DEA pretends not to be involved in U.S. marijuana enforcement

I found this mildly interesting. DEA director Michele Leonhart is testifying before Congress today on the DEA budget. I took a look at her prepared remarks, and was struck by the lack of any reference to what is going on in the United States regarding cannabis.

There were three references to marijuana in her speech: a reference to the various kinds of drugs seized in Mexico; a reference to non-medical prescription drug use being second only to marijuana; and a reference to synthetic cannabinoids.

Nothing about medical marijuana. Nothing about marijuana legalization efforts. Nothing about Colorado or Washington. Absolute silence.

Wonder how much of this is about the White House still not wanting to discuss legalization, and how much from the DEA recognizing that to discuss domestic marijuana today is akin to opening the discussion about the future relevance of the DEA.

If anyone watches the testimony, I’d be interested to hear how the questioning went.

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57 Responses to DEA pretends not to be involved in U.S. marijuana enforcement

  1. claygooding says:

    I would expect them to avoid what they are actually spending the biggest end of their budget on,,any sign of a wound and the sharks will frenzy on their budget.

  2. crut says:

    Video is up on c-span:

    Almost 3 hours long…

  3. allan says:

    speaking of comedy… RIP in to a real comedian, Jonathan Winters…

  4. allan says:

    Just a quick guess here, but I just GoogleNewsed Leonhart congress and ya know what? Not a single mention in the last month until Pete’s post. hmmm… (say many of the voices in my head) isn’t it strange that not even the most informed in the dpr movement made no mention of today’s hearing? Stealth drug policy?

    Here’s the first story up, US says $2.8 billion in drug assets seized last year

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Now is that a real $2.8 billion or is that a “street value” of $2.8 billion?

      Government agents today announced the seizure of 2,480 $100 bills from a drug dealers home with a street value of $2.48 million. “Special” agent Joe Isuzu explained that “street value” is calculated using a proprietary algorithm to account for the known habit of drug dealers for dividing currency into “nickles, dimes, and quarters” which raises the value, as well as “cutting” their currency with counterfeit coins in those denominations and others sometimes even adding counterfeit currency. Agent Isuzu said, “A multiple of 10 is a “conservative” valuation. “Believe me America, we’re making a profit fighting the war on substances on the naughty lists. This money is probably worth closer to $4 million and we only spent $1.2 million in ‘costs’ to return that value to the Treasury.”

  5. divadab says:

    I just started watching the feed and almost puked at the ass=kissing Leonhart got from the Chair and Vice Chair.

    This is such a bullshit exercise in lies to preserve jobs for the boys it makes me physically sick. Working on my taxes and it makes it all the harder to pay my taxes when I know it goes to these filthy liars.

    • Plant Down Babylon says:

      What are taxes?

      • divadab says:

        Good point, Mr. under-the-radar.

        • Beenthere Donethat Gotthetshirt says:


          How do you under the radar people get credit? No access to OPM would cost me way more than I pay out. Also Uncle Sam is my business partner and you don’t make more money by stiffing your business partner. It doesn’t matter if you think he’s an asshole or don’t like how he squanders his own money. I’d like to suggest that you guys consider the likely reality that you’re stepping over dollars in order to pick up dimes.

        • allan says:


          the older I get the more I see less is better.

    • Windy says:

      Actually, not one penny of your taxes goes to pay those people or for their policies, they are paid with money “borrowed” from the fed, and every penny collected by the fed gov in taxes goes to pay the interest payments on that “borrowed” money. Additionally, the fed gets the money to “lend” to the fed gov by printing it, and every new dollar they print causes the value of the dollars in your pocket/bank account to decrease, making it so that the groceries, clothing, etc. that you buy this year will take more of those dollars than it took last year to buy those same items.

      • divadab says:

        Windy – this: “every penny collected by the fed gov in taxes goes to pay the interest payments on that “borrowed” money” is factually incorrect.
        In fiscal 2012:
        Total federal government tax receipts were $2.5 trillion.
        Total federal spending was about $3.5 trillion, of which interest was 223 billion.

        The deficit, which is the difference between tax revenues and government spending, is $1 trillion! Financed by borrowing.

        Incidentally, $1 trillion is about the amount spent on invading and occupying Iraq. Great investment in stupidity and waste, eh?


