The Hill.com: “Obama’s Pick To Head DEA Needs To Answer Some Tough Questions”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 15, 2010

    On Friday we informed you that the United States Senate Judiciary would begin confirmation hearings this week on Michele Leonhart, the President’s nominee to direct the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The hearings are scheduled to begin this Wednesday, November 17.

    As I write today on the website of the Washington, DC politico newspaper The Hill, we must demand that the Senate ask Ms. Leonhart tough questions regarding her past record and her intentions moving forward.

    Obama’s pick to head DEA needs to answer some tough questions
    via The Hill

    [excerpt] Ms. Leonhart’s actions and ambitions are incompatible with state laws, public opinion, and with the policies of this administration. At a minimum, Senators should ask Ms. Leonhart specific questions regarding her past record and her intentions moving forward. These questions ought to include:

    * What are your plans for bridging the growing divide between state and federal law concerning the use of marijuana for medical purposes?

    * How has the DEA changed its policies and practices to ensure compliance with the 2009 Department of Justice memo calling on federal law enforcement to no longer target individuals who are in compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states?

    * When will the DEA respond to a 2002 petition to hold hearings on the rescheduling of marijuana, as were called for by the American Medical Association?

    Failure of the Senate to engage in a probing dialogue with Ms. Leonhart regarding these matters will continue to give the appearance that Congress and this administration are willing to place politics above science. This administration has specifically pledged to end this practice. It can begin doing so by demanding careful consideration be given to Michele Leonhart’s nomination.

    The Hill is the paper of record on Capitol Hill, so please click here to read my entire commentary and leave respectful feedback. Then please contact your U.S. Senator directly. For your convenience, a pre-written letter will be e-mailed to your member of the U.S. Senate when you click here. You can also call your U.S. Senate office and leave a short message by going here.

    19 responses to “The Hill.com: “Obama’s Pick To Head DEA Needs To Answer Some Tough Questions””

    1. Patricia says:

      Here’s one more question for Leonhart:

      Exactly how many murders in Mexico determines the difference between a signpost to success and a signpost to failure?

    2. Sorry to inform you but all “government” is willing to play politics with people’s lives. It’s what they do, it’s not exclusive to one political party either.

      I commend you for trying and appreciate the effort to get questions answered from our ahem “leaders. I’m just a bit cynical that anyone in the DEA will act in a rational manner when their paycheck relies on them perpetuating the scam. I say this in all sincerity, fuck the DEA. They are the source of much misery in the world and the whole organization needs to be abolished.

    3. You say , contact your U.S. Senator ? The problem is that most everyone ( particularly Senators ) have recieved huge donations from Drug , Oil , Tobacco & Alcohol Companies & the reason why is to ” bribe ” them ( and that’s exactly what it is ) to keep Marijuana illegal .
      Don’t believe me ? Just go to ” Maplight.org ” type in any Senator’s name and see just how much they recieved from these Corporations .

    4. David762 says:

      A judge, similarly facing a conflict of interest, may recluse him or herself, with another judge ready and willing to take their place. An administrator or executive with a similar conflict of interest has no such option — they are the final arbiter and executor of their appointed tasks. And like a general, many lives and livelihoods are at risk with a wrongful decision.

      The time to question the ability of an administrator to perform appointed tasks is before they are appointed to that position of power, and not after.

    5. Excellent job. I spent some time informing people in Wisconsin and the midwest on the importance of this issue and acting now!

    6. dirty dirty says:

      look, i hope to do my part, whaterver it’s worth for the cause, ya know. but this lady won’t, doesn’t, can’t listen to us, nor care what we think. people like this woman is STUCK in one frame of mind. it’s a sad story but true. until they denounce all of there previous racial slurs and slander from the stupid ass reefer madness, you can’t take these people serious! anslinger said, and i’m paraphrasing, ” smoking weed makes a black man feel he is as good as a white man”. until they denounce these highly stupid, racial, and propaganda style remarks how can we take them serious? they are worse than the KKK. our own govnmt that supposedly supports our civil rights won’t denounce that shit? seriously that’s a question i want that woman, leonhardt to answer, Why haven’t you denounced ALL these racist slurs that you have been hanging on too ALL these years.

    7. bud says:

      I think Obama is scared. The DEA has more power than we’d all like to admit. Obama doesn’t want to end up like JFK so he’s doing what they’re telling him to do.

    8. Rebel with a Cause says:

      Now! Here is a very big threat to cannabis! Very, very big!

    9. Nic says:

      TODAY – Tuesday, November 16 – is National Call-In Day: If you are concerned about America’s incarceration problem, please take a few minutes to call key senators who are in a position to do something about it. Tell Senate leadership to support the National Criminal Justice Commission Act!

      In 2009, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, S. 714 and H.R. 5143, which will create a bipartisan commission to complete a comprehensive review of the national criminal justice system, identify effective criminal justice policies and make recommendations for much-needed reform.
      The House of Representatives and the Senate Judiciary Committee have passed the bill, and 39 senators have co-sponsored it, but this important legislation still awaits final passage during the last few weeks of the Congressional session. If the National Criminal Justice Commission Act does not pass now, the whole process will have to be repeated in 2011.

      LEAP believes this bill will help us achieve our goal of legalization and regulation, as Senator Webb has said that discussing the legalization of drugs should be on the table for the commission. Drug prohibition directly impacts the problem of prison overcrowding by incarcerating nonviolent offenders, and America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. As a supporter of LEAP, please urge Senate leadership to pass this important legislation!


      Please call the following Senators TODAY, November 16, to ask them to prioritize and support Senate passage of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, S. 714:

      –Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), 202-224-3542

      –Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 202-224-3135

      –YOUR Senate representatives. To find contact information for the Senators representing your state, please call 202-224-3121


      “I am calling to ask Senator _________ to prioritize and support immediate Senate passage of S. 714, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, because the proposed commission would conduct a comprehensive national review of the efficacy of criminal justice policies in the United States and offer recommendations for reform that would improve public safety, governement accountability, cost effectiveness, and overall fairness in the implementation of the criminal justice system.”

      Thank you for your support of this important effort!

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    10. somedood says:

      Praying you fall over from heart attack leonhart… It is less than you deserve but it will do…