Confirmed: DEA Head Michele Leonhart Stepping Down

Michele LeonhartDrug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart is stepping down, US Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed.

Members of the US House Oversight Committee gave Leonhart a vote of “no confidence” last week after an Office of the Inspector General report revealed that senior DEA officials had participated in sex parties arranged by Colombian drug cartels and had also received weapons and cash from cartel members. None of the agents involved were fired by director Leonhart.

Michele Leonhart began serving as the agency’s acting director in November 2007 before being confirmed as DEA administrator in 2010.

Leonhart had consistently taken a hardline stance against any change in marijuana policy. Early in her tenure she oversaw dozens of federal raids on medical marijuana providers and producers in states that had legalized the plant. She set aside a verdict from the agency’s own administrative law judge that sought to expand and facilitate clinical research into marijuana as a medicine and she rejected an administrative petition calling for marijuana rescheduling hearings. She openly criticized remarks made by the President acknowledging cannabis’ relative safety compared to alcohol, and criticized the administration’s efforts to allow states to implement limited regulatory schemes for the retail production and sale of cannabis to adults. In public testimony, Leonhart refused to acknowledge whether she believed that crack cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin posed greater risks to health than marijuana — instead opining, “All illegal drugs are bad.”

Ms. Leonhart also actively opposed hemp law reform during her time as DEA director. She criticized a decision to fly a hempen flag over the Capitol, saying it was “her lowest point in 33 years in the DEA.” Last year, her agency unlawfully seized 250 pounds of legal hemp seeds destined for Kentucky’s state Agricultural Department.

Always a true believer in the drug war no matter what the costs, in 2009 she described increased southern border violence as a sign of the “success” of her agency’s anti-drug strategies.

Michele Leonhart is expected to leave the agency in mid-May.

96 thoughts

  1. My understanding is that there is nothing positive to this woman’s history in that role,
    and that her departure is, at least partially, a good thing…

    Being that she invested effort into furthering prohibition, is it not possible that, with recent polls, etc., that the next person in this role may aid our cause?

  2. Leonhart and the DEA are traitors and scumbags, the epitome of corruption. Dismantle the DEA immediately, they’re a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.

  3. This is fantastic news. Thanks to my friend, Sen. Cohen for grilling this neanderthal, and the House Oversight for handing over the final coffin nails. A true win for the people.

    Now we need to fire the agents involved!!

  4. This official is out of step with the majority of Americans. She is echoing the mantra of Harry Anslinger, a director of the National Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement way back in the oh so enlightened 20’s and 30’s. Marijuana prohibition encourages lawlessness, makes foreign suppliers of marijuana wealthy, and results in many many Americans who are otherwise law abiding, receive criminal convictions and jail time out of proportion to any harm they may do by smoking or possessing marijuana.

  5. Don’t let the door smack your back side on your way out Ms Leonhart.

    Good riddance to you!

  6. It should be legal hemp along with cannabis has so many uses when it comes to medacial uses. Make it legal. If you have looked into the benifets of this drug then you should would know the benefits of it. Saving lives killing cancer.. so many things that can be done with it.

  7. After she resigns I’m waiting to see if she’s a dyed-in-the-wool prohibitionist, and goes through the revolving door to work for prohibitionist lobby groups such as SAM or Drug Free America, whatever, maybe writes a prohibitionist book like Bill Bennett.

    Or will she show remorse like McKay who went after Marc Emery?

    The pro-cannabis politicians in DC need to get their legislation pushed through Congress as soon as possible before someone is installed to replace Leonhart. The new head of the DEA will then be tasked with rewriting the mission statement and policies and standard operating procedures for the newly enacted cannabis friendly laws.

    Finally the DEA will have a mission that leaves the cannabis community alone!

    Unless we miss this chance–and then who knows how long we’ll have to wait.

    I’m tired of waiting. Congress needs to do this.

    Legalize now.

  8. I don’t particularly want to, but I feel I have to say in her defense that the stance “All illegal drugs are bad” is what you’d WANT to hear from the head of the DEA, remembering the “E” stands for enforcement. And the statement is factually true insomuch as its meaning hinges on the word “illegal.” Which, by-the-way, Congress is something YOU could fix with a stroke of your legislative pen. So stop your damn bleating?

  9. Now that’s cause for celebration! I know she’s resigning more because she did a terrible job running the DEA than because of her uninformed outdated stances on pot, but I would still call this a victory for enlightened smokers everywhere.

  10. Thank god …I was hopeing she would leave. Don’t know why Obama would put that fool in office. But hopefully they put someone with a brain and a good deal of common sense so we don’t have to deal with crap anymore.peace ?

  11. Gee wizz. You’ve been wondering where all the resistance from behind has been coming from. Now we know. What took so long for her to get the heck OUT!

  12. A good start! Now get rid of this unnecessary agency completely. The DEA is a huge waste of time and money (as well as being a safe harbor for corruption).

  13. Dear members of the Oversight Committee,

    Why not, instead of carping about the anti-drug rhetoric of someone running an agency with “Enforcement” in its name and trying to score points with your “hipster” base, why not instead of wasting time doing that, you got together with your colleagues and changing the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). You could do it with a stroke of your figurative pens. But you’d rather bust this woman’s balls about it. Sad, really.

  14. Yeah!!!!!!!!!
    One step forward. Now, lets not take ANY steps back and confirm someone with an IQ over 80 who isn’t afraid to listen to the will of the people.

  15. I called the Whitehouse today to encourage them to take this opportunity to put someone in her place with a modern and objective opinion on marijuana. The President is on board with reform, so is the surgeon general, and the 20+ states who know marijuana has medical benefit and the majority of the American people. We all want reform. It’s time for the dea to get on board too.