        • Windy says:

          Thanks for the correction. But the total the fed gov receives in revenue does not come only from the income taxes we pay as individuals to the fed gov, there are many more sources of revenue which the fed gov receives, perhaps that is where the difference in our figures lies?

        • divadab says:

          @WIndy – see the link for the other sources of revenue. I included all fed revenues.

          Where we differ is conceptually – you have a correct idea of how the fed and the treasury work (which are a big part of the government, but only part), but they are not the whole picture. The government would crash if it was not supported by the real economy – which they tax. They can only print money for so long before they create devaluation in the currency. That this hasn;t happened in any great way (inflation is still low despite doubling the money supply in 2008) shows how strong deflationary pressures are in the real economy.

          But running trillion dollar deficits can and will not continue for long.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          Assuming a population of 315 million, $223 billion in interest is $707.93 for every man, woman and child that lives in the U.S.

          Contrary to popular belief the Fed has done a remarkably good job managing the money supply. They simply are not “printing money.” When a government does that interest rates don’t fall to zero, and no the government can’t control but only influence interest rates. Have you ever seen a $100 trillion bill? That’s what happens when a government actually prints money indiscriminately. You don’t get interest rates near zero.

          It wouldn’t take all that much of a bump in interest rates to raise that figure to $1 trillion a year or more. Say, does that interest figure include the so called private debt in the Federal 401(k) loan Socialist Security “Trust” Fund? You know, the filing cabinet in West Virginia stuffed with official IOUs?


          Tip of the pin divadab. Not many people grasp the reality of the Country’s deflationary spiral.

        • divadab says:

          @Duncan – actually the deficit figures the government puts out are falsified. How? Because they don;t follow proper accounting rules for fund accounting. Thee Social Security fund and the Medicare fund should be acocunted for separately from general operations. They started combining them (i.e. producing fraudulent accounting) during the JOhnson administration, when SSI was in huge surplus, presumably to hide the cost of the Vietnam war from the sheeple.

          NOw that the government’s debt to SSI has come due, they are trying to reduce the amount they need to pay back to all of us who paid into it.

          SO the trillion dollar deficit includes a big chunk that it shouldn;t – the amounts due to the SSI fund.

          Now these fraudsters would throw us citizens in jail for not following their accounting rules- you know, do as I say, not as I do! But they think the rules don;t apply to their corrupt privileged asses.

          Isn;t it nice to know that our rulers are as greedy and corrupt as to commit accounting fraud?

  6. Pingback: DEA pretends not to be involved in U.S. marijuana enforcement » Paul Dzirvinskis

  7. War Vet says:

    Michele reminds me of Disney’s ‘Pinocchio’, as he sings: ‘I’ve got no strings to hold me down’. I feel sorry for the DEA . . . they’ve always wanted to be real boys and real girls. Maybe a combination of Mexico, Colorado, Washington and Afghanistan will be the big giant whale that makes them grow up and realize just how childish they all have been.

  8. Jean Valjean says:

    She came across as someone with no authority in her last appearance before congress… like a school girl sitting on an extra cushion to make herself taller as she squirmed. This time they’ve set the camera angle so that it looks up at her in the vain hope that it will give the appearance of gravitas… she’s been promoted way above her ability, a post-turtle like the president who first appointed her, George W.

  9. Ben says:

    It is tempting to think that maybe the administration’s total and complete silence on marijuana since the election is a prelude to some sort of hands-off policy towards WA and CO… But given the past 4.5 years, there’s no reason to give Obama any benefit of the doubt.

  10. Matthew Meyer says:

    The Obama administration has a response to the CO and WA legalization votes, and it’s not just a river in Egypt.

  11. Tony Aroma says:

    I think that’s great! The longer the administration takes to respond to (or even discuss) legalization in CO and WA, the better. In the mean time, the legalization train keeps rolling on. The more momentum it has, the harder it will be to stop.

    And if the Feds plan to use their smash and grab strategy, like they’ve done with mmj, I think they’re going to find it much less effective without help and cooperation of local LEO.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Shhh, it’s a secret so don’t tell even if someone asks: they can’t do squat about the laws implemented pursuant to the votes in favor of A-64 and I-502. The only thing that the Feds have the power to do is enforce their law against people who break Federal law in those two States. I know, I know, there are lots of damfools staring at the horizon and expecting the imminent arrival of the Federal cavalry, swooping in to strike down those laws. So what? There are still a large number of idiots expecting the imminent arrival of the federal cavalry to strike down the 16 year old California Compassionate Use Act.

