It’s dope cop Valhalla in California.  Obama sets ‘em up; the DEA locks ‘em up.

Evidently, the memo sent out by the Department of Justice reiterating Obama’s pledge to keep federal drug enforcement away from state-legal, medical marijuana growers and dispensaries didn’t make it to a number of DEA in-boxes.

According to a story at the Huffington Post , immediately after Obama’s inauguration, the DEA showed Obama what it thought of his no-bust policy with a raid in Lake Tahoe on January 22 (2 days after Obama was sworn in); 5 raids in L.A. on February 5; and1 in Fort Bragg on February 11.

When Attorney General Eric Holder got news of his underlings’ feeding frenzy he “spoke out in late February,” reminding the DEA of his boss’ policy on medical marijuana.

Apparently, Holder’s message had a 5-month sell-by date, because the DEA was back in full flower by August when agents hit a dispensary in Upper Lake, California. Then, in what must have been a spectacular display of watch synchronization and hushed “roger thats,” they helped local law enforcement take down at least 20 San Diego clubs in one day on September 9.

A story out of Colorado further demonstrates the ominous beauty of the government’s double standard on medical marijuana.

According to, Colorado-legal pot grower Chris Bartkowicz had been a subject of a Channel 9 News story about medical marijuana cultivation in Denver’s suburbs.

Last Thursday, the station ran a tease featuring Bartkowitz. The next day—before the full story even aired—agents from the Denver branch of the DEA swooped down on Berkowitz’ operation, arresting him and seizing his inventory and growing apparatus.

It’s “good cop-bad cop” on a grand scale. The Obama administration lulled this grower into a false sense of such security that he agreed to do a TV interview about his business. All the DEA had to do was watch the local news to put Bartkowitz in handcuffs and federal, mandatory-minimum territory—a potentially life-destroying place.

Obama’s Dis-joint-ed Response

Did the DEA’s blatant disregard of the President’s policies cause Obama to hit the roof?  Did he rake Holder and DEA commanders over the coals for such blatant displays of poor management and insubordination?

Not quite.

According to and, Obama has quietly nominated Bush appointee Michele Leonhart, currently Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division, to become the next head of the DEA.

Leonhart is not just a dope cop. She is a zealot. While she was orchestrating raids on Los Angeles cannabis clubs, she also managed to find time to block top university medical researchers’ requests to determine marijuana’s medical efficacy.

In other words, Leonhart, who has been characterized by the Drug Policy Alliance as “Ashcroft’s Mini-Me,” is not just intent on enforcing federal marijuana laws, she is also dead-set against finding out why those laws may be wrong.

After all the campaign pledges and pro-medical marijuana rhetoric, Obama’s choice to head the DEA is, to say the least, confusing. But, one message is crystal clear: if you sell or grow legal medical marijuana, don’t do TV.


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