Michele M. Leonhart Newly Appointed DEA Administrator

January 4th, 2011

The US Senate has recently appointed Michele M. Leonhart as the new Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration through a unanimous vote.  She will be the DEAs first female agent to lead in this capacity.

It’s fairly clear that she has some tough issues to tackle, which she acknowledged upon her confirmation, saying:

“I am dedicated to meeting the challenges that DEA faces, from disrupting and dismantling extremely violent Mexican based drug cartels; to defeating narco-terrorists operating in Afghanistan and around the world; and doing all we can to reduce prescription drug abuse, our nation’s fastest growing drug threat. I will devote all of my energy and experience to guide DEA as we enforce the nation’s drug laws and take the lead in the global fight against drug trafficking.”

While Leonhart will be facing many important issues, most prominent is likely the drug cartels in Mexico due to the ever expanding violence surrounding them.  While the cartels may not be as close to home as prescription drug abusers, dealing with them will have the most effect on the world at large, as well as a profound impact on drug use in the US. 

Closely linked with this issue is one which she failed to comment on, her opinions on the legalization marijuana.  In the political state we are currently in, where pot is accepted socially but not legally, some believe that we are in an empowering position in regard to the cartels.  They suggest that the legalization of pot would cut back on the blood associated with it, an important topic which requires some real discussion, even if the blood spilled happens to be on the other side of the border.

For more information, read the official report from the DEA website, though it mostly just congratulates her for being female, a fact which, in this day and age, should be less relevant: http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr122210.html

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