DEA Raids Legal Pot, Synthetic Cannabis Sellers While Massachusetts Declares “Heroin Emergency”
In my last piece, I discussed testimony from DEA Chief Michele Leonhart which seems to suggest that she is instructing the agency to ignore the President’s mandate that legal pot be left alone. While the DEA refused to comment, it seems that their actions fully support this claim.
President Obama has said that he wants the agency to focus more on prescription opiate abuse and, now, heroin. In fact, Massachusetts just recently declared a “heroin emergency,” most likely because of the lack of availability of OxyContin and other prescription opiates. How they are not asking for DEA’s help and, according to Governor Deval Patrick, are planning to “treat it like the public health crisis it is.”
So what is an over-militarized, law-enforcement agency to do? Why, continue to pursue pot and other legal alternatives to it. The DEA launched a nationwide raid of “synthetic drug” manufacturers raiding warehouses, shops, and private homes. According to NPR, the DEA claims that the profits from these drugs are being routed to the Middle East, implying that it was funding terrorism.
These substances were not even illegal until March when the DEA placed synthetic cannabinoids on the list of Schedule I drugs along with 10 synthetic cathinones, more commonly called “bath salts.”
Also, the DEA is raiding legal pot stores and dispensaries that are completely legal under the laws of their states. A recent raid in Denver targeted immigrant business owners who allegedly laundered money to start their businesses, although the DEA has no idea where the money came from or who might be behind it.
A federal judge denied the request of a 70 year-old man speaking on behalf of a group of medical marijuana patients from Washington state were told that their planned defense to drug charges—that the plants were for medicinal purposes—saying the “intent of the defendants is not relevant to the issues,” and that state law was “not relevant either.”
So while 75 percent of Americans expect pot legalization and think the approach to combatting drug addiction should focus on treatment versus incarceration, the federal government still has a very long way to go.
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