesn’t matter which side they’re biased towards. With all that is going on in every part of the country/world, more need to ask why they choose the same, narrow list of stories to show us. More need to ask why it’s so easy to be led to think these few stories are all that matters.

    People became so freaked out on 9/11 that they stopped paying attention to their loss of rights. If there were no potential for an authority to abuse their power or oppress certain people, the laws they write would be useful. But the intentions of many in government are apparently greed based, control-freak based. Notice how they ran the tickers constantly after 9/11. It became permanent. They want you to listen to them, on the edge of your seat. Notice how a water main break or a city council conflict is “breaking news”, complete with the color red and alarming sound effects. Breaking news used to be about real emergencies or death. Fearmongering is something news, tons of religions, and governments use to keep brains in a mental vise. We can DO this! Now would be a good time to push hard. We have the tools now. Peace

  8. Her agency is fighting back? Lets wrap our brains around this one. The agency that is sworn to abide by the laws enacted by congress is frighting back against the people who are making those laws?
    We are flirting with anarchy!

  9. Learn to spell or use spellcheck, You come off as a complete moron with all of your typos. I guess having a clubfoot is the least of your problems

  10. Thanks! I don’t get a pat on the back, often. Sorry to hear about your health, though. For a lot of people, that so-called “high” everyone is so morally up-in-arms about is what some folks call the total absence of their worst symptoms.

    People who don’t understand that are lucky enough to have not yet needed to see a doctor for anything more serious than the flu. Their perception of drug use has been colored by semantic white-washing over the last 40 years. It’s inexcusable that your health is worse off because of the world’s lengthiest propaganda campaign.

    Things are looking up, though. The polling trends in the last few years have been absolutely amazing.

  11. blah blahblah on

    I think it’s about time that American citizens stand up and fight back for what we want based on the truth and factual evidence presented to us. If they won’t listen to words maybe it’s about time the American people start standing up for themselves and counter with more “convincing” methods. Or just ignore the federal law like we have for the past 50 or so years.

  12. It’s just a job – right? Sorry, but even Nazi prison camp guards, camp cooks, camp foot soldiers were found guilty of assisting in inhumane treatment of innocent people. They have a choice every morning – go back to work with a bad conscience about what they do, or find another job. Overall, yes, LE does an admirable job – but the bad apples aare here too.

  13. There will be plenty of work when they refocus on the poor, the old and those in pain who are taking pain meds. Meds they approved of and increased the supply of by 10 fold in the last 10 years.

  14. It would be better too maufacture our own peetrolem products with out disiases in them from the start with live plants and animal oils. and make the gov. pay for all health care they so mantage too screw us up on for all the hardship that they put our amercan people though the last 75 years!!!!! over Marijuanna,ect

  15. look at it this way petrolem has over millions of this plants in it ,plus human remains .and marijuanna is one of the many plants in petrolum from millions of years accumulation along with poppy, cocaine plant.as the fuel, and products all over the world along with thew disiases that killed the plant and animal live many years ago. for the living people too drill it up and past back into the air and ground waters of today problem. every car ect. makeups-pharicy uses the comanations of pertrolems with is under this scule 1 drug laws can be arrested on all levels.and all is pariphnella. were running out of the gas fuels that keep us warm and cars running they will have too start growing the plants again that can keep up with demand some what too make more pertrolem . I say that marijuanna seed oil would be more safer that pertrolem oil woulden you.?

  16. Joseph Schutz on

    They are fighting for their jobs. It is hard to be objective in that case.Once they realize they cannot stop legalization they will need to look for new work.

  17. Agreed bro. I work in private security or contract security and have many family and friends in LE my older bro is a DEA field agent. And all agree this law will fall the money is gone. And any can search and find out this plant is a 1000+ times safer than Alcohol and Tobacco. Not a single person has died from direct use of this plant not a one. But thousands due to it being illegal. But booze and cigs etc kills near a million at its peak or at lest 500k minimum each year in the US alone. The cost of all the incidents involving these 2 evils costs us billions in health care, accidents, legal stuff and prisons etc etc etc. We’ve be lied to and poured money down the drain for decades and thankfully the money is running out and more importantly people are waking up and are now finding out the real facts hence why public opinion has swayed so much and so fast to legalize this very useful (medical wise) plant. My sister n law and 5+ family are MD’s as well.

