Supposedly the DEA is under the Department of Justice, and therefore under the supervision of the Attorney General, and also supposedly the DEA reports to Congress and is subject to their demands, and also supposedly through the Attorney General, the DEA (and particularly the head of the DEA) reports to the President… and yet, it often seems like they’re some kind of rogue non-governmental military organization.
There are times that I really wonder if Michele Leonhart has blackmail materials on the President and members of Congress.
Here’s the latest:
The Drug Enforcement Administration has seized a batch of seeds that were intended to be part of the launch of Kentucky’s legal hemp industry following congressional legalization of the crop for research purposes.
The DEA has offered a wide variety of explanations to Kentucky officials perplexed at the seizure. “They’re interpreting the law a hundred different ways,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R) told HuffPost. “The only way they’re not interpreting it is the way it actually reads.”
Of course, the DEA has never been too concerned about what the law actually says. But still, this is pretty blatant, and caused quite an uproar yesterday.
Then at the end of the day, there was an update:
Late Tuesday night, the DEA agreed to issue a permit, and release the 250 pounds of Italian hemp seeds being held by the U.S. Customs Service, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“It looks like we’ve won this round,” Comer said in a statement. “The DEA completely reversed course from this morning. I think we just needed to get their attention.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration is insisting that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture apply for a permit to import Schedule I drugs before it can gain access to hemp seeds the agency has seized, according to a letter the DEA sent late Tuesday night.
The letter, obtained by HuffPost through an open records request, represents a reversal of a previous agreement, said Holly Harris VonLuehrte, a senior official at the Kentucky agriculture office.
“We were told yesterday in multiple phone calls that we wouldn’t have to do this Schedule I import permit,” said VonLuehrte, adding that agreeing to the DEA demand would be an implicit admission that hemp is, in fact, a Schedule I drug. “Industrial hemp is not a Schedule I controlled substance. We’re not going to execute a document that violates federal and state law.”
The DEA needs to go. Shut them down. Declare them a terrorist organization. Seize their assets. Investigate the leadership for violation of laws and human rights.