DEA Promises Enforcement of Marijuana Laws, Will Fight Legalization
Acting Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Michele Leonhart promised to oppose legalization of Medical Marijuana (MMJ) and step up enforcement in states where MMJ has been made legal under state laws, if she were made Director of the DEA.
The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Leonhart about MMJ laws.
“I’m a big fan of the DEA,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Then he asked Leonhart if she would fight the legalization of MMJ.
“I have seen what marijuana use has done to young people, I have seen the abuse, I have seen what it’s done to families. It’s bad,” Leonhart said. “If confirmed as administrator, we would continue to enforce the federal drug laws.”
“These legalization efforts sound good to people,” Sessions quipped. “They say, ‘We could just end the problem of drugs if we could just make it legal.’ But any country that’s tried that, Alaska and other places have tried it, have failed. It does not work,” Sessions said.
Then Sessions asked point blank: “We need people who are willing to say that. Are you willing to say that?”
“Yes, I’ve said that, senator. You’re absolutely correct, the social costs from drug abuse, especially from marijuana,” Leonhart agreed “Legalizers say it will help the Mexican cartel situation; it won’t. It will allow states to balance budgets; it won’t. No one is looking (at) the social costs of legalizing drugs.”
Democratic Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin grilled Leonhart about her position on changes in regulations for the administration of prescription drugs in nursing homes which were handed down during the Bush Administration. The new regulations are complicated and time consuming to comply with.
"The time that it takes for a nursing home to comply with the DEA’s new enforcement policy can be an eternity to an elderly patient who is in agonizing pain.” Stated Kohl.Continued on the next page