Senate Scheduled To Vote Next Week Obama’s Drug Warrior Nominee, Michele Leonhart

The National Journal reports that the United States Senate Judiciary will decide next week on the nomination of Michele Leonhart to head the Drug Enforcement Administration. NORML, along with numerous other groups, have opposed this nomination — and we continue to urge the Senate to reject Ms. Leonhart for this high ranking federal position.

DEA Nomination on Track in the Senate Despite Opposition
via The National Journal

[excerpt] After a seven-month wait, the Senate Judiciary Committee has set a November 17 hearing on the nomination of Michele Leonhart as Drug Enforcement Administration chief.

Groups advocating for medicinal marijuana have waged a spirited campaign to derail Leonhart’s confirmation. In a July letter to President Obama, several pro-marijuana groups and liberal organizations, such as FireDogLake and the 10th Amendment Center, accused Leonhart, a Bush administration holdover who is serving as DEA’s acting administrator, of ignoring an October 2009 Justice Department directive urging federal authorities not to waste government time and resources “on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws.”

President Obama offered a similar view while campaigning in 2008.

Though the number of DEA raids on medicinal marijuana growers has dropped, the agency has carried out dozens since the directive was issued. [Author’s Note: Read about one of the federal government’s most recent prosecutions here.] The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and other groups accuse Leonhart of continuing a policy she helped oversee while a top DEA deputy under Bush.

Leonhart has also irked marijuana advocates by overruling a DEA law judge’s ruling giving a University of Massachusetts professor, Lyle Craker, a license to grow marijuana for FDA-approved research. Critics noted that the ruling leaves intact a decades-old monopoly by the University of Mississippi as the country’s only legal producer of marijuana for medical research. Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss., has funneled millions of dollars in earmarks to the center, housed in a building that bears his name.

Citing such concerns, groups opposed to Leonhart’s confirmation have launched letter-writing campaigns and online petitions calling for her nomination to be withdrawn or rejected, and they have won support in a series of sympathetic editorials this year.

What the groups have not been able to do, however, is get the attention of the White House or the Senate.

In addition to the actions above, Ms. Leonhart has steadfastly neglected to reply to an eight-year old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use, which was supported by NORML and was called for by the American Medical Association and a growing number of states and federal judges.

Further, Ms. Leonhart has publicly called the increasing level of drug prohibition-related violence on the U.S/Mexican border — violence that is now attributed to over 31,000 deaths since December 2006 — as a sign of the “success” of America’s drug war strategies.

“Our view is that the violence we have been seeing is a signpost of the success our very courageous Mexican counterparts are having,” Leonhart told the publication Government Executive in 2009. “The cartels are acting out like caged animals, because they are caged animals.”

Is this really the sort of person we want running the top anti-drug enforcement group in the land?!

Ms. Leonhart’s actions and ambitions are incompatible with common sense marijuana law reform and the stated policies of this administration. Please urge the Senate to reject this nomination. 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 here.

You can also check out this latest post from our allies at Just Say Now: Senate Likely to Approve Obama’s Pot-Hating, Insubordinate DEA Head Next Week.

64 thoughts

  1. For the life of me I can’t understand why people want to be involved in other people’s business so much.

    I remember watching cops run a sting selling 20 sacks of herb to tourist along the wall in Ocean Beach.

    Every time they’d bust some poor sap, they’d take him down the alley to a van where they’d site him a ticket and let him go. Then the cops would run out high fiving each other and patting each other on the backs…

    I try, but I can’t comprehend why someone would act like such a fool. I’m afraid Leonhart is that type of fool.

    I’m really curious as to how she’s going to handle Washington DCs new medical marijuana laws that go into effect on Jan. 1. 2011…

  2. Next!

    They just bring in another corrupt official who can take camera time for the next year, then they’ll be replaced.

    What happened to good ol’ Gil Kuli?cowski?

    [Paul Armentano responds: Gil Kerlikowske is the Drug Czar, or more formally, the director of the White House Office of National Control Policy. It is far more of a figurehead position. Michele Leonhart is nominated to be director of the DEA, which oversees actual drug law enforcement.]

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  4. She’s a bitch. She’ll definitely raid any D.C. cannabis patient facilities. She’s a climber, and it’s the perfect chance for her to suck up and make brownnoser points with the prohibitionist assholes, make more of a name for herself in D.C. Put round the clock surveillance on and law enforcement surrounding the facilities so no patients can get in, constantly, harassing those who do go in when they come out.

    Fuckin’ Bitch!

    It’d be a totally different story if she had a medical problem for which cannabis helped. It’s always different when it’s you and not somebody else.

