MUST WATCH: Rep. Jared Polis Destroys DEA Administrator During Congressional Hearing

Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) made some must watch reform video today when he grilled DEA Administrator, Michele Leonhart, over the relative health impacts of marijuana versus other drugs. Rep. Polis has been an outspoken advocate of marijuana legalization and was given the Rufus King, Sr. Award For Outstanding Public Leadership in the Field of MJ Law Reform at NORML’s 2011 Conference in Denver, at which he was also the keynote speaker.

Click play below and watch pure drug war idiocy in action. Leonhart’s inability to answer simple questions would be humorous if the consequences of her position weren’t so tragic.

162 thoughts

  1. Most of the criticism was toward Michele Leonhart and I don’t think that’s fair. Rep Polis’ questions were loaded, rhetorical, and frankly, out of scope for Leonhart’s role. It is called the Drug Enforcement Administration and it is her job to enforce the laws as written by Congress. If Rep. Polis is concerned about the enforcement of marijuana law, then CHANGE THE LAW and don’t just badger the officials you have hired to enforce the law as it was passed by Congress.

    I support decriminalization and “tax and regulate”, but the headline on this article is just crazy, “MUST WATCH: Rep. Jared Polis Destroys DEA Administrator During Congressional Hearing”. From the point of pure rhetoric, this was at best a stalemate.

  2. Go Jared Polis he’s got my vote and i dont even live in Colorado… It’s come to this point where we can’t even rationalize prohibition of marijuana but its still illegal… if not for the mexicans this would be a legal recreational choice for americans

  3. Don’t you get it, Leonhart ? Prescription drugs are killing people, creating crime & causing addiction . This is not an isolated case ….prescription pills will often make criminals from formerly good citizans . Can you read this again ?This is from prescription drugs. There is no mention in this artcle mentioning marijuana.
    San Diego Charger’s, Leaf’s been fighting a painkiller addiction, one that’s driven him to multiple acts of burglary over the past few years. Police found stolen prescriptions drugs in Leaf’s possession back in March, when he was already on probation. Released on bail, Leaf then robbed a mobile home in search of more pills. He still has outstanding charges in Texas, too.

  4. Lol you should be more upset to have that bitch be a millionaire thanx to your taxes. Im sad my 3y.o. sister didnt apply for the job.

  5. She is trying so hard to not make marijuana seem less dangerous. She needs to know that her side is losing the battle

  6. She obviously is incapable of prioritizing the goals of her administration. Marijuana is scheduled with heroin, cocaine and barbiturates. This is like saying milk is as harmful as alcohol. She kept defending with, “all illegal drugs are bad” when she had nothing intelligent to say. She(and other anti-drug agencies) couldn’t give an honest, straight forward answer to a yes/no question. She knows the truth, but she knows it would ruin her position and reputation if was to simply say “yes, heroin is worse than marijuana”. I look at the drug war like the Crusades. Any templar(cop, agent, lawyer, etc.) who questions the orders and rules by God(government) and is terminated or “banished” if you will.

  7. I agree with tom… many people will have to die from rx opiates before we change course? The Demon delights in alcohol and opiates.

  8. that was pointless, his asking the same questions over and over didn’t help anything, sure she showed she is a moron, but we all knew that already, it might have been worth watching had he mentioned a single fact, like that marijuana is less addictive than caffeine, rather than just ask if it’s more addictive than meth and heroin over and over and over and over again…this accomplished nothing at all, and it’s kind of sad that some of you think it was an accomplishment…

  9. “Most of the criticism was toward Michele Leonhart and I don’t think that’s fair. Rep Polis’ questions were loaded, rhetorical, and frankly, out of scope for Leonhart’s role. It is called the Drug Enforcement Administration and it is her job to enforce the laws as written by Congress. If Rep. Polis is concerned about the enforcement of marijuana law, then CHANGE THE LAW and don’t just badger the officials you have hired to enforce the law as it was passed by Congress.

    I support decriminalization and “tax and regulate”, but the headline on this article is just crazy, “MUST WATCH: Rep. Jared Polis Destroys DEA Administrator During Congressional Hearing”. From the point of pure rhetoric, this was at best a stalemate.”

    Solomon, you art flat ass wrong! First off, you say his questions “…were loaded, rhetorical, and frankly, out of scope.” Loaded? Don’t you mean truth seeking questions that the lying DEA can’t answer because it would require major policy changes? The DEA’s answers were rhetorical too! Granted, Polis should have mixed it up better; but it did expose an ignorant DEA Administrator who is trying to cover up the truth. Don’t try to sell people that Polis is “out of scope” trying to ask a policewoman, who by the way is in charge of destroying non-violent peoples’ lives, if they are prioritizing marijuana correctly. And not only that, but Polis has medical marijuana dispensaries that are being attacked by the DEA in his state. As a public representative he is doing his state a service by sticking up for the will of the voters, unlike many politicians today.

