As a former Supervisory agent with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (what is now the Drug Enforcement Administration), many people think that I would have a strong opinion on the marijuana legalization debate.
The truth is: I don’t care about that argument. The way I see it, there are pluses and minuses on both sides. I was trained to enforce the law, not make it.
What I am concerned about is the safety of the people at the DEA. During my tenure, I saw agents get injured, shot and killed enforcing Federal marijuana laws. I don’t want to see current agents get hurt if they don’t have to put themselves in harm’s way.
Right now, many States have legalized the use of pot, in direct contradiction with Federal law. A 2014 poll suggests that a majority of Americans (55%) support the legalization of pot. So in a very real sense, DEA agents have one hand tied behind their back when it comes to pot.
I understand that things change. I’m anxious for Congress to provide a clear verdict at the Federal level, as DEA agents deserve to know what battles they have to fight, and which ones they don’t.