For Leonhart to describe Obama’s statement as unscientific is pretty rich. Like all of her predecessors, Leonhart has steadfastly refused to reclassify marijuana, which for no rational reason remains on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, a category supposedly reserved for drugs with a high potential for abuse that have no accepted medical applications and cannot be used safely, even under medical supervision.
In response to questions from Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in 2012, Leonhart famously declined to say whether marijuana was more or less dangerous than crack, heroin, or methamphetamine (which is actually less restricted), repeating the mantra that “all illegal drugs are bad.” Mmmkay?
Addendum: The Marijuana Policy Project MPP is urging Obama to
Dan Riffle, MPP’s director of Federal Policies, says: Whether Ms. Leonhart is ignorant of the facts or intentionally disregarding them, she is clearly unfit for her current position.
By any objective measure, marijuana is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and society. It is irresponsible and unacceptable for a government official charged with enforcing our drug laws to deny the facts surrounding the nation’s two most popular recreational drugs.
The DEA administrator’s continued refusal to recognize marijuana’s relative safety compared to alcohol and other drugs flies in the face of the president’s commitment to prioritizing science over ideology and politics. She is neglecting the basic obligations of her job and fundamentally undermining her employer’s mission.
This would be grounds for termination in the private sector, and the consequences for Ms. Leonhart should be no different.