DEA Chief Dials Back Drug War Bluster After Talk With Holder

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart and her boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, appear locked in a bureaucratic staring match over the Obama administration’s attempt to reform the way the federal government approaches criminal justice and punishment.

For Holder and for President Barack Obama, sentencing reform has become a critical, second-term legacy item, as they aim to bend the arc of incarceration policy away from a federal system well practiced at imprisoning drug offenders for as long as possible. But those efforts are colliding with institutional resistance from law enforcement officials with a single-minded focus and, perhaps, turf to defend.

The high-level shift toward easing punishment for drug offenders, backed by public opinion, raises the question of whether any DEA chief who could win the support of rank and file agents would be willing to carry out White House reforms. So far, Leonhart appears uninterested, at best.

DEA Chief Slams Obama For Pot Remarks: Reports

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration slammed President Barack Obama this week for saying marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, according to a report Saturday in the Boston Herald.

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart reportedly told a group of sheriffs at a closed-door conference in Washington that she was frustrated by the administration’s recent openness toward state legalization. Although Leonhart’s remarks were not made publicly, her pointed references to the president could put her job in jeopardy. [Read more…]

DEA Chief Slams Obama For Pot Remarks: Reports

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration slammed President Barack Obama this week for saying marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, according to a report Saturday in the Boston Herald.

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart reportedly told a group of sheriffs at a closed-door conference in Washington that she was frustrated by the administration’s recent openness toward state legalization. Although Leonhart’s remarks were not made publicly, her pointed references to the president could put her job in jeopardy. [Read more…]