“DEA Bad Girl Michele Leonhart”
The new nominee for Deputy Administrator of the DEA is a gung-ho drug warrior with questionable ties to a discredited super-snitch.
The Bush administration wants to head up the Drug Enforcement Agency with two women for the first time in the history of the agency.
The Senate has already confirmed Karen Tandy as DEA administrator by unanimous consent in a late-night session last Thursday. As Jason Vest reported in A New Hard-Liner at the DEA, Tandy has a history of “prosecutorial overzealousness” and “ignorance of key drug policy studies.”
Now President Bush has announced his intention to nominate Michele M. Leonhart, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Los Angeles Division, for the position of Deputy Administrator.
Leonhart has already established herself as another hard-liner who will not be popular in the drug reform community.
In June of 2001, she blasted ecstasy use at raves with her statement that “some of the dances in the desert are no longer just dances, they’re like violent crack houses set to music.”
She has also been a visible part of the DEA’s attacks on California’s medical marijuana laws. On January 9, 1998, when U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi announced in a press conference that the government would take action against California medical marijuana clubs (arguably the start of the DEA’s current war against the sick), Leonhart was standing at his side.
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