Law Enforcement Agencies Under Scrutiny

Yesterday’s News – April 22, 2015


Michele Leonhart will step down as head of the DEA

Michele Leonhart will step down as head of the DEA


Head of DEA To Step Down Next Month

After years of mismanagement, Michele Leonhart will step down as the top official at the Drug Enforcement Administration. Her impending departure comes amidst controversy involving her agents, sex parties, and South American drug cartel money, which, according to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) of the House Oversight Committee, amounts to “a DEA agency…completely out of control.” Leonhart has long been a foe of cannabis activists, as she has refused to bring her agency inline with the White House’s policies on both recreational and medical marijuana. Proponents of drug law reform, such as Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), see the upcoming vacancy as an opportunity to shift the DEA’s stance on cannabis toward more progressive enforcement practices. The New York Times has the full story:



DPA’s Above the Law Reveals Asset Forfeiture Abuses

Turns out the DEA isn’t the only agency that doesn’t mind breaking the law in order to enforce the law. The Drug Policy Alliance issued a report yesterday that documents years of illegal civil asset forfeiture abuses by Southern California law enforcement agencies. Above the Law exposes the extent to which these agencies violate state and federal laws in order to maintain asset forfeitures as a major funding source and sounds the alarm for reform. “When ordinary people don’t even have to be charged with a crime before having their assets permanently seized and added to police coffers, constitutional rights are at stake,” said State Senator Holly Mitchell, who recently introduced a bill to reign in civil forfeiture actions, in a DPA press release:



Potential Presidents on Pot

Yahoo! News put together a list of likely 2016 presidential candidates and their positions on cannabis, including both their (known) personal experiences and their stances on current policies. The seven Republican hopefuls run the gamut from Chris Christie’s vehement opposition to Rand Paul’s libertarian support for medical marijuana, decriminalization, and states’ rights, while the two Democrats included (Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley) have been a bit more ambivalent:



Challenges to California Legalization

The California campaign to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana is already well underway. WeedMaps has thrown its support behind Californians for Sensible Reform, and three organizations have already submitted ballot measures to election authorities. Building consensus in California could prove to be difficult, with competing agendas from various factions of the cannabis community and voter concerns about intoxicated driving, a persistent black market, and the industry’s environmental impact. In order to address these issues in advance of the 2016 election, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and the ACLU of California have formed a marijuana policy commission and held a public forum yesterday at UCLA. The LA Times has more:



Denver Cannabis Cup Winners

Warning: the following photographs could induce major FOMO if you weren’t in Denver last weekend:




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  1. Pingback: Rosenberg to Head DEA | Weekend Review Kit

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