scandals

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U.S.: Congress Voting On Amendments To Rein In Troubled DEA

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Amendments Would Prohibit DEA from Undermining State Marijuana Laws; Shut Down DEA’s Controversial Bulk Collection Surveillance Programs; Cut Agency’s Budget

Amendments Come in Wake of Recent Forced Resignation of Agency’s Head, Michele Leonhart

As the U.S. House of Representatives considers the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill today and tomorrow, legislators could vote on at least seven amendments designed to reduce the power of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and cut its budget.

The DEA has existed for more than 40 years, but little attention has been given to the role the agency has played in fueling mass incarceration, racial disparities and other problems exacerbated by the Drug War. Congress has rarely scrutinized the agency, its actions or its budget, instead deferring to DEA administrators on how best to deal with drug-related issues.

That all has changed recently after a series of scandals that sparked several hearings in the House and Senate and forced the resignation of the DEA’s beleaguered head, Administrator Michele Leonhart.

“There’s unprecedented support on both sides of the aisle for ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states set their own drug policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “The more the DEA blocks sensible reforms the more they will see their agency’s power and budget come under deeper scrutiny.”

U.S.: President Obama Nominates Chuck Rosenberg To Head Beleaguered DEA

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DEA Increasingly Scrutinized as States Legalize Marijuana and Public Opinion Turns Against Failed Drug War

A senior F.B.I. official and former U.S. Attorney, Chuck Rosenberg, has been selected by President Obama as interim director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Rosenberg has served as the chief of staff to the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, for the past 18 months.

Outgoing DEA head Michele Leonhart announced her retirement last month in the wake of numerous scandals. She came under intense criticism for opposing the Obama Administration’s efforts to reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and for opposing the administration’s hands-off approach in the four states that have approved legal regulation of marijuana.

The DEA has existed for more than 40 years but little attention has been given to the role the agency has played in fueling mass incarceration, racial disparities, the surveillance state, and other Drug War problems. Congress has rarely scrutinized the agency, its actions or its budget, instead showing remarkable deference to the DEA’s administrators.

U.S.: Drug Policy Alliance Mocks Scandal-Ridden DEA With "Help Wanted" Ad

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Ad is Part of Campaign to Influence Obama’s Next DEA Pick, End Agency’s Opposition to Marijuana Law Reform, and Ultimately Reform or Abolish the Agency

As States Legalize Marijuana and Tide Turns Against the Failed Drug War, DEA Increasingly Scrutinized

The Drug Policy Alliance has placed a mock “Help Wanted” ad in Roll Call seeking a new head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to “prolong the failed war on drugs.” Primary areas of job responsibility include “Mass Incarceration,” “Police State Tactics,” “Obstruction of Science,” “Subverting Democracy” and “Undermining Human Rights.”

The ad comes in the wake of numerous DEA scandals and DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart’s recent announcement she will resign sometime in May.

“Drug prohibition, like alcohol Prohibition, breeds crime, corruption, and violence – and creates a situation where law enforcement officers must risk their lives in a fight that can’t be won,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “It’s time to reform not just the DEA but broader U.S. and global drug policy.

"The optimal drug policy would reduce the role of criminalization and the criminal justice system in drug control to the greatest extent possible, while protecting public safety and health,” Nadelmann said.

U.S.: DEA Administrator Chief Michele Leonhart Expected To Resign

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Resignation Comes as DEA at Center of Series of Scandals in its Effort to Continue Failed War on Drugs

After Decades of Mass Incarceration, Racial Disparities, and Failed Drug Policies, DEA Finally Facing Scrutiny

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A senior White House official has said that the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, is expected to soon resign. The news comes as no surprise to drug policy reformers who say her opposition to reform made her out of step with the Obama Administration.

“Following the official resignation of Ms. Leonhart as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, I encourage the President to use this as an opportunity to fill this important role with someone who understands the outdated federal approach to marijuana isn’t working," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon. "The American public has moved on. Most now feel marijuana should be legalized.

"Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized the adult use of marijuana, and more than two-thirds of Americans live in a state that has legalized some form of medical marijuana," Congressman Blumenauer said. "The President himself has said we have bigger fish to fry than going after state-legal marijuana users. I would urge him to put in place a DEA Administrator who will reflect his Administration’s position and can be a partner in creating a more workable system of marijuana laws.”

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

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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.”

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