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U.S.: House Oversight Committee Says 'No Confidence' In DEA Administrator Leonhart


DEA Chief Tied to Numerous Scandals and Has Long Record of Incompetence

Bipartisan Agreement That President Obama Must Fire DEA Chief

Members of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday issued a statement of “No Confidence” in Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart. The unprecedented move by a group of more than 20 bipartisan lawmakers comes a day after her shambolic performance in Congress during a hearing focused on DEA agents who paid for sex workers and sex parties using taxpayer dollars.

Leonhart was widely panned and her answers deemed inadequate during testimony on her agency’s handling of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations.

“This ought to be the final nail in the Leonhart coffin,” said Bill Piper, director of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “I cannot see how President Obama and AG Holder allow her to continue in her role. It’s hard to think of a more incompetent and out of touch federal official than the current DEA chief.”

Nebraska: No Industrial Hemp Crop This Year; Maybe Next Time?


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Nebraska won't be harvesting a legal hemp crop this fall, despite the Legislature's passage of a law allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp for research. State bureaucrats at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture are still working on the rules.

The bill in question, LB 1001, tasked the state agriculture department with devising rules and regulations for hemp cultivation in the Cornhusker State, reports Nicholas Bergin at the Lincoln Journal Star. The department is still researching hemp programs in other states, but won't have their ducks -- or maybe I should say hemp plants -- in a row in time for spring planting.

"There will be no hemp research projects initiated under a program this year," said spokeswoman Christin Kamm of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Kamm didn't say when the first crop might be planted.

The industrial hemp bill, which passed overwhelmingly on a 39-2 vote, will allow the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, a variety of cannabis that unlike recreational marijuana does not contain enough THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to produce a high.

U.S.: Senator Leahy To Attorney General Holder: Leave Marijuana Alone

Photo - U.S.: Senator Leahy To Attorney General Holder: Leave Marijuana AloneBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In what he called "a bit of editorializing," U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Wednesday morning suggested to Attorney General Eric Holder that the Department of Justice should pursue "more serious things than minor possession of marijuana."

Sen. Leahy also asked Atty. Gen. Holder what many people in Colorado and Washington have been wondering about: if Holder was prepared to announce the federal government's official response to the voters of those two states legalizing marijuana at the ballot box last November. But, once again, Holder didn't offer a straight answer.

The Attorney General did say he'd had "good conversations" with elected leaders in the two states, including with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson.

"We expect our ability to announce a policy relatively soon," Holder said.

Both Washington and Colorado are moving ahead with their state-run legal marijuana programs, but could face lawsuits and prosecution from the federal government, which officially considers all forms of cannabis a dangerous Schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse.

Yes, it's been awhile since federal drug policy had a meaningful reality check.

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