    Its only a matter of time this will be a common as a pack of cigs. Tho I’m only interested in its medical aspects. Experts are finding new uses for this plant nearly everyday. All politics man the Pharma, booze and cig company’s are the enemy but its a war they’ll lose just like the guns. Fight for your rights everyone. We can beat them.

  18. Total politics search the history of this law its a joke. Its no secret that the Pharmaceutical, booze and Tobacco companies would lose countless billions and their in bed with the Govt. But keep up the fight people we are winning and they know it. Its inevitable. This plant is just about as harmless with responsible use of course is safe as drinking water. I need it as I have chronic benign tumors on my kidneys and they cause incredible amounts of pain. I have Rx’s of course but I hate opiates and never take em unless I have to. Like I stated my brother works for the DEA he and the majority of his colleagues think its a useless and wasteful law. Those funds could go to battling real crime and real drugs. So that whole Schedule thing is BS. Did you know the war on Marijuana alone cost us more that both gulf wars combined. Man the amount of money wasted its insane.

  19. ha Good luck with that. The world and the US knows the Truth and is
    waking and smelling the BS. Sorry Govt but the box is open its un
    stoppable grass in the whole country will be legal in 10yrs at the most
    this comes from most experts. The facts, lies and money wasted are the
    main driving forces. Btw Don’t diss on our Fed Leo’s most are not like
    their bosses. My older brother is a DEA field agent/helicopter pilot and
    even he has always said it was dumb and useless law money and resources
    could be used to combat real drugs like Meth and crack, grass is a 1000
    times less harmless than booze or tobacco its fact . And come on folks
    the vast majority of both civlian and federal Leo’s are good people and
    they put their lives on the line for us each and everyday 24/7 I also
    have other family and friends in LE I myself work in corporate security
    (private contractors). Don’t let the small amount of bad apples give the
    whole tree a bad look.

  20. Foxeh Chandonnet on

    Wow! I never even did the math! That CANNOT be coincidental! o.O;;; +1, dude


    Marijuana is dangerous stuff, the other night we raided some hippies, they were out of control, sitting there having intelligent discussions and eating pizza. DEA Agent ” Dumass Dickbreath “

  22. Wowfad, I have enjoyed your post, and now you have my sympathy, and respect . Georgia is a beautiful state, but your right about the politics, you almost make me happy to live in my so called purple state

    Mack your post was great, but some of us don’t use for recreation, and resent the term addict, to be an addict you have to get addicted. Take it from a chronic pain patient, that is very dependent on opiates. Not to start an argument about rec and med. As long as booze is legal pot should be too for so called recreational use.

  23. BlackMetal Mikey Deegan on

    I hate dea the they neaver smoke I neaver ever meet dea I smoke them away

  24. I agree (as do millions of others) that cannabis sativa must be removed from the Schedule 1 Controlled Substances list. Claiming that it has “no currently accepted medical use” is patently ridiculous. So is designating it “one of the most dangerous drugs of all”.

    We advocates should indeed focus our efforts on promoting declassification at the federal level; once there is no conflict of laws to worry about, even the most conservative states will recognize the benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana like they do alcohol.

    I expect you will be interested in this article:


  25. The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection under the law for all citizens. It is very, very important.

    If we managed to get cannabis removed from the Controlled Substances Act, then it would become legal under federal law, and the DEA would lose all authority regarding this harmless little plant. The added bonus is that afterwards, states will legalize like dominoes BECAUSE of the 14th Amendment — state and local governments cannot strip away rights that are protected elsewhere in the country. The 14th Amendment is what will force states that LIKE cannabis prohibition to stop jailing their citizens for it, once federal law changes.

