Marijuana Advocates Thrilled At DEA Administrator’s Expected Resignation
Amid scandal over drug cartel-funded sex parties, Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele M. Leonhart is expected to resign, as of Tuesday. Marijuana advocates are thrilled at the news.
During her tenure, Leonhart struck back against the Obama administration for taking a lax position on marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado in 2012, The New York Times reports. In a hearing on Capitol Hill that same year, she refused to answer whether marijuana was less dangerous than other drugs like cocaine and heroin.
“All illegal drugs are bad,” she stated firmly.
“Leonhart’s tenure at DEA was shameful,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “From interfering with voter-approved state marijuana laws to mismanaging broader agency scandals, it’s long been time for her to go. This vacancy is an opportunity for President Obama to nominate someone who recognizes and respects that the war on drugs — particularly when it comes to marijuana — is winding down. Hopefully he’ll pick someone who is prepared to at least support rescheduling marijuana to a more scientifically appropriate category.”
When Obama told The New Yorker that marijuana is safer than alcohol, Leonhart was quick to criticize his comments. She also stated that the worst day of her law enforcement career was when a flag made of hemp flew above the U.S. Capitol Building. What’s more, Leonhart overruled an administrative law judge at the DEA, who argued that the National Institute on Drug Abuse should lose its monopoly on the marijuana supply for research, in order to benefit the public.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, also hopes that the Obama administration will tap a new head who is more interested in keeping step with Obama’s drug priorities, which clearly favor medical marijuana and a hands-off approach to state legalization. (RELATED: Breaking: Obama Reiterates Enthusiastic Support Of Medical Marijuana)
Last year, MPP called for Leonhart’s resignation on Change.org. The petition received 46,000 signatures.
“While most of the country has been progressing in its views on marijuana policy, Ms. Leonhart has maintained a mindset straight out of the 1930s. Hopefully her resignation will mark the end of the ‘Reefer Madness’ era at the DEA,” Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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