Tony Newman at 212-613-8026 or Shayna Samuels at 646-523-6961
Less than five months after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) criticized the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for failing to reduce the availability of illegal drugs and having no long-term strategies or goals, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider someone new as its Administrator. President Bush’s nomination to run the DEA, Karen Tandy, will be testifying tomorrow — Wednesday June 25 at 2:00 PM in Room 215 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.
February’s OMB report specifically stated that the DEA “is unable to demonstrate progress in reducing the availability of illegal drugs in the United States.” According to the New York Times, the report also found that the DEA lacks clear long-term strategies and goals, its managers are not held accountable for problems, and its financial controls do not comply with federal standards.
“We hope the new head of the DEA will not continue the failed policies of the past,” said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance in Washington, DC. “Instead of harassing sick people who use marijuana as medicine, or filling our prisons with low-level nonviolent drug offenders, the DEA should focus on taking down violent crime syndicates.”
The Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization promoting alternatives to the war on drugs, is also calling on the DEA to stop making politically-motivated arrests of medical marijuana patients and other Americans, and focus instead on reducing the death, disease, crime and suffering related to drug abuse and our current drug policies. Specifically, the DEA should: