DEA To Shift Focus Away From Cannabis
Following the scandal in which DEA agents were implicated in the use of drugs and cartel prostitution, long serving DEA chief Michele Leonheart has resigned. Rejoice! Despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, Leonheart was insistent that marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical value, and stood by the class I classification that marijuana holds on a federal level in the US.
With her ejection from the service, it opens the way up for a more progressive leader who is more in touch with public opinion. That person is Chuck Rosenberg. Described as having “proven himself as an exceptional leader, a skilled problem-solver, and a consummate public servant of unshakable integrity,” by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Rosenberg looks like the DEA chief marijuana campaigners have all been waiting for. A former top official at the FBI, Rosenberg has claimed that under his leadership, the DEA with shift its focus away from marijuana users and sellers, instead working to “improve the DEA’s procedures on classifying, declassifying and reclassifying drugs”.
What does this mean for the US? Well, hopefully less raids, less arrests and less persecution of non-violent marijuana users; fingers crossed, it could even lead to the DEA backing the reclassification of marijuana to a lesser category, if not its legalization. As long as his intentions are true, then Rosenberg taking this leading role is likely to be celebrated by everyone in the US who opposes prohibition.
However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows, and still a gloomy outlook for those who oppose the War on Drugs as a whole. The DEA needs to get its funding somewhere, and this will likely come from it refocusing its efforts on those who use other drugs, such as psychedelics, opiates, and stimulants. The side effects and damage that the War on Drugs causes will still persist, organised crime shall still remain strong, and suffering shall still continue.
However, we are not ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, and this is still good news. A more progressive and rational person in charge of the DEA is a step in the right direction to ending prohibition, so at the end of the day, it is a win!