    No — not a stalemate; but another politician with a bright future with the people because he is going with marijuana. Now that Polis sees where he can ‘draw blood,’ I’m sure the game will be more polished in the future; you can bet on it.

  10. Loaded question??? If by loaded, you mean to say it would make her tell the truth, then yes, it was loaded.

  11. I have seen some of my friends really loaded. That does not even come close to a loaded question. I admit that he was very direct with his questions but he did simply ask a question, be it rudely, but she is a police officer. If she lets him bully her there, I can only imagine how the real heavy hitters in Washington will lean on her to do what they want.
    from what I can see she is a yes woman for the DEA mainly. Now that her yes went to a maybe then she will be shuffled off of the board some how some way. The best things she can do now is do something about the way her department left her unprepared for what was coming at her and she can put some memos through to help out on her way out with legalizing marijuana and making the DEA stand down as best she can.

  12. Doug is full of shit. Michelle has grounds to change the drug schedule but refusews due to money and corruption.. DO NOT TRUST LARGE CORPORATIONS!! THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT THE BOTTOM LINE!!

  13. Solomon taxing and regulating is like giving large corporations a golden ticket.. Don’t be ignorant. Maybe lower costs but at what cost to our health? Support small Corps! God Bless!

  14. Seeing as how there actually are drugs out there that are killing people, I think it’s important that the public maintains a good relationship with the DEA. That will require honesty, especially on the DEA’s part. It’s time to legalize marijuana. It’s prohibition is distracting us all from much larger problems. People are getting hurt and it’s not necessary.

  15. Solomon,

    As head of the DRUG enforcement agency, you expect the lady to be ignorant of the facts about different drugs? Knowing the different addictive qualities and/or health risks of drugs is exactly her job.

    Polis was simply exposing the hipocricy of her job. She couldn’t answer the question truthfully, she would have been fired the very next day.

  16. Another DEA puppet that has a forked tongue and puppet strings all tangled up for MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. The real truth is out there and the ignorance of FEDERALISM is losing ground. A honest question should have a honest answer and not beat around the bush looking for what to say. She must have a medicine cabinet full of MOTHERS LITTLE HELPERS created by BIG PHARMA. Another day of DAZED and CONFUSED mentality and hiding behind the WALL of MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. Let the BELLS OF FREEDOM RING as the WALL comes tumbling down brick by brick. HAIL TO THE MONARCHY!

  17. Wow, are you serious? Is this a joke? *sigh facepalm*

    Is she really this dumb or playing it out? I am not sure, myself.

    And she is rich? Wtf???? I bet if you asked her where chocolate milk comes from, she would state, chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

    This perfectly explains the US govt., besides people like Polis trying to put things right.
    As dumb as GWBjr.

    Just close DEA down permanently.

  18. I couldn’t help but think that maybe her nomination was a ploy to let her dig a grave for the prohibitionists. Expose them for what they really are.

  19. In what ways are his questions rhetorical? They are extremely simple and straight forward questions, and Leonhart won’t answer them. She even answers incorrectly when she says “It’s subjective” because trust me, the addiction of heroine is not a subjective experience.

    The reality is the U.S. laws regarding cannabis are completely stupid and without any critical thinking, and at least Rep Polis is demonstrating this to the world in a very simple way. There is simply no logical argument for why marijuana should be illegal in the states if alcohol and cigarettes are legal, absolutely none at all.

  20. While Leonhart may not have the ability to nullify federal law, she CAN an should reschedule MJ to solve many of the issues plaguing the American People.

  21. To Solomon; Read the Drug Control Act. Unfortunately it is the DEA’s respomsibility to legislate marijuana after Congress gave them the unconstitutional authority to regulate the drug in an amendment to the act back when Nixon was touting his made to fail drug war. There is a reason why we have three branches of government. An executive agency has no business issuing permits or writing and lobbying regulation. It is the equivelent of giving untrained Congressman a badge and a gun and allowing them to police and enforce laws on eachother at gun point. See the problem? The legislative empowerment of the DEA is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. Obama’s recent act of executive privelege to protect attorney general Eric Holder and the white house campaign from selling weapons to the Mexican cartels should be viewed as the tip of the ice berg of a marijuana corruption ring that dates back to Woodrow Wilson within our government. Just think; what kind of Congressional oversight do we have over the DEA if Congress let’s them write their own marijuana laws? Even worse, while law enforcement agencies collect private income from confiscated assets from druglords, and selling u.s. Tax dollar paid weapons and drugs, how on earth can Congress control the blanck checks we give them every year for their budget? Reform the Drug Control Act and the DEA, that’s how!

