In June 2012, Democratic Congressman from Colorado Jared Polis questioned DEA administrator and law enforcement officer Michelle Leonhart about the differences between various illegal drugs. Polis represents Colorado, where marijuana has been decriminalized and medical marijuana legalized. He asked Leonhart directly about whether the DEA supports the latter. Watch the video to get a glimpse of what the agency's top administrator thinks about the war on drugs. Meanwhile, a UK study found a very clear answer to Congressman Polis' question.
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While running for President, candidate Obama pledged to redirect the DEA's resources away from clamping down on medical marijuana distributors in the states, but since October 2009 his administration has overseen at least 170 "aggressive SWAT-style raids" on distributors, mostly in California. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but it is regulated for sale in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. Critics say the administration could issue an executive order barring federal enforcement of marijuana laws in the states.
Instead, the Obama administration has overseen an expansion of the war on drugs, complete with billions of dollars on surveillance and related 'security' spending.
Read more on the drug war.