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Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Slams DEA For Seizing Legal Hemp Seeds


dea hemp kentuckyMinority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has weighed in on the political firestorm that has ensued since the DEA recently seized legal hemp seeds bound for a Kentucky hemp research program that was approved by Congress. McConnell told Politico last night, “It is an outrage that DEA is using finite taxpayer dollars to impound legal industrial hemp seeds.” The Kentucky Agriculture Department is suing the agency.

Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S., though hemp products can be produced and sold in the U.S. Some states have made its cultivation legal, but these states - North Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, California, Montana, West Virginia and Vermont - have not yet begun to grow it because of resistance from the DEA.  A few months ago, Congress legalized the production of hemp for research purposes in states that want to allow it.  But when Kentucky recently tried to import hemp seeds to begin production, the DEA seized the seeds.  Kentucky officials, including Kentucky Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were angered.

The seizure is the latest misstep by the agency, which is being investigated by the Department of Justice for numerous scandals. It is also the latest embarrassment for DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, who is increasingly out of step with Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama, and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress on sentencing, marijuana and other drug policy reforms.

“It is clear at this point that Leonhart lacks the ability to lead and should resign,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “She is plagued with scandals, out of touch with reality, and increasingly an embarrassment to both Attorney General Holder and President Obama.”

Earlier this month the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General launched investigations into numerous DEA scandals, including the massacre of civilians in Honduras, the use of NSA data to both spy on virtually all Americans and to systematically fabricate evidence, controversial uses of confidential informants, airline passenger searches, and sexual misconduct. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart herself has been at the center of several scandals, including the House of Death scandal in which the DEA may have turned a blind eye to torture and murder, and theAndrew Chambers scandal, in which the DEA rehired a confidential informant with a history of lying.

Moreover, Leonhart is increasingly publicly opposing drug policy reforms being pursued by her bosses, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama, and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. She publicly rebuked President Obama for admitting that marijuana is as safe as alcohol, told members of Congress that the DEA will continue to go after marijuana even in states where it is legal despite DOJ guidance stating otherwise,and has spoken out against bipartisan drug sentencing reformin Congress that the Obama Administration is supporting.

Rep. Steve Cohen and other members have Congress have called on Leonhart to resign. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., says in his dealings with Leonhart he has “found her to be completely incompetent and unknowledgeable.”

Just last September, more than 120 groups from across the political spectrum and around the globe, including the ACLU, Witness for Peace, Drug Policy Alliance, and the International Drug Policy Consortium sent a letter to Congress and the DOJ calling for an investigation into the DEA for its role a long list of deeply disturbing incidents.

“DEA Administrator Leonhart is virtually the only person left who still zealously supports the failed war on drugs,” said Piper. “The U.S. and the rest of the world are moving toward an approach that prioritizes public health and legal regulation – but she remains hopelessly committed to the failed war-on-drugs approach. It is time for her to go.”

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. Defense should check out Aaron Anderson v. govt after they confiscated seeds mailed to him. Govt lost and had to pay damages.

  2. Way to go, Cecil Turtle! Something you’ve done I finally agree with. That being said, it’s time for you Kentuckians to throw this clown out of office!

  3. davidaquarius on

    Like I said “even if it rankles your ass.” Want to vote Green Party or Libertarian? Fine. Then watch the Republicans take the House and Senate.

    Reality, it’s a freakin’ bitch.

    If you want to get shit done, you do what you have to. Legalizing cannabis, it’s removal from Schedule One, commuting the sentences of non-violent marijuana prisoners, all of the things we care most about will ONLY happen if the more progressive party takes control of Congress. It won’t be the Green Party, nor the Libertarian Party or any other fringe third party. It will be either the Republicans or the Democrats, period.

    Deal with it. Sitting on your couch ranting at President Obama’s conservative streak or whining about Dianne Feinstein may get you a few more ‘likes’ on Facebook but it won’t do shit toward ending Prohibition. VOTING DEMOCRAT WILL! Fuck Patrick Kennedy, Kevin Sabet and the rest of those knob polishers. They are small, we are big.

    Obama hasn’t done shit to help us because Republicans have been blocking his every move. It’s taken six freakin’ years but he’s finally pissed.. Give him back the House and Senate with numbers that matter and he’ll respond. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can work on more progressive issues if we give them the numbers they need. There are hundred of bills waiting to be brought before committee if the Dems regain Congress. Bills that take cannabis out of Schedule One, that add billions to infrastructure improvement that will put millions back to work making a decent wage, even an amendment that will take big money out of politics once and for all. This is what we’re working for, not cred points on Twitter or Instagram. You laugh at my faith in the Democrats until you consider the alternative.