  22. wow- dea top administrator not even able to tow the party line- goes to show that theyve ran out of qualified people to continue their dog and pony show

  23. Jared Polis needs to force this down the DEA throat and he needs to force other members of congress to step in.

  24. I have to agree to a certain extent with Solomon, at least without more context. If this was a meeting about how to enforce drug laws and the reps answer was “not at all,” I think that this was an inappropriate venue. If this was a hearing to discuss what drugs laws to enforce, that’s a different story and one which the DEA probably doesn’t have a lot of sway in OR liberty to speak on. Our ability to speak can be legally limited by the companies that we work for.
    For example, I work for a major corporation and if I told you about some of the stuff that I work with, I could not only be fired but also arrested. Her job is strictly to enforce these laws as they are in the book, not interpret them or change them. I am not saying that I even agree with that title existing in our government. Just that I would be much more impress with him verbally skewering another rep., perhaps one interested in changing the laws for the worse.
    That being said, it is nevertheless a good thing as far as I am concerned to gain more press, however that is achieved.

  25. The drug Zahr is not going to like it that Michele Leonhart admitted that marijuana can be low priority. Total embarrassment to the DEA!
    Great job Jared Polis! I’m proud of you!

  26. I was 61 when I suffered a second back injury at work in 9 years February 2011, was removed from work in March 2011 by my neurologist, the company placed me on workmans comp. the Dr. said at my age surgery would not provide any guarantee to correct or relieve pain, prescribed oxicodone, that did not rid me of pain, but placed me in painful fog. I have had several friends and customers become addicted to this type of painkiller. I was sent to a pain management clinic. After many conversations with my wife and family, I refused any barbituates or opiates to attempt to manage my pain issue. I would be mentally functional and just deal with the pain. My son, a Phi Theta Kappa college student, packed me up and took me to an Oaksterdam seminar, where I learned of the benifits of medical marijuana. I have tried it and I am here to testify that it helps relieve the pain so I get more than two hours sleep a nite, I can function 100% better in daily activities, and I am not in a mental fog still hurting. Unfortunately, I live in a state where marijuana has been decriminalized, but medical marijuana is still illegal, even though the biggest medical marijuana grow is in Oxford, MS. only four (4) people benefit from this grow. So I have to pay high black market prices, can’t grow my own or control quality. Big PHARMA does not want medical marijuana legalized as it would cut into their market, same attitude from the Alcohol lobby. Again corporations making profits more important than suffering americans. Not to mention how legalizing marijuana would effect the cartels in Mexico, probably the same way ending proabition effected bootleggers.

  27. Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.”
    ? Tacitus

  28. Destroys is sort of a winger…she never gave him one straight answer but what do you expect from someone that knows they are running a con off on innocent people. She looks loaded…drinking or weed?

  29. Wow what incompetent babbling and she is supposed to be the expert and she can’t even pretend to argue her side.

  30. “Her job is strictly to enforce these laws as they are in the book, not interpret them or change them. I am not saying that I even agree with that title existing in our government. Just that I would be much more impress with him verbally skewering another rep., perhaps one interested in changing the laws…”

    This is funny lunchbox. Like who? And where? There is no proper channel or chain of command when it comes to countering the drug war. Pro cannabis politicians have to take any opportunity necessary; you don’t see ANY part of government that is open to or address the failure of prohibition. NOT ONE. It is a government slam dunk or hard sell against drugs period with a cover-up and people that are lying! Reformers in general, not just for pot, but organizations like “we are change” have to catch these corrupt and lying leaders in the most awkward circumstances because these parasites have cover.

    And as far as questioning just an enforcer, and not a law maker, you got it mixed up. From Wikepedia, “…the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, determine which substances are added to or removed from the various schedules, though the statute passed by Congress created the initial listing, and Congress has sometimes scheduled…Classification decisions are required to be made on criteria including potential for abuse…currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and international treaties.”

    The DEA administrator has power to change the status of marijuana and thus the priority of criminal enforcement. These people won’t budge because marijuana is their drug war cash cow.

  31. Today on “Up with Chris Hayes” (MSNBC) they discussed this very issue for 18 minutes!!! They showed the video, and focused on the racial desparity when it comes to arrests. I wish someone would have pointed out that prohibition was founded on a LIE that went unchallanged, at that LIE was racially motivated.