    However, it doesn’t really work unless federal law changes, first. Otherwise, every court in the nation would default to federal law, which says cannabis is a Schedule 1 controlled substance under Nixon’s signature law.

    For those of us who live in less progressive states, federal legalization followed by a state-level legal challenge based on the 14th Amendment is one of our only avenues to ending cannabis prohibition. I live in Georgia, where we don’t have state-wide ballot initiatives, and our state legislature is half-owned by the Tea Party, and half-owned by corporate donors.

  26. Psycho- Pharmacological McCarthyism is what this issue is all about, Legalize today , Legalize tomorrow , Legalize Forever just say yes grow your own! They are right freedom is never free disband the D E A. For they are not about “We The People” citizens should never be a commodity to enforce bad laws.

  27. Hi. I see you all argue about marijuana and the legalization or not. It would be really nice if you could help me out with a project. Our teacher made us pick a topic were passionate about and start a blog and ive been having people come and comment about it. The arguments and the comments are what make my grade it would be awesome if you could help. Go tho this URL if you’d like to help me: http://alexiswinchellennglish11.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2015-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=3

  28. Keeping marijuana illegal and persecuting users in no way advantages We the People (therefore doing so is illegal [14th amendment]) but it DOES advantage agencies whose budget is directly tied to waging war on minority citizens. It’s all about the money. Leonhart can’t possibly be so dumb; she’s clutching at straws. I mean, pets? Seriously?

    Replacing her with someone willing to respect the president’s priorities seems like a no-brainer. Here’s another idea: Defund the DEA entirely! Throwing money at those xenophobic cowboys enables them to militarize, which forces the cartels to militarize, which leads to violence, duh.

    Al Capone. Pablo Escobar. The Sinaloa Cartel. Ruthless supercriminals reap bonanzas from myopic federal policies. The black market value of certain plants and chemicals incentivizes murder, but the majority of drug users, especially cannabis addicts, are peaceful citizens. Until, that is, they’re incarcerated for their harmless crimes, and converted into hardened badasses with major chips on their shoulders. Statutory minimum sentences breed antisocial behavior. The disconnect continues.

  29. There is an abundance of hypocrisy and double standards in the law, especially federal, that allows genuinely harmful activities to get a free pass, ( i.e. wall street banksters pillaging the economy; Big Pharma drugs that are toxic (chemotherapy); fossil fuel corporations poisoning the sea and ground water); and get no more than a slap on the wrist for their crimes against humanity and nature.

    The fanatical persecution of, and prohibition against, cannabis is truly a crime, no a “sin,” against humanity and nature. This amazing plant offers us so much: the quintessential medicine for treating a whole plethora of illnesses and conditions–without negative side effects; it is a superlative fiber for textiles, building materials and paper and one of the most nutritiously beneficial plants on the planet. Cannabis is the plant equivalent of dogs, which have co-evolved with humans to the mutual benefit of both humans and cannabis. Cannabis has only offered us goodness and has never done us harm. It is truly humanity’s best friend if we would only let it be.

    The continued persecution of this “herb of herbs” is profoundly unjust and any law that prohibits us from receiving the generous gifts it offers us is fundamentally unjust and is a crime against humanity.

  30. Yes, a bunch of sad DEA agents would be a tragedy. They might have to do some actual work for a change, and go catch some real bad guys.

  31. Social_werkk on

    Even with drugs that kill people, incarcerating and fining people isn’t the right way to go, IMO.

  32. That 1 Billion divided by the 6000 DEA employees is $166,000 – and she gets paid $165,000… interesting.

  33. Foxeh Chandonnet on

    “She had earlier criticized the DOJ for a perceived delay in issuing a
    response to Washington and Colorado’s new laws, claiming there was “a
    lot of confusion in those 296 days.””