  5. Wrong ! Cooley is not winning

    (11-12) 17:37 PST Sacramento, Calif. (AP) —

    Democrat Kamala Harris has regained a slight lead over her Republican opponent in the California attorney general’s race.

    The secretary of state’s office said late Friday that Harris, the San Francisco district attorney, leads Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley by 5,576 votes. That represents just a fraction of 1 percent of all votes cast

  6. Anyone ever notice how Obama is either lieing about how he feels on something “Like telling the feds to lay off medical cannabis dispenseries and then turning around and wanting to nominate someone like Michele Leonhart ?? Anything that will destroy this country or damage the economy or take away more and more personal freedoms or whatever he seems to be all for!! He’s the real pos. If any state wants weed legalized they need to start with helping gettign him impeeched ASAP.. He is like a cancer to America and everything it stands for and the freedoms it stands for the people of this nation.. No one should ever be forced to have to do or not do anything as long as it doesn’t harm anyone around you.. That freedom is backed by a higher power and inforced through our Constitution and through the people of America.Screw these asshole Nazis in Washington who think they rule over our lives like a king or queen.. This isn’t fricking England GTF over it!!

  7. It never ceases to amaze me how “wishful thinkers” among the liberal Democrats, progressives, and independents continue to affirm that President Obama is anything more moderate than the Reagan Democrat Republican-lite wannabe that he is.

    If a person can be judged by the company he keeps, then Obama is less a Democrat at all, and far more a Republican. Michelle Leonhart is yet another Republican appointee selected to serve in the Obama administration, along with a double fist-full of corporate lobbyists. I am disappointed, but not surprised …

  8. she signs like zap branagin off futurama. sending wave after wave of his troops to fight the kill bots until there maximum capacity for murder was reached.

  9. Wow, I didn’t even realize it was possible for a person to be in such denial that they could make a statement insinuating that either the U.S. or Mexico is at all, in any way, winning against the cartels. Mexico is basically on the verge of breaking down into a complete narco-state, and shockingly enough that’s apparently winning in some people’s eyes.

    One cannot be on the level of denial and overall disregard for suffering that this woman is on and possibly have any chance whatsoever of being a logical, clearheaded, or capable leader of anything let alone an organization like the DEA.

    I normally don’t make comments like this, but if she thinks that anyone but the cartels are in control in Mexico, I really would like to see her go anywhere on the border of Mexico and tell them all the people scared for their lives about how we’re actually winning. Apparently the cartels are weak and under control, so of course there couldn’t possibly be a chance that she would disappear and never be seen again…at least anywhere but a newspaper headline.

  10. “The number of Customs and Border Protection corruption investigations opened by the inspector-general climbed from 245 in 2006 to more than 770 this year. Corruption cases at its sister agency, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, rose from 66 to more than 220 over the same period. The vast majority of corruption cases involve illegal trafficking of drugs, guns, weapons and cash across the south-western border.”

    Notice the War on the Cartels began in 2006


  11. It is important to note that that border agent ^^^

    Martha Garnica, worked for “La Linea” which is not even the cartel that holds the strongest importation in Juarez. The richest cartels there are the Sinaloa and the Juarez Cartel – the fact that she even got caught might be sign of an inside job by the cartels to cripple their enemy. If not, corruption is more rampant than you could fathom. 80% of the drugs enter this country through Juarez!

  12. FUCK OBAMA, fuck the lies, fuck everything, CIA keeps smuggling cocaine to the US and yet people are still being put away for simple possession, americans, wake up now!!

  13. I hate to say it, but what really needs to happen is some of these drug warriors need to have their own kids busted. I would be completely surprised if none of their kids smoked weed. I would be even more surprised if they didn’t get off even if caught. Maybe our LEAP brothers and sisters should start only arresting white kids from wealthier families, and make the charges stick. I am white, by the way.

    It would be legal in no time.

  14. On the day of 10/8/10 I got arestted by S.A.N.E Drug law infoucement!!! For:
    Manafacture/delievery of Marijuana 4 year floney!!
    Operrating a drug house 2 year floney plus $25,000
    That is so wrong I have a hard time sleeping at night so I smoke Marijuana and also for my head aces.I have very little money to pay for a card and the doctors give me a hard time. I am scared of going to prison over something this stupied!!.I hope NORML help us with this stupied laws!!! I had to bail my self out with a bails man $250.00 on a payment plan,still owe $150.00 on Dec.03,2010 is my next payment.
    Allso I have to pay $1000.00 for my Defance. Life is very hard for me now!!! I wish the law will leave me alone!! and let me grow my own Marijuana!!!
    Friend of all Smokers,
    John C. Maloney

  15. Vote the ass holes out. One at a time or all at once. Soon they will get he message that we are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore. I think they all just need to fire up and chill. What a bunch of loosers

  16. Gaddamit I told everyone of you not to vote for Obama in 2008 and you heckled my words and fuch me ya vote for the scoundrel anyway! Ya I am a republican with liberal social views so I was leery of the dude especially after he was caught fabricating gaddam lies during the 2008 presidential debates that apparently nobody was paying attention too but me.
    Finally we better hope real hard Steve Cooley don’t get the Cal Attorney Gen job when the votes are finally counted unless you like the idea of having a prick like that Joseph M. “Joe” Arpaio mutt from Arizona.

