The DEA Has Become Too Powerful as a Lobbying Force to Keep the Disastrous War on Drugs

This week, no less than eight former directors of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) signed onto a public letter to two Senators accusing the Obama Administration of abandoning the War on Drugs simply because he has indicated he plans to largely respect the decisions of voters in Colorado and Washington when they legalized marijuana in November. President Obama would be esteemed by many if he were to  restrain federal agents more than he did during his first term with regard to raids of medical marijuana dispensaries in other states, such as California or the 17 other states where the voters have supported medical marijuana. In fact, President Obama promised before entering the presidency that his justice department would not be perpetrating the failed War on Drugs as so many presidents had done before him, but this is one area where people can point to what the President said he would do and what he actually did, and the disparity is unfortunately significant. Once he got into office, he faced tremendous pressures from lobbyists who stoke the War on Drugs, and the primary culprits are enforcers like the DEA and the profiteers of this ‘war’, such as the prison industrial complex. As Mansfield Frazier writes, read more