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Marijuana: DEA takes nine months to brush off Colorado's reschedule-pot request

Thumbnail image for Michele Leonhart.jpg
Michele Leonhart.
High-profile media organizations have started floating the idea of rescheduling marijuana as a way of bridging the gap between federal law and Colorado's in the wake of Amendment 64's passage. As we noted Wednesday, Colorado asked DEA administrator Michele Leonhart to consider doing so this past December. Now we know the DEA's response -- no -- and the amount of time it took the agency to deliver it -- around nine months. Documents below.

BarbaraBrohl.jpg
Barbara Brohl.
Some background: Even though eighteen states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes, the DEA considers the substance to be a Schedule I narcotic -- meaning that it offers no known or acknowledged medical benefit. Other Schedule I narcotics include heroin, whereas Schedule II lists the likes of cocaine and opium -- drugs pretty much everyone with a working brain understands to be much more dangerous than cannabis, although Leonhart refused to acknowledge it during questioning by Colorado Representative Jared Polis at a Congressional hearing this past June.

Colorado officials were required to ask the federal government to consider moving marijuana to a different schedule by the signing into law of House Bill 1284, which set up a regulatory system for medical marijuana in the state. Obeying a passage in the legislation, Director of Revenue Barbara Brohl sent a letter to Leonhart on December 22, 2011; see it below.

joseph rannazzisi.jpg
Joseph Rannazzisi.
The DEA's reply was a long time coming. The documents shared with us by the Department of Revenue are stamped with two dates: September 6 and October 10, with the latter supplemented by the word "received." Moreover, they weren't written by Leonhart. Instead, she appears to have farmed out this duty to Joseph Rannazzisi, the deputy assistant administrator for the DEA's Office of Diversion Control. And there's something else strange about the letters, both shared in this post. Although the text is identical in each, the signatures are different.

Continue for more about the DEA's response to Colorado's letter about rescheduling marijuana, including original documents.



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43 comments
josh.bezy
josh.bezy

the DEA is great! keep pot banned!

Ian.Wms
Ian.Wms

What a horrible, insensitive, immoral bitch. Dismantle the DEA. Thugs, go rot!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

How does that work with DC MMJ anyway? Isn't that discretely federal jurisdiction?

wm.w.west
wm.w.west

Didn't he say the same thing 4 years ago? So now after 4 years of lies these next 4 will be different? Really? What difference does it really make to him, he isn't going to be re-elected so why does it matter to him? Obama-Cares....lmao if you think so

Jaimen Shutts
Jaimen Shutts

Wow they really are dumb!!!! Tell them if ur sick to ur stomach or hung over take a blast and see if it has no medical purpose .. And as for heroine no where near!! Where do they find these people????

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

SPECULATION IN A REPORT IS THE HALLMARK OF A GOOD REPORTER!!!The lack of similarity from one to the other suggests that the first letter was signed by an underling, while Rannazzisi may have actually scribbled on the latter -- although that's speculation.Ok, Michael let´s walk you through this, it´s Reporting 101. 1. There was a conversation between the federal government and Nixonlooper regarding the implementation of A64, you scribbled words about it. 2. That conversation is of vital importance to the people of Colorado. 3. If that meeting was not recorded, then WHY DID NIXONLOOPER HAVE A CLOSED DOOR MEETING WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REGARING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A64?4. Real reporting happens, hopefully. :)

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

SPECULATION IN A REPORT IS THE HALLMARK OF A GOOD REPORTER!!!The lack of similarity from one to the other suggests that the first letter was signed by an underling, while Rannazzisi may have actually scribbled on the latter -- although that's speculation.Ok, Michael let´s walk you through this, it´s Reporting 101.

1.  There was a conversation between the federal government and Nixonlooper regarding the implementation of A64, you scribbled words about it.

2.  That conversation is of vital importance to the people of Colorado.

3. If that meeting was not recorded, then WHY DID NIXONLOOPER HAVE A CLOSED DOOR MEETING WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REGARING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A64?4. Real reporting happens, hopefully. :)

Kyle Meyer
Kyle Meyer

370,000 hospital visits due to marijuana in 2010? No way that can be true, where are these "facts" coming from?