    Every person who won’t vote or votes for a third party is giving the Tea Party Republicans license to do whatever the hell they want with our rights. Want to bring back mandatory minimums, hard time for small weed, more doors kicked in and billions of our dollars filling the pockets of asswipes like the Koch Bros.? If the Democrat loses an election, it will be because too many members of our community wanted to make an empty statement with their vote rather than getting shit done.

  4. You mean Demokkkrats like Patrick Kennedy, Obama, Biden, Dianne Fienstein, John Hancock, Maggie Hassen and Chris Christie?

  5. Ron I agrea with you. I always tell people never vote for a particular party always vote for the person who’s views are closest towards your own. With me I generally vote demacrat ,I am happy to see some republicans realizing that we need major cannabis reform.

  6. Isn’t it would earful when our laws are corrupted into what ever our police / DEA want them to be. She needs to be fired and prosecuted for her absolute corruption. It really sucks when you can not trust a enity that sole purpose is to protect and serve our people.

  7. Democrats gave us Obamacare. Republicans gave us the Patriot Act. You are all retarded. You should be paying attention to issues and actions. Who gives a Flying fuck what letter they choose.

  8. There are 13 states that have industrial hemp legislation, with a map on the following page: http://www.globalhemp.com/2014/04/state-of-hemp-update-on-us-legislation.html

    Thanks to the leadership of Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, the ag commissioner, and AG Eric Holder to allowing the 2014 Farm Bill Provision 7606 to be recognized as the law of the land. It allows for states (13 and counting) that have hemp legislation to grow for research purposes as state universities — and without a permit from the DEA!

  9. To steal from Bill Maher, The reason Republicans have an R by their name is because that’s the sound a pirate makes before he robs you and makes you walk the plank. The Democrats have a D by theither name because a D is just good enough to not fail. Seriously though George Washington was anti-party and predicted that partisanship could destory the country and its starting to look like he might be right. It is sad really, the ones with power just want us to be divided and distracted.

  10. I disagree that we should vote for Democrats “even it rankles your ass.” We should vote for whichever candidate has the best policy toward marijuana reform. There are a few Republicans who talk sense about the need for major reform and there are more than a few Democrats who talk as Medieval relics; Jerry Brown and Diane Feinstein come to mind. I would vote for a Republican over either of those two–and I hate Republicans.

  11. davidaquarius on

    Why this holdover from the Bush regime is still in gov’t is beyond me. Pres. Obama should have been cleaning house when he took office in 2009 but, in the false sense of ‘bipartisanship’ he left in place many of Bush’s stepchildren. Lionhart is one of the worst. Here it is 2014 and this harpy is still making policy in direct opposition to the president’s (and the people’s) will. She will continue to do so until they drag her sorry ass out the door (hopefully into a 8×8 prison cell, but I’m dreamin’).

    The moves made by the Dept. of Justice and the president are great and all but they don’t go far enough and are woefully weak on substance. In addition, the best move, the prize we all are hoping for will not happen as long as this dinosaur sits in the big chair at DEA. Obama will not go after rescheduling as long as Lionhart is head of the DEA. This is a congressional election year, one with big consequences for the president and the Democratic party. Obama and his squad of minions are highly allergic to any controversy this close to November. They hope to add to the House and pray like hell they can hold the Senate. Kicking Lionhart to the curb might look like he’s weak on crime.

    But those of us on the front lines know that this kind of thinking is bullshit. The people want the Feds to lay off cannabis. Putting Lionhart out to pasture would show folks that Obama will not tolerate right wing bullshit coming from his lieutenants.

    Prohibition is coming to an end, that’s a fact but what’s also true is that the few prohibitionists still around might go nuclear out of desperation. Rogue US Atty’s, good ol’ boy law enforcement still seizing assets of legal MMJ patients, courts refusing to admit medical marijuana evidence in bogus convictions… the list goes on.

    Is it too much to ask that our president show some courage when dealing with this issue?

    Courage is needed on our end too. We have to bite the bullet and get
    off the couch and do something about this. Volunteer, contact your
    representative, go to rallies, etc are just a few of the things we can
    do. But the most important, the most vital act you can do to save the
    herb from the iron claw of the DEA and the US Atty’s is to VOTE. Vote
    for a Democrat even if it rankles your ass. Even if you feel another,
    more liberal, candidate is more to your liking. The purpose is to deny
    the right wing cabal that’s got this country in a headlock, a majority.
    The Tea Party/Republican party has to be take down and sent back to
    that fetid hole from which it sprang.

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