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March 2006
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DEA’s Karen Tandy spreads it pretty deep

Via Tom and Dare Generation.
DEA head Karen Tandy responded to the Washington Post’s piece on Marc Emery with this letter.

A Drug Dealer’s Toll on Americans

Wednesday, March 29, 2006; Page A18

Marc Emery, who distributed millions of marijuana seeds throughout the country, admits the accuracy of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s charges against him, but he denies harming Americans [“High Crimes, or a Tokin’ Figure?” Style, March 18].
Like all dealers, Mr. Emery turns a blind eye to marijuana’s victims — people like Victoria Rogers, a mother driving with her children when she was killed by a marijuana-intoxicated motorist.
Marijuana feeds thousands of addictions — so many that more teenagers enter treatment for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined. Thousands of adolescents whose brains are still developing also suffer from depression, memory impairment and diminished judgment because of marijuana. Users destroy their lungs because marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.
That Mr. Emery sees no consequences of his actions does not change the fact that they destroy innocent American lives and that he should and will face legal consequences as a result.
KAREN P. TANDY
Administrator
Drug Enforcement Administration
Arlington

Well, let’s take a closer look.
How about “Victoria Rogers… killed by a marijuana-intoxicated motorist.” I’ve seen this one used before, and the online record is a little sketchy. But what I’ve gathered is that a Thunderbird side-swiped a truck and then hit Victoria Rogers’ car, killing her. Also that there was some confusion or controversy over who was driving at the time of the accident. But let’s take a look at Karen Tandy’s own words from this speech:

Drug use causes tragic accidents on our roads, such as the one in Springfield, Ohio last February. One Saturday morning, a drugged driverÖhigh on a virtual drug cocktail of marijuana, cocaine, and opiatesÖstruck another car and killed a 31-year old mother, Victoria Rogers

Now that’s a little different than a “marijuana-intoxicated motorist,” isn’t it? It’s like saying someone who had a six-pack of beer and a bag of potato chips was a “Ruffles-intoxicated motorist.” Sure, marijuana can cause impairment, but all the studies show that it’s extremely mild and actually increases caution.
Karen Tandy, in her letter, gives us some pretty amazing proof. Here we have the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, with all the resources of the federal government at her disposal, and tons of government records, with staff to sort through them and analyze and compile data. And the best example she can come up with for the danger of marijuana is a complex crash with a driver that had also taken cocaine and opiates? This is practically a neon sign flashing “Marijuana is safe.”
Next part:

Marijuana feeds thousands of addictions — so many that more teenagers enter treatment for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined. Thousands of adolescents whose brains are still developing also suffer from depression, memory impairment and diminished judgment because of marijuana. Users destroy their lungs because marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.

OK, I’ve done these before, but let’s have at them.

…addictions… The Institute of Medicine found that marijuana was not physically addictive and had dependency rates far lower than any other drug, including alcohol and tobacco.
…more teenagers enter treatment… See Treatment Statistics, or The Drug Czar is Lying to You
…depression… See Marijuana users less depressed
… memory impairment… Most intoxicants, including alcohol, can cause some memory impairment. It seems clear that marijuana causes short term memory impairment, but beyond that, there are lots of conflicting studies.
… diminished judgment… This is code for “marijuana will make you have sex” and is much more likely to be true from alcohol.
… cancer causing chemicals… Note that she doesn’t say “marijuana causes cancer.” That’s because it doesn’t. Everything has cancer causing chemicals in it, but it takes a whole lot of complex things to happen for cancer to occur. And no study has yet been able to find any causal link between marijuana and cancer. Zero.

Karen Tandy is just continuing to use the standard tired, discredited propaganda.
Also, don’t forget that when the DEA told their subordinates (the Canadian police) to arrest Marc, Karen bragged about how his arrest would cut down on funding for the legalization movement:

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.

And of course, it’s so appropriate in our democracy to have government agencies gloating about cracking down on political speech.