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DEA Under Fire for Wasting Money and Being Incompetent

Maureen Meehan

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The DEA’s failed War on Drugs is among numerous reasons why the inefficient, money-wasting, disoriented organization should cease to exist and stop wasting our tax dollars.

A recent round of criticism prompted some lawmakers to complain that the agency’s weed eradication program is squandering millions of dollars in states where pot is legal.

Adding ignorance and corruption to the DEA’s list of dubious qualities, let us not forget the former DEA chief who stepped down after a huge sex scandal. She was then followed by acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg who embarrassed himself and everyone listening when he told reporters that marijuana was “probably not” as dangerous as heroin, adding, “I’m not an expert,” then proceeded to call medical marijuana “a joke.”

At least Rosenberg admitted he’s not an expert, but how did he get the job?

With all due respect, it is time to call the DEA what it is—a joke, a very costly and incompetent joke whose $14-million-dollar weed eradication program is being challenged by eight members of Congress who sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office, describing the program as wasteful.

“While the DEA’s Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program has been in effect nationwide for three decades, the recent trend in state laws to legalize and decriminalize the population, distribution or consumption of marijuana calls into question the necessity of such a program,” the letter stated.

Among the beneficiaries of the program is the state of Utah, which received a cool $73,000 and never found a single pot plant. New Hampshire got $20,000 for agents to uncover an outdoor grow with 27 plants.

Financial documents obtained by journalist Drew Atkins through the Freedom of Information Act, show the DEA’s program in Washington State, where recreational weed was legalized in 2012, was the fourth-largest recipient of funding at $760,000, after California, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Why does Washington State need it? Police say because of Mexican drug cartels, which have moved their operations north of the border where the climate produces higher-quality plants on swaths of private land, often in mountainous regions, where detection of large crops is difficult,” said Lt. Chris Sweet of the Washington State Patrol, according to a recent article by Atkins in the Seattle Times.

Sweet said that’s why eradication is still a priority.

“I hear it all the time: ‘You guys still have an outdoor-eradication program when you’re a legalized state? How does that make sense?’ ” Sweet said.

While Sweet may have a point about the Mexican cartels, criticism of the DEA continues to mount, especially now with growing concern that Trump’s attorney general-designate Jeff Sessions may try to roll back access.

That’s why Americans for Safe Access  is circulating a petition, now with over 70,000 signatures on it, calling on the DEA to stop disseminating false information about MMJ immediately and to ensure that any future information about its use and treatment reflect medically accurate and up-to-date facts.

Is that too much to ask?

You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.

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