  16. Hey everyone,

    I believe that from the moment unreasonable restriction and prohibition began, the larger problems associated with that decision gradually grew out of control to a point that the public persona for people in official public positions required individuals to put up a front against taxation, regulation, and legalization. We are currently experiencing a paradox in this era of public debate where the entities contributing to this pressure are being brought into the light for the public to see. Through the news, documentaries, public protest, legal action, and a continual growth of the detrimental effects of prohibition for all countries, I believe that it is safe to say that strings are being pulled from many directions to keep the truth about prohibition under wraps for the general public.

    Lets list some of the possible entities profiting from prohibition annually. They are not only pressuring the head of the DEA, but also many other larger powers of influence around the world;

    -Drug Trafficking (black market & illegal organizations) – $350 Billion and Growing
    -World Gun and ammo manufacturers – $80 Billion and growing (on the black market)
    -U.S. Prison system – $74 Billion and growing
    -U.S Police Authorities – $40 Billion and growing
    Lets stop here. Based on what I know to be some of the biggest profiteers from prohibition, I myself can imagine the type of pull these organizations have based on their estimated income alone. Not only do they tote around huge bags of money, but they carry the firepower to protect it and fight wars to prevent being taken over by governments attempting to stomp them out. (War includes Spying, infiltration, torture, bribes and any other means to accomplish their goals to continue a profitable black market trade)

    Additionally the organizations portrayed as a positive force for the public are making money from that same prohibition, they have a lot to lose if prohibition were abolished. They not only uphold the current laws mandating prohibition, but also tote big guns around demanding these laws be respected and have the prison space to incarcerate those who decide to practice their constitutional freedoms.

    Lets put you in that chair of the D.E.A. and see how far you get when you publicly renounce the above organizations from making any more money off of prohibition. If you were to succeed alone in driving those powers out, you would surely not live very long to tell the tale.

    People in these types of Public offices are in an extremely compromised position. Calling them ignorant and stupid is not a reasonable response to the current events, and is probably far beyond the reality of their insight and perspective to the truths at hand. I would never want myself in their position, I get gray hairs just thinking about it! It is important to embrace these individuals and lead them to our cause once they have reached a safe point in their personal safety, careers and political public status. These opportunities are the truest form of advantage to gain our unalienable rights as citizens of the world. With patient, persistent, and educated expression we will truly find a path to freedom realized for all.


  17. this bitch is a clown, kick rocks with flip flops! Go find another job where they can use a fucking puppet, it’s a new world bitch, go drum that hard line on marijuana in some Arab nation, nobody is buying what ur selling u funky bitch, go b some other bureaucrats bitch!

  18. DEA the FBI the CIA and any other groups that want to tell you what is right for you should take a good look at their own lives ;most people are for legalization and why not ; the thing is ;if it was legalized a lot of people would find themselves out of jobs ;so what should looked at first ;nobody want’s to loose there jobs and I’ve never heard of any one that was made to smoke if they didn’t

  19. “DEA Head Michele Leonhart Stepping Down”

    I don’t think so! Finally she is having her butt thrown out!

    Now, being that our Federal Govt is so nice and generous, she will have a nice retirement.

    Seriously, she should get zero retirement benefits. She should have to repay society for all the damage she and the totally corrupt organization she has led the last several years.

  20. Oh, how sad for the cartels. They are going to sorely miss her and all she has brought to their table over the years. Without her they could not possibly have been as successful or killed nearly as many people.

    Yes, sad for the cartels (and the private prison industry).

  21. It is all too easy condemning every idiotic and narrow-minded viewpoint so I’ll just keep it simple…

    What a whore bag!

  22. Sex parties with drug lord support? Si!

    Pot parties for us? No 🙁

    Your tax dollars at work…LOL!

  23. She really was quite detestable when she was repeatedly asked about the dangers of cannabis compared to meth, heroin, etc. She should have a job cleaning out-houses somewhere.

  24. We’ve only just begun…
    Now Leonhart is on the run
    Until we legalize and regulate
    The work we do aint done

    Its not just prohibition
    That makes a crooked politician
    Its our willingness to fear and hate
    Then piss with their permission

    You wanna know the truth to tell
    The world’s in bed as one cartel
    Till the U.N. And the C.S.Act
    Take their lies straight down to Hell!

    Till we realiiiize
    We gotta legaliize!

  25. Just more proof of scumbags watching good people suffer for there own personal gain. I wish there was a window to hell so we can look in and watch them burn when ever we want. Remember this when you vote if the person you want to vote for doesn’t believe in the will of the people there only in it for themselves .

  26. What an evasive, lying scumbag. I mean how can her parents RAISE such bile? I guess she is passing the lowlife, insensitive narc gene on to her little piggies as well. I think we should start using the word “Leonhart” to mean shit. “Well, guess I’m gonna go take me a Leonhart.”

  27. I am optimistic that Loretta Lynch will be a good Attorney General.

    I am also very optimistic that Leonhart is out. I will, and I’m being serious, celebrate when I learn that she is no longer among the living. To me, she is very much like Hitler.

  28. I’m fascinated by the number of comments blasting Obama for this travesty. She was a Bush appointee, people. And when you hear any elected representative pushing the blame for our country’s failed drug policies off on an enforcement official, you can be sure they are talking out of both sides of their mouths (and their assess) because they (and they alone) hold the power to change this country’s policies towards certain drugs.

    Congress: Revise the CSA or STFU!! America is wise to your bullshit.

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