  32. Jared Polis is a bad ass…he rode her like a matador.

    if it was up to me,

    I would ask her more substantial questions….like,

    what has more flavor? Hindu Kush or the Haze?

    Or , why do you want us to favor cartel gangsta weed over our USA produced domestic product?

    Or, have you seen a grown man naked in the shower?. Hold on,dont ansewer that…..without an attorney!


  33. I wonder what percentage of their annual budget will simply vanish at the end of prohibition. My perception is that the DEA is an aging monstrosity, raging and thrashing in its death throes. They have no new lies in their arsenal and all the old lies are so worn and threadbare that they can be debunked by any half dead stoner, in his sleep.
    I was having a chat sometime last year, with a DEA agent, in my office, at our dispensary, while his toadies(a cadre of moronic thugs from local and state police agencies)looted our business.I told this bullet headed little thuglet that a green tidal wave was headed his way and there was NOTHING he could do to stop it. I was never prouder than I was when he repeated that statement in federal court.

  34. Few politicians are actually asking these questions to the D.E.A or the Administration, Its about time, and I don’t care if he continually asked the same questions..he never got a direct answer. Its like they don’t want to admit they are wrong..but won’t change their policy either.. its irritating

  35. All illegal drugs are addictive….
    -ok ok, but thats not my question
    All prescribed medications are even more addictive
    -ok ok, but thats not my question
    All illegal drugs are addictive…

    ?????????? Someone should stop taking sleeping pills??????

  36. Lucidity : It is a seed from nature sun,water,soil.. there is no process dictated by man , there is no law but that of nature. Man has chosen to place his ordinance upon natures gift… fortunately nature has provided us with a hierarchy on natural selection for those that will be mouthpieces for legislation and enforcement . we are all blessed that we have such fine examples of lineage heading up such surely dooms them in the end ,, plant yer seed where ya can, for not all the medians can be maintained forever

  37. This is to the first comment by Solomon. Mr. Polis is not trying to badger the DEA administrator he is simply trying to get to point by way of his questions. She knows what his intention is and she does have the knowledge to answer the questiosn appropriately but dodges the true answers due to her position. Anyone else could clearly answer these questions. He was only asking her objective questions, asking for her personal belief’s, not the belief’s of the DEA and yet she could not show 1 single backbone and give her own answer’s. Again he was not badgering, he was trying to make a poitn on the floor that science has shown that MMJ can be used to help combat addiction to other drugs whcih have definitely been proven to be dangerous. Where has MMJ (not street marijuana)been proven to be classified as a schedule 1 drug? If MMJ can help fight other drug addiction, and the science has proven it, then why hasn’t the DEA or Congress addressed this yet? Polis is simply trying to open there eyes to the many benefits of MMJ…but they are a slave to their laws and not to their own judgements or beliefs…this is why she couldn’t answer the questions

  38. Just answer the question!!! They wont answer the question because research has deemed marijuana to be a medicinal herb. It started out as a lie with Anslinger and Hurst and we have been combating their prejudice and hatred since then. By the way, if illegal aliens are not illegal anymore then marijuana is not illegal anymore! What is the Law? There is no law!

  39. I salute the efforts of Jared Polis!!! He is a modern day Lincoln the way he courageously attacks what is so wrong in this country; that being people, ignorant willfully blind people, like Michelle Leonhart.

    By the way, I have a salute for Michelle Leonhart and everyone that supports her (but I’m only using my middle finger…)

    My salute to Jared Polis is genuine!!!

  40. Isn’t this the same mental midget who got Tommy Chong locked up because of the characters he’s played in movies?

    “It’s either, ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ or ‘I don’t know.'”

    Obviously, she doesn’t know, or she would have been able to give a Yes or No answer. . .

  41. Trial lawyers are among the top 3 campaign funders to congress.If you get popped for pot you can bet your sweet ass you’re going to be paying one of them a large amount of your money.Congress is made up up of a whole bunch of these vermin.If congress legalizes pot then the spigot from BIG PHARMA and the trial lawyers drys up.Why won’t Congress legalize pot? M-O-N-E-Y!

  42. Forty years ago, this would have been on world news on all of the major television channels.

    Now it seems that the head administrator of the DEA answers to no one and it seems insulting when Michele Leonhart was there stonewalling and waiting for times up signal.
    I hope the whole world have seen that.

    It’s not over.

  43. That woman is dumb as a box of rocks,pot should be legal to grow for personal use in every state.

  44. Solomon stop double posting under different names. If you think he was badgering her. Who gives a shit. People’s lives are ruined, because of the lies that she and people like her perpetrate. So before you defend someone who has no soul maybe use a tiny bit of logic.

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