Marijuana Reform Community Fires Back at Ex-DEA Chiefs

Marijuana Reform Community Fires Back at Ex-DEA Chiefs

Former DEA Heads Urge Justice Department to Block Marijuana Regulation Implementation in Colorado and Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Eight former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a joint statement Tuesday, calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent Colorado and Washington from creating regulations for businesses to cultivate and sell marijuana to adults in accordance with laws adopted by voters in November.

The statements were issued via a national anti-marijuana advocacy organization one day prior to Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“It is not surprising that these ex-heads of the marijuana prohibition industry are taking action to maintain the policies that kept them and their colleagues in business for so long,” said  Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“Their desire to keep marijuana sales in an underground market favors the drug cartels, whereas the laws approved in Colorado and Washington favor legitimate, tax-paying businesses. Marijuana prohibition has failed, and voters are ready to move on and adopt a more sensible approach. It’s time for these former marijuana prohibitionists to move on too.”

The ex-DEA directors sent a similar letter to Holder back in September, urging him to speak out against the marijuana legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington, as he had done before the California legalization initiative in October 2010.

The White House and attorney general chose instead to remain silent, allowing citizens in those states to vote without the threat of federal obstruction.  Both initiatives won with approximately 55% of the vote, exceeding President Obama’s margin of victory in Colorado as well as the margins of victory by the candidates for governor and attorney general in Washington State.

“The former DEA chiefs’ statement can best be seen as a self-interested plea to validate the costly and failed policies they championed but that Americans are now rejecting at the ballot box,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

“They obviously find it hard to admit that – at least with respect to marijuana – their legacy will be much the same as a previous generation of agents who once worked for the federal Bureau of Prohibition enforcing the nation’s alcohol prohibition laws.”

State officials, citizens and activists remain hopeful that the Obama administration will do its best to allow the two states to implement the new laws responsibly.

In December, President Obama commented on the marijuana legalization votes in Colorado and Washington – framing the conflict between federal and state law as a question to be resolved and stating that people who use marijuana in states that have legalized it should not be a “top priority” for federal law enforcement.

“President Obama said in December that we need to have a discussion about how to reconcile state and federal marijuana laws. He did so because he understands that the American people, starting with the voters in Colorado and Washington, are ready to put the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in the past,” said Steve Fox, national political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“As states take the lead on reform, the federal government should work with the states, not against them. The Cold War-like mentality demonstrated by the former DEA heads is as outdated as the Cold War itself.”

  • firetheliberals

    If we can’t get a tour of the white house because of sequester, why should the DEA not get hit. How about we fire 2/3 of the DEA since that is how much resource they commit to weed prohibition…

    • Jose

      Get rid of 3/3 of them. People who want to use heroin, etc. will use it, the majority of people won’t whether we spend $trillions or not.

  • Pingback: Legalization advocates criticize ex-DEA chiefs for call to nullify Colo., Wash … – Newser | Medical Marijuana News()

  • Raymond Tokareff

    WE, as a nation, can not afford the “War on Drugs”! And No one in their
    right mind would keep doing the same thing over and over with little or
    no results! No one except for the “DEA” and crazy people! Do we even
    hear a whisper? Drug laws are enforced morality; on a victimless crime
    (to have marijuana on their person)! What we need is Government
    Employees that can think with out some one in the shadows telling them
    what to do. To say that the “Vote of the People ” is to be trumped by
    laws that have their roots in bigotry and corporate manipulation is High

  • Pablo_si

    DEA is a cartel. Why this organisation is still legal is beyond me…

    • Mike

      You almost have that right…

      DEA is THE cartel.

      After all, without the DEA acting as a price support mechanism, it would drastically cut into the profits of the drug cartels and subject them to regulation and real competition to the benefit of the consumer and the public.

  • brad

    they just want to protect their overpaid jobs. legalize it!

  • Pingback: US, International Drug Warriors Attack State Marijuana Legalization()

  • whatever

    We don’t need to have a “discussion” about the Constitution’s Supremacy clause. The framers of the Constitution have already done it. The President can reschedule cannabis without congressional approval. How about one of those “hard decisions” that is allowed under the Constitution the way it is now instead of passing the buck suggesting we talk talk and talk about a solution that would require a Constitutional amendment? For heck’s sake.

  • Neil, of Pennsylvania

    The DEA is a waste of money while legalizing cannabis is a source of revenue and its taxing will benefit everyone in a community, whether or not they use the drug.

  • dave

    Buy bitcoins and take the power away from government

  • Happy Bud

    I’m so glade that people are coming to their senses about this war on drugs! Look at Portugal where addiction is down by 50% after ten years on complete legalization. How is that even possible? They spend way less money to get addicts and families professional help, verses putting them into jail. Many in the DEA said that addiction would sky rocket and that this action would ruin the entire country.
    Of course they would fight to keep their jobs, they don’t know how to help addicts. ALL THAT THEY KNOW IS HOW TO PUT THEM INTO PRISON. AT ANY COST!

  • neil jiohu

    Is there anyone wanna match with soldiers? Uniformedmate. com.It is the worlds largest military and armed forces community and this site online with over 4 million members.

  • Andrew

    The DEA is pretty well useless, attacking plants that grow freely out of the ground! You gonna take my oak trees next? Maybe you wanna analyze my front lawn, might be dangerous, it grows just like Marijuana, naturally from the ground, with no altercations given from man. Marijuana isn’t made in a lab like meth is. However, the synthetic weed is made in labs, but what the god damn DEA doesn’t want to admit to is, they caused all of this. If marijuana were legal, the synthetic stuff would not be popular, if even created. Get a clue

  • b mc,

    If they legalize weed the dea will have to actually work you cant find kilos of cocaine growing in fields or woods weed is easy pickins for them there lazy f***s

  • Pingback: Marijuana Reform Community Fires Back at Ex-DEA Chiefs – The Daily Chronic | Medical Marijuana Denver Colorado()