It’s a given that if you are appointed the head of a U.S. government agency, part of your job is dispensing propaganda, whether it’s the NSA or CIA or the Department of Energy. As the Grand Pooba of your tribe, you must continually make the argument that your group is absolutely necessary (meaning the current level of funding is absolutely necessary) to keep the country from going to hell in a hand basket. However, there’s one agency where self-justification has been taken to deep-space extremes, and that’s the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Apparently, the criteria for becoming the head of the DEA has been a pathological hatred of illegal chemical substances that may somehow, some way enter the blood systems of innocent Americans. “Pathological” meaning that you will not allow any scientific research, data, opinion, logic or common sense weaken your fanatical opposition to illegal drugs. Current DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart has proven to be an exemplary DEA leader based on the above criteria. Recently, she was highly critical of President Obama for saying that marijuana was no more harmful than alcohol (which is only partially true. Marijuana is less harmful to a user’s body than alcohol and tobacco and is not physically addictive). Asked by a congressman whether marijuana was as bad as heroin or crack, she refused to answer the question. She’s also very opposed to using hemp in products, even though industrial hemp contains virtually no THC.
Apparently, Leonhart believes it is okay to lie in service to her country (and to keep her job). Yes, other agency heads lie, but Leonhart goes beyond mere self-serving deception and takes lying to another level, with the goal being to perpetuate ignorance among the American people. It’s like insisting we should continue the Cold War after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The research and facts about marijuana are out there for anyone to see, yet Leonhart still wants to pretend it’s 1954 instead of 2014.
Leonhart also made the comment that Obama’s remarks on marijuana were disrespectful to those agents who had died fighting in the war on drugs. As I recall, no one asked the American people if they wanted to start a war on drugs. Nixon kicked off the whole thing and it’s been passed on to following administrations that have been too fearful of the political damage shutting it down would cause. The war on drugs has always been a political war measuring a candidates “tough-on-crime” level and was never seriously considered as winnable.
Obama smoked pot and snorted cocaine as a young man and went on to become president of the United States. Thankfully, more and more people are seeing through the reefer madness propaganda still perpetuated by Leonhart and a shrinking minority of deluded political pundits. I’m actually surprised and grateful I’m seeing this happen in my lifetime.