US Rep. Jared Polis from Colorado has spoken at NORML Conference and been very supportive of the medical marijuana community. Recently, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart was testifying before a House committee when Rep. Polis tried to just get her to answer some simple questions about the harms of marijuana relative to other illegal drugs. Administrator Leonhart dodges his questions eleven times in the course of the testimony.
Remember that Leonhart was the Acting DEA Administrator under George W. Bush. She infamously declared the slaughter of tens of thousands of Mexicans in our Prohibition War a “signpost of success” in our fight against ruthless drug traffickers, who were acting like “caged animals”. Statements like this got her permanently appointed to the DEA Administrator position by President Obama.
So long as our federal drug policy is written by people like Gil Kerlikowske, who figures that we can’t control legal Oxycontin, so we shouldn’t legalize marijuana, and enforced by Michele Leonhart, who can’t even admit that marijuana is less harmful than methamphetamine, we can’t expect any rational discourse at the federal level.