Michele Leonhart is the current administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a lovely little organization that gets it's kicks from raiding and prosecuting peaceful potsmokers, growers and medical marijuana patients. And she didn't make it to the top for no reason.
Leonhart has been campaigning against medical marijuana for years and doesn't hold a very friendly view toward pot smokers.
When Leonhart first took up her post at the DEA she was asked by Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama whether or not she planned to fight against marijuana legalization.
“I have seen what marijuana use has done to young people, I have seen the abuse, I have seen what it’s done to families. It’s bad. If confirmed as administrator, we would continue to enforce the federal drug laws," she answered.
In fact Leonhart has decided to all-out ignore a 2009 Justice Department memo that says raids on legitimate medical marijuana dispensaries and patients should be the government's lowest priority and has continued to raid dispensaries in every medical marijuana state.
When asked about full, across-the-board legalization Leonhart said:
Drugs have, in fact, never been legalized in Alaska and many countries that have decriminalized drugs have shown positive effects, most notably Portugal. The country was the first in Europe to completely remove penalties for personal drug use and studies have show a decline in teen drug use and HIV infection rates and the number of deaths due to hard drugs such as heroine have dropped by nearly half.
Sounds like the program was a huge failure, right Ms. Leonhart?
Now the DEA is on the hot seat again after a group of marijuana legalization advocates got together and sued the federal government over the DEA's refusal to act on a petition to re-schedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning they would acknowledge that the drug does indeed have medical uses.
The petition was filed with the DEA nine years ago and still no action has been taken. And this isn't the first time the DEA has ignored the issue. A similar petition filed in the early 1970s sat in the DEA's files for 22 years before being rejected.
Ms. Leonhart, I assure that marijuana DOES have legitimate medical uses. It should be quite obvious for anyone who isn't blinded by pre-conceived notions. We all know marijuana has the power to dramatically help some very sick patients, yet you refuse to act, and that's why you're The Chronicle's Douchebag of the Week.