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IPFS News Link • Drug War

Rogues Gone Wild

And yet the DEA has recently intensified its crackdown. Here in Colorado—where voters enshrined medical marijuana’s legality in our state constitution—the feds not only raided two dispensaries, but did so in a way that deliberately humiliated their superiors. In January, the DEA stormed a company that performs cannabis quality tests. The firm’s alleged infraction? Following protocol and formally applying for a federal equipment license. DEA rogues responded to the request not with thanks or—heaven forbid—approval, but instead with the gestapo. This was topped last week when DEA agents arrested a medical marijuana grower who dared discuss his business with a local news outlet. Sensing a PR opportunity, DEA agent Jeffrey Sweetin used the spectacle to insist that he will not listen to stand-down directives from his bosses. “The time is coming when we go into a dispensary, we find out what their profit is, we seize the building and we arrest everybody,” Sweetin menacingly intoned. Once again, a rogue going wild and, once again, tacit acceptance. Rather than personnel changes reining in the out-of-control agency, the president has nominated the acting Bush-appointed DEA administrator, Michele Leonhart, to a full term. The message, then, should be clear: If you’re looking for who is “in control” of our military and police forces, don’t look to the established chain of command and don’t look to constitutional provisions that mandate civilian authority over the government bayonet. Look to the most reckless rogues—it’s a good bet they’re the ones running the show.