      • Tony Aroma says:

        True, the Feds can’t do anything IN COURT. If the Feds thought they had a chance of succeeding with a challenge to state marijuana laws in court, they would have tried it long ago. But even if they do send in the cavalry (i.e., DEA storm troopers), and actually arrest and charge someone without help from the locals, no way are they ever going to get a jury in CO or WA to find someone guilty of a marijuana-related crime. If enough people charged with federal marijuana crimes just refused a plea bargain and insisted on a jury trial, the Feds would be overwhelmed with non-winnable cases. The best the Feds can hope for is destroying and/or seizing properties. Profitable, but not great propaganda-wise.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          I think you need to take into account how federal law has stacked the deck against a defendant that demands a jury trial. I’m not even certain that they’re limited to holding the trial in the locality where it occurred. If they can go anywhere in the Federal circuit couldn’t Washington and Colorado defendants be tried in Idaho? To date I’m unaware of anything remotely resembling jury nullification in Federal Court. So far the only real relevance I can see to the States refusing to cooperate is that the Feds just don’t have the resources to actually enforce their law.

        • claygooding says:

          I believe they have to try the case in the Federal District it occurred in but a change of venue would not help the prosecution much.
          There is no way that they could have a trial in the US where the federal government wants their power challenged in court over a vote by the people.
          There are a majority of voters in every state that supports legalization and even if they don’t nullify they may refuse to convict.

        • Windy says:

          clay, a refusal to convict IS nullification.

      • claygooding says:

        a refusal to convict by the entire jury is nullification,a refusal by less is a hung jury and deemed a mistrial.

  12. New in Congress: A marijuana states’ bill of rights

    H.R. 1523, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act

  13. Servetus says:

    Pretending not to be involved in marijuana enforcement? It looks like a retreat to me. The DEA has blinked.

    • primus says:

      Not sure they blinked, might just have been dazzled by the bright light of public interest.

      • Servetus says:

        Still, something once considered rare, public attention and outrage at the drug laws, and at the ONDCP/DEA’s screw-ups, means it’s nearly over for the offending branch of government.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Snakes don’t have eyelids. I think you’ve suffered an optical illusion.

  14. darkcycle says:

    Love that delete….

  15. Mr Ikasheeni says: Feds might be involved in this pipeline of the forfeiture gravy train exploitation!

  16. .. says:

    To see socially-regressive, sanctimonious neanderthals—falsely touting church, God, nationalism, or patriotism—denigrate, bully, threaten, and murder the ill and dying for choosing to exercise their right to self-medicate with one of God’s most medically efficacious plants.

    To see our prisons filled to budget-busting capacity on the false pretense of protecting people from themselves.

    To see the selective targeting and destruction of African-American families and African-American communities.

    To see the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans destroyed or severely disrupted.

    To see our society spiral downwards into a dark abyss, while shady corporate entities exponentially enrich themselves.

    These are the dimensions of prohibition; which are terrifying and unconscionable; which are morally repugnant.

    Prohibition is a nasty business.

    Prohibition is about violence.

    Prohibition is about suffering.

    • War Vet says:

      And to see the bloody combat that drug money purchases in lands out in the Middle East. To see large steel towers collapse in our cities because drug money has the special talent of buying airline tickets and supporting the livelihoods of people for over a year. The War on Drugs means we in America have no legal or ethical or moral right to keep citizens from Mexico from immigrating illegally in this country. When the largest war in North America since 1865 is created by our very own policy, we discovered that the words, Illegal Immigrant does not exist, nor do any of our citizens have the right to its definition when so many people just want to flee north to save their lives. Maybe that’s what they called Jews fleeing Germany and Europe during WWII: Illegal Immigrants.

  17. TINMA says:

    Silence is golden.

  18. Mick Savage says:

    DOJ served secret subpoena on Oregon agency managing mmj; only found thru public court files – DOJ put gag order into effect also.

    Gosh, duz this mean place holder and BO are lying tools – again?

    • Windy says:

      Included in that is the list of names of registered MMJ patients. How do you suppose they will be using that info? I’m glad WA doesn’t keep that kind of info.

      • darkcycle says:

        I’ll second that!

        • Duncan20903 says:


          Are you going to be at home on the 20th or will you be overseas? I’m very tempted to travel to Seattle or Denver because I think the celebration is going to be stunning this year.

