NORML Opposes President Obama’s Pick To Head The Drug Enforcement Administration

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a coalition of organizations supportive of medical marijuana patients and providers (see list of organizations below) are calling on President Obama to withdraw his nomination of Michele Leonhart to serve as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Ms. Leonhart, who is currently the DEA’s acting-administrator, has not demonstrated that she is capable of leading the agency in a thoughtful manner at a time when fourteen states have enacted medical marijuana laws and science is increasingly confirming the therapeutic benefits of the substance.

“It is clearly time for President Obama to insist that his appointees adhere to current Justice Department guidelines regarding state laws regulating the medical use of marijuana, and that marijuana be fairly evaluated by all federal agencies, based on science, not ideology,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the nation’s oldest marijuana legalization lobby. “The Obama administration should be working with us to eliminate criminal penalties for the responsible use of marijuana by adults, regardless of whether it is medical use or otherwise.”

Under Leonhart’s leadership, the DEA has staged medical marijuana raids in apparent disregard of Attorney General Eric Holder’s directive to respect state medical marijuana laws. Most recently, DEA agents flouted a pioneering Mendocino County (CA) ordinance to regulate medical marijuana cultivation by raiding the very first grower to register with the sheriff. Joy Greenfield, 69, had paid more than $1,000 for a permit to cultivate 99 plants in a collective garden that had been inspected and approved by the local sheriff.

Informed that Ms. Greenfield had the support of the sheriff, the DEA agent in charge responded by saying, “I don’t care what the sheriff says.” The DEA’s conduct is inconsistent with an October 2009 Department of Justice memo directing officials not to arrest individuals “whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”

Ms. Leonhart has also demonstrated that she is unable to be objective in carrying out the duties of the administrator as it relates to medical marijuana research. In January 2009, she refused to issue a license to the University of Massachusetts to cultivate marijuana for FDA-approved research, despite a DEA administrative law judge’s ruling that it would be “in the public interest” to issue the license. This single act has blocked privately-funded medical marijuana research in this country. The next DEA administrator will likely influence the outcome of a marijuana rescheduling petition currently before the agency. It is critical that an administrator with an open mind toward science and research is at the helm.

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The following organizations are calling on President Obama to withdraw the nomination of Ms. Leonhart if she does not end the attacks on individuals acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws and commit to making decisions related to medical marijuana based on science, not a personal anti-marijuana bias:

California NORML

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

– Article from NORML.



  1. BG on

    Gary Johnson

  2. War Veteran on

    What if not paying any taxes hasn’t any affect due to Chinese bailouts. Screw with your friend’s heads: the one’s who don’t care and start speaking Chinese to them. Going to jail for not paying taxes will only lead you to live in some shack in Massachusetts near Walden Pond like some writer or give you a Columbian drug connection like Mr. Jung from Blow. We could Greek out and burn the banks . . . but China will give us the money so Obama can bail out the banks. Sadly too many citizens would miss their TV shows upon using such time as it takes to act or give a concern to the bigger picture that drug prohibition poses. Though almost (almost that is) completely farfetched: kidnap all sports writers and athletes and see how this country will go into sudden convulsion from withdrawals . . . take away our Roman sports and forums and the people might remember to see and give a damn.

  3. Sparkky McPuff on

    Cuz the armies guns are bigger and more powerful! What everyone needs to do is stop paying their taxes! Think about how much money they would lose if everyone stopped paying taxes! While you sit in jail for tax evasion, the Feds are burning through your tax dollars that won’t be replaced! Once they put everyone in jail for tax evasion there is no way they can house everyone for long! Then maybe things will go the right way! These hot shot politicians will go broke! What would a judge say to you before sending you to jail after hearing your defence of “I’m sick of giving the Feds money to send me and my friends to jail for smoking weed! I’m not going to fund you, or this government anymore for something I don’t believe in!”? Then give him a crumpled up dollar bill and say “here, this is for your bus ride home, your honor, I don’t mind paying your wages, as long as you are equal to me and my peers, I took the bus here, what mode of transportation did you use to get here?” arg! This world is so frusterating! It also sickens me that my friends don’t even care about cannabis legalization, protesting, or human rights! They are happy to jut sit and smoke their weed at home and hide it from everyone they know! It is so fucking frusterating! And P.S. leonhart is a fucking! cunt! But I’d still throw it in her! Pfft just kidding! Gross!

  4. Samson on

    with just about all of these statements. What we need,.. is a political revolution in which we have more than just two bullsh!t sides to choose from. And the focus of gov’t. needs to be Power to The People! After all, it is OUR tax dollars that are floating this “boat” .

  5. MOTFA on

    It’s not like NORML actually has any power over this administration. They don’t give a shit if the whole country is against the person they appoint.

    I would say vote these idiots out of office when the 4 years are up, but who the hell will we get then? Some republican who’s even worse than this most likely.

    Talk about a rock and hard place.
    The only way to go is revolution.

  6. War Veteran on

    Was the Boston Tea Party solely about tea or a much bigger picture, which brought about a war and the U.S. Constitution . . . Support the 2nd Amendment and the NRA so we can keep our guns and attack agencies such as the DEA like we did against the British Redcoats if they do not comply to the standards and wishes of the people who pay their salaries. If they don’t respect the ballot like the Brits and King George did in the late 18 Century, then give these Gov’t agencies the bullet, but we can’t if we lose our guns while the FEDS keep theirs. A loss of hundreds of lives or a few thousand is acceptable if it means saving millions from tyranny while decreasing debt, unemployment and terrorism. How did Rome fall? From the inside and then the outside.

  7. Anonymous on

    “Communism is the Capitalism of this Administration and the Last Administration” did I get that right? they own every drop of water in this country and now they want to force us to pay for the air we consume.
    Any move they make is only good for their pockets.
    Please Listen to Roy Masters at the foundation of human understanding dot com
    him and Alex Jones are speaking about it openly.

  8. Anonymous on

    She looks like a Dominatrix, to say the least.
    How in the world did we end up with a Communist/Fascist party?
    Every single solution this administration comes up with is worse than the last.
    How much more damage can this administration do?
    Trillions of dollars to the bank and a breath taking growth of new massive government institutions and prisons, and privatization of the public sector.

  9. Anonymous on

    Obama doesn’t give a rat sass about medical Cannabis users. All he cares about is getting re-elected or getting other Democrats elected, and that means pleasing Mr and Mrs middle America, not the small percentage of the population that needs med Cannabis. All their votes together might be 1% tops. The guy’s a career politician. That means stepping on the little guys to get the vote of the big guys, corporate executives and pharma companies that will send him millions of dollars for his next campaign. God forbid he pay for it himself. End of story. He’ll put the dumbest bitch he can find in charge of the DEA, if she’ll stick it to the Cannabis providers who are horning in on the pharma’s drug sales. Welcome to reality.

  10. Anonymous on

    all drug classes in the US should be reclassified, marijuana is a schedule 1 in the US along side with heroin, but cocaine is only a schedule 2, this makes no scene.

    at least in Canada we schedule these things a lot better, why doesn’t the US do so?