  17. Obama loves wars. Rather than decrease the drug war, like he has pretended to, he helps solidify the status quo. Rather than decrease the Pentagon budget, he INCREASES IT FURTHER PAST BUSH LEVELS. Obviously Obama is the lesser of two evils compared to McCain, Palin or any other neocon fool.. but Obama has proved to be just another neocon lite.

    There is a lot of speculation from the left, right, middle, up and down that Obama is going to start a war with Iran in the second half of his 1st term to garner support after losing legislative options after this last election. I am not sure I am buying into it, but if it happens, please don’t vote for this war mongering fool again, whether it is imperialistic war or the drug war.

  18. Michele Leonhart knows exactly what’s the DEA is all about. She will relentlessly attack and nothing will be able to stop her. President Obama may become the last president.

  19. Is this coming down to a war/revolution between prohibitionists and cannabis supporters? FREE THE WEED—-CANNAPEACE

  20. It’s hard too believe in this day and age we still have freaks like Anslinger still in office–how much longer folk’s???what’s it gonna take??complete big bro??where is bin Ladden or did all u POT haters forget why a war started–why can’t u find him??he never exsisted–or he is the baddest mo fo around!!wake up befor the end too our country comes with all your right’s GONE!!!BIG-BROTHER is alive and well in this country–all we need is more useless folk’s in charge–what happened too we the people???just another peice of HEMP paper too wipe our as@es with???SAD too say the least!!!the U’S. is on the way through the shi@ter

  21. I have already sent a pre-written letter to my state’s two Senators. Their response in so many words was, “thanks for your support and concerns but we kinda like lions-heart (the huntress) way of thinking”.

    Sort of like Obama’s and his Attorney General. Confused messages all away around.

  22. It’s shocking that mass murder and assassination are being portrayed as a benchmark for the success of any American policy.

    But it would be especially tragic if we were to accept mass murder and assassination as a sign of success in our federal policy towards drug abuse, which is a public mental health issue that we now know can be treated without armed violence.

    Leonhart’s proud assertion that mass murder is a sign of success in American drug policy begs the question — has the DEA been doing anything to promote or encourage or even commit any of these “successful” acts themselves?

    If mass murder is what they consider success, then we have to wonder whether they’re taking a more direct role in this “success” than we’re willing to imagine.

    Is there any chance of a federal investigation into this possibility?

    I wouldn’t be asking this question if Leonhart hadn’t sounded so proud and happy about the current shocking, ghastly and ghoulish reality on the ground in Mexico.

    It’s a strange thing for anyone to want to take credit for.

  23. Obama has not exhibited the type of leadership that I thought that he would have in the beginning. I strongly suspect that in the end, he is following the political advice of his paid advisors. With a now Republican House, Obama has most probably had to make some clandestine concessions in the way of marijuana laws and gay rights, so that he can power forward on some type of economic or medical issue.
    Unfortunately, that’s how politics within our government goes. I was shocked to hear a county prosecutor friend, tell me that behind closed doors, defendants are discussed with certain “defense” lawyers
    who make deals with him. These “deals” involve charging a certain number of the accused on the docket with felonies and not really defending them versus allowing others to “escape” actual punishment because of their address, families social status, education, and race.

    Unfortunately, our government is not quite what it should be. It just happens to be one of the best the west can provide us.

    I think that we should not expect too much progress in terms of legalizing marijuana or further expansion of LGBT rights until the Democrats can take back the House. As it stands right now, we’ll be lucky to hold on to the Senate.

    It was nice to see an African-American become president! It was not so nice to see that same president preserve the status quo just like his predecessors. I guess skin-color doesn’t really make any difference at all!

  24. Dianne Feinstein (Calif. senator) quickly replied to me that she would NOT support marijuana legalization, so there’s someone who has her mind made up. I’m sick of these people who enable our government to continue living the lie. I voted for Prop 19 on principle, but I want to puke over seeing the gov’t. profit from it. Here’s the party line: “Marijuana will make you jump out of windows and murder people, but if you insist, we will allow you to smoke it, but we want OUR cut”!

    Hypocrite much?

  25. #36 koanbred —-
    “…skin-color doesn’t really make any difference at all!”


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