Melissa Soria
Melissa Soria

Comparing weed to heroin is like comparing xanax to meth.

Justin Whosoever Mendez
Justin Whosoever Mendez

I guess the DEA plans on acting against what the AMERICAN people voted on? Fire these fucks pull their budget,might be time for civil unrest....

Kevin Kohl
Kevin Kohl

I'm down to settle this debate. I will injest as much cannabis as someone who will injest heroin. Gram for gram. We'll see who dies first.

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson

Total bullshit!!!! Nixon obviously never burned one while writing the drug scheduling act, to determine the actual potency of drugs. How about they quit wasting billions on the most expensive, unproductive, war in American history, (the war on drugs) and start putting money towards a solution like treatment programs for the users of hard substances. Fuck you DEA!! All you do is cause problems, while enforcing a inside agenda from pharmaceutical and tobacco companies.

Davin Koistinen
Davin Koistinen

Nicotine is more addicting than heroine and its legal. Tobacco kills more people than heroine, cocaine, and alcohol combined. Cigarettes are so dangerous they kill people that don't even smoke. Where the fuck is the DEA on that one?

Clifford Goose Adams
Clifford Goose Adams

The DEA has a mission to perform and part of that mission is to fight drug useage so of course they are going to try to paint marijuana with the same brush as cocaine and heroin. That doesn't make it right though.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart appears to be little more than a blithering idiot. Either she can't answer the questions or refuses to. Either way, she's unfit for her position. Perhaps a kitchen.

Stacy Russell
Stacy Russell

Fuck the dea they just don't wanna lose their job security

Zack Lewis
Zack Lewis

Plus I'm sure they just cashed a couple multimillion dollar checks from both big tabacco and the pharmaceutical companies

Zack Lewis
Zack Lewis

DEA relies on arrest numbers and data each year to justify funding, if they take pot off the chopping block they would have to do real police work and start going after the cartels for heroin, cocaine, and meth(the real threat to our neighborhoods) but they would rather keep it easy and put potheads behind bars

Ehron Moats
Ehron Moats

SO FUCK YOU Bitch DEA , i have proof that it does have MEDICAL uses and you just a Bitch wanting to line your pockets while the getting is still good.

Tyler DeFelice
Tyler DeFelice

Our DEA is stupid...shes the one that couldent even answer a simple question.... shes just trying to cover up the mistake that the government made by makeing the plant illegal...POT DOESNT KILL! AND IS NO WHERE CLOSE TO BEING AS BAD AS HERION

Becca Mertens
Becca Mertens

Extreme over reaction! The woman needs to do her research. Alcohol is far worse, how many people die from smoking too much pot, how many people die from long term use of pot, and how many people die from quitting smoking after long term use. I know several people that are either dying from alcohol abuse or have died from their alcohol addiction. I don't know a single person that's died from marijuana.

Ehron Moats
Ehron Moats

US Government , your full of SHIT!!! Heroin , your going to compare Marijuana that grows NATURALLY to something you have to add shit to and it can kill you. I have no RESPECT for our 1930's BS LAW's that need revising

Jonathan Wilkin
Jonathan Wilkin

Of course they do, they have to justify their paycheck.

Samuel Walter
Samuel Walter

'Inaccurate' doesn't quite sum it up; intentionally false propaganda is more appropriate.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@wm.w.west Interesting post, wm.w.west -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Monkey
Monkey

@wm.w.west Some people are stupid, just look below. "Obama said so" is my favorite, as if Obama ever cared about weed smokers. He chose his words wisely, too bad readers can't comprehend what those words mean.

ccapra
ccapra

@tutonehcc Eh, I wouldn't say that as much as they'll look the other way.  He offers no plan for rescheduling or federal decrimilization, only that "they have bigger fish to fry".

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@tutonehcc He also said he didn't have a problem with medical, as long as people followed state laws...before busting up dispensaries.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc

@Cognitive_Dissident @tutonehcc Busting up dispensaries never happened, just a few letters for being to close to schools, with no arrests, and no raids.  I'd hardly call a letter 'busting up' and there isn't one other example of the Feds interfering with Colorado's medical system.  In reality it's been a 99.9% go green light to ganja paradise around here.

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