Yesterday news broke that the Chief of the DEA, Michele Leonhart, would be stepping down soon. Michele Leonhart’s ‘retirement’ comes after a series of scandals that have occurred within the DEA, which culminated in a statement of ‘no confidence’ by a Congressional Committee. The Committee issued the statement after it held a hearing in regards to the handling of a sex party scandal that involved DEA agents and prostitutes in Columbia that were paid for by cartels. United States Representative Earl Blumenauer had the following to say:
“Following the official resignation of Ms. Leonhart as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, I encourage the President to use this as an opportunity to fill this important role with someone who understands the outdated federal approach to marijuana isn’t working. The American public has moved on. Most now feel marijuana should be legalized. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized the adult use of marijuana, and more than two-thirds of Americans live in a state that has legalized some form of medical marijuana. The President himself has said we have bigger fish to fry than going after state-legal marijuana users. I would urge him to put in place a DEA Administrator who will reflect his Administration’s position and can be a partner in creating a more workable system of marijuana laws.”
When news broke of the story, anti-marijuana crusader Kevin Sabet had the following to say, via Twitter (thanks to Tom Angell for getting a picture of the tweet!):
Of course, it didn’t take long for Kevin Sabet to be proven wrong, as virtually every major media outlet on the planet covered the story. Michele Leonhart is indeed stepping down, and Kevin Sabet doesn’t know what he’s talking about, which shocked no one of course. Tom Angell took the opportunity to nominate Neill Franklin on Twitter as the next head of the DEA. Neill Franklin of course is the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and is one of my heroes. Neill responded with the following on Twitter:
— Neill Franklin (@NeillFranklin) April 21, 2015
Dan Riffle from the Marijuana Policy Project had quite possibly my favorite tweet of the day, which can be seen below:
Stop asking who Obama will appoint to replace Leonhart. Start asking why the DEA is even necessary.
— Dan Riffle (@DanRiffle) April 21, 2015
Mr. Riffle always has insightful things to say. I’m curious to see where things go from here. The DEA is a complete waste of money, and does so much more harm than good that it’s hard to put into words. I hope this is a turning point in federal drug enforcement policy. The drug war has failed, the DEA has failed, and it’s beyond time for a federal drug policy paradigm shift.