        • darkcycle says:

          I’ll be here, Duncan. I suppose I should go ahead and make my announcement. Tesfa will be home Friday. That’s right, this nearly four year oddessy has come to an end. My second adopted son will be at home by the end of the week. Yayy!
          And Duncan old buddy, you make it here and I’ll be around for sure. You’re always welcome. The Hempfest people are planning a 4:20 party to end all 4:20’s. I believe they have a warehouse rented for the gig.

  19. Eridani says:

    I probably should read the whole thing, but I stopped after “The Honorable Michele Lionhart.”

    • War Vet says:

      We understand. Such description of her is a lie. To not watch her based on those words is like boycotting a church or university that advertises that ‘Degenerate races are welcomed’ to attend. ICP, Twizted and Eazy-E offer more family friendly conversation than anything coming from the DEA. One day, we’ll place such speeches and literature coming from the DEA up on the shelves that Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ reside on. She’ll become a villain just like George Custer when history is done with her like the little human rights violating whore she is . . . I heard rumor that she dresses up like Eva Braun and enjoys having herself filmed with old black and white cameras of her in some large mansion up in the woods and mountains.

  20. allan says:

    If we were to round up every kid in Sunflower County who smoked marijuana, we wouldn’t have enough left to hold Sunday school.

    – C.O. Sessums Jr., president of the Mississippi Sheriffs Association

    from Neil Pierce, Poll breaks for legalized marijuana: What happens now?

  21. Opiophiliac says:

    Police Chief eats his daughter’s weed cake

    An Ohio police chief woke up very hungry a few weeks ago. So he went to the kitchen and ate all of his daughter’s cake. “I got up in the morning and I ate it. The entire thing,” he told reporters. He then began to feel… strange.

    “All I can describe it as is that it was the worst feeling in the world,” he said. “I thought I was dying.”

    Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier then got into his car and drove to the police station, where he was met by his fellow officers and taken to the hospital, where he explained to doctors that “it wasn’t getting any better. I felt like I was out of my mind.”

    Finally his daughter revealed that the cake was “laced” with cannabis oil, and that Berkemeier was just insanely high. Doctors then gave him a sedative. “It was probably the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life,” the police chief reflected.

    Moral of the story: don’t eat your daughter’s cake, dude! And even if you want some, because you know, it is your house, and you are the police chief, it doesn’t mean you should eat the whole thing. Geez. Manners.

    • Nunavut Tripper says:

      “Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier then got into his car and drove to the police station, where he was met by his fellow officers and taken to the hospital, where he explained to doctors that “it wasn’t getting any better. I felt like I was out of my mind.”

      I think Chief Berkemeier should not have drove his car to the station with a headful of brownies. I thought he was so impaired that he thought he was going to die.


      • War Vet says:

        Of course, this just goes to show that pot brownies are safer to drive on than alcohol or many of our prescription pills . . . cell phones and lack of sleep even.

    • Knee deep in philosophical wax says:


      Don’t you just love the hypocrisy, the irony, the humanity?

      Police chief drives while stoned out of his gourd to the police station where he is not arrested for DUI-m.

      At the ER their solution is to give him drugs.

      I suppose his daughter might be arrested after a couple of days, but if she isn’t, or not on a felony poisoning charge as well as possession of cannabis derivatives and manufacturing it, perhaps even reckless endangerment…

      No, I don’t want to see any of those things happen. Well except for the girl getting arrested for assault with a friendly weapon. OK, OK they’d call it assault with a deadly weapon. If so her defense would be plain and simple: it ain’t deadly. But she’d have to prove it.

      Oh well I’ve been daydreaming again. Carry on.

  22. allan says:

    aaah… nothing like a dose of Bill O’Reilly on a Sunday morn:

    ‘Pinheads’ use fallacious drug legalization rationale

  23. allan says:

    how does darkcycle’s comment keep dropping to the bottom? spooky…

  24. Marijuana Policy And Presidential Leadership: How To Avoid A Federal-State Train Wreck

    Good advice to the Government, and worth a read (both appendix’s too)

    • Duncan20903 says:


      The Brooking Institute probably won’t mean much to the prohibasites and their sycophants. Just another ring of liberal lunatic clowns trying to “dumb down” America so really they’re just preaching to the choir. But who knows, miracles do happen!

      Regardless, it’s still better than a sharp stick in the eye.

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