    …Confusion? No, she was waiting for the go-ahead to march Federal Troops into Washington and Colorado. I wish they would just come out and say-

    “We make 1 Billion dollars a year in Civil Forfeiture (legal in 42 states), that allows us to seize the assets of private citizens WITHOUT evidence of Criminal Activity, and auction it off to Militarize our officers and pay overtime with the profits. Not only are our jobs threatened, but our precious budget is threatened. We have spent 30 years and 50 Trillion in Tax Payer Dollars, to help fuel an epidemic of lawful injustice that would make Russia blush. We even spent 10 years ‘cultivating’ ties with the Sinaloa Cartel, allowing them to traffic dangerous drugs into the country for two reasons: to ‘fuel’ the ‘war’ only WE can protect our innocent ‘sheeple’ from, and to gain VALUABLE misinformation, that we like to call “Intel”, on Rival Cartels. Misinformation that SOMETIMES, makes us look very good on TV, cementing the position that the ‘war of attrition’ is being won Every! Single! Day! We must do everything in our power to suppress this new trend of ‘acceptance’. We must do everything we can to set examples! From destroying innocent lives and businesses, to denying patients their medicine! We’re ALREADY off to a great start! Because, when they bawl and cry that they have to go back to deadly pharmaceuticals, we suggest they obtain their Medicine illegally…because that’s how you’re SUPPOSED to treat these sicko epilepsy children, patients and recreational users!”

    I’d honestly have more respect for her. And forget the fact the US Government already RUNS a Federal Medicinal Marijuana Program. I dont hear her saying anything about a program LEGALLY providing Marijuana to patients since the 70’s. Its called the Compassionate IND, the marijuana is grown at the University of Mississippi, is packaged and distributed by the Government TO these patients, and still has patients alive today receiving the medicine. These patients CANNOT be penalized in ANY way for smoking, because its a Federal Program. It was closed to new enrollment in the 90’s by George W. Bush Sr., because the program was suggested for AIDS Patients. If we can just re-open the program to new enrollment, i would be happy.

  34. I’m so glad Congressman Frank Wolf of VA is so concerned about the morale of DEA agents, in the mean time we have innocent children seizing all over the place and being rushed to the hospital!

  35. There is nothing more frightening than a true believer. She can’t be stupid, but her ability to perform the critical thinking required to properly manage a large, expensive government agency is demonstrably absent. In her spare time, I bet she listens to AM radio talk shows and nods her head in agreement.

  36. So tired of these politicians whose sallaries are way higher than need to be ignoring the public. It seems our country has forgotten that we the people actually run the government. It is time for them to realize that the collective is way ahead in progressive thinking than most politicians with their backwards ideologies that seem to ignore facts and science when dealing with a plant. A plant that does more good than harm.

  37. Robert Hancock on

    In the end we’re going to medicate anyway, they just want some outragious controls of evrything. Taxes are being sent in from income and that’s the untold truth, just more two-faced politics, “I against what I’m for voters” said the politician to whatever group.

  38. I blow the grow come arrest me on

    They are only loosing the very little trust some have more and more with every lie they tell. We have the internet we are going to research your claims idiots.

  39. I found this today…
    “Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
    – Francis L. Young, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, September 6, 1988

    Leonhart must have a hole in her head that her mind is leaking out of.

  40. The more they bully the more they are cooking their goose. New generation will not tolerate them.

  41. Doc Deadhead on

    The DEA are just a bunch of pussies that would rather bust a laid back pothead than fight the REAL war on drugs against REAL drugs that kill people every day.

    Legalization will make them go back to work…..that’s the war they are fighting. Their laziness makes me sick.

  42. The DEA is a huge stumbling block, but we ain’t seen nothin’ yet…wait until Big Pharma implements their fight against legalization.

  43. More like scrambling to try to convince themselves they are relevant. Their done and they know it. Just a matter of time. DEA will someday be a memory. Good riddance.

  44. Just seems like the dying words of an out of touch greedy agency that knows it’s time is coming soon. It’s annoying whenever they, especially, Leonhart, opens their mouths but public opinion is only going nowhere but up on positive views with legalization. It is tiring that they can keep outright lying about things in the press but more people are waking up to the dysfunction of the DEA and prohibition in general. Can’t wait for the day that agency is a thing of the past.

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