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Head Of DEA To Resign After Series Of Scandals

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart has announced she will resign next month. Leonhart’s resignation comes after a series of scandals at the agency with most notable perhaps being the revelation that DEA agents were having sex parties with prostitutes connected to Colombian drug cartels. That scandal led to an intensely embarrassing hearing before Congress where Leonhart was forced to admit that the agents involved were barely punished even when one was caught abusing one of the prostitutes.

Administrator Leonhart was also forced to deal with the fallout from the revelation that the DEA had been engaging in a long running secret program to track billions of American’s international calls starting a decade before 9/11. The program was terminated after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed a similar program being conducted by the NSA.

Leonhart also publicly opposed President Obama’s position on reducing penalties on marijuana use and allowing states such as Colorado and Washington.

The Obama administration’s top drug enforcement official will step down next month, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced on Tuesday, after her agency was tarnished by a scandal over sex parties with prostitutes and she broke with President Obama on drug policy. Michele M. Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, told Mr. Holder that she intended to retire, ending a 35-year tenure at the agency…

Even as Mr. Obama expressed guarded support for allowing states to experiment with legalizing marijuana, Ms. Leonhart has remained a staunch opponent. She refused during a 2012 hearing on Capitol Hill to say whether she believed that marijuana was less dangerous than crack cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin, saying that “all illegal drugs are bad.” Still, Mr. Holder praised her long service at the D.E.A., where she was the first woman to hold the rank of special agent in charge.

Whether Leonhart is a true hardliner or just toeing the agency line on marijuana’s health risk is hard to say, what is much easier to note is that during her tenure – just as in the tenure of all her predecessors – illegal drugs were readily available in every town and city in America.

Now that Leonhart has announced she is stepping down the race is afoot to find a replacement that can get through confirmation. Maybe it is time to think about even having a DEA or at least revisiting the efficacy of the War on Drugs.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.