The people are in favor of marijuana. Medical cannabis is legal in twenty states. Recreational weed is legal in two. 58 percent of Americans say it should be legalized nationwide and 75 percent predict that it will happen soon. Even President Obama has come out saying he smoked weed and that pot is as dangerous as alcohol. So why did the head of the DEA just vow to ramp up the fight against legalization? Self-preservation.
According to the Huff Post, Republican Congressman Frank Wolf from Virginia spoke before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday. He said that he thought attorney general Eric Holder would regret his decision to allow the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado. “When he looks back on it and sees the devastation it will have on this country, he will live to regret it,” Wolf predicted.
He then asked DEA chief Michele Leonhart if agents have been feeling demoralized as a result of legalization. “Actually, it makes us fight harder,” she responded. She also implied that voters in Colorado had been misled about the benefits of legalizing marijuana. She mustn’t have realized that Colorado raised $3.5 million from its burgeoning marijuana industry in January or noticed February’s Quinnipiac poll indicating 58% of Colorado citizens support the state’s legalization law.
She also tried to use the tightening marijuana laws in the Netherlands to further her argument. “We should’ve learned from that and never gone forward with what we’ve seen in this country,” she said.
It’s time to lose Leonhart
In a statement, Dan Riffle the director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) wrote, “Publicly criticizing and questioning the competence of your supervisor would get anyone fired in the private sector.” He added, “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.”
Leonhart’s salary, like her colleagues in the DEA and law enforcement in general, are completely dependent on funds allocated to them for the express purpose of marijuana interdiction. Legalizing weed will lead to large budget cuts and layoffs—Leonhart knows this. She also knows that legalization will establish for the historical record that marijuana prohibition was a moral, political, economic and medical disaster—proving her work to be pointless and counterproductive.
It’s time for Leonhart to go away—sign the MPP’s petition to get her fired right now. She and her cronies have been flagrantly acting against public interest for too long. Rather than spouting baseless propaganda, lying liars like Leonhart should be thankful that they’re not facing prosecution themselves for the immense human suffering their wrong-headed persecution of marijuana users and growers has caused.
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