Wait, wait -- you're not KIDDING?There was a video posted online yesterday, friends. A video showcasing such unparalleled gall, such an absurd devotion to nonsensical untruths, that it could have only come from one place: Congress.

It is a video of Colorado Congressman Jared Polis taking a large, thick-streamed whiz on whatever credibility the Drug Enforcement Administration had left — he put out every last ember of seriousness, every possible contention that the government had logic on its side in the marijuana debate, and still had enough left in the tank to write his name in the snow.

Polis was talking to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, the rabidly anti-pot top cop in the DEA who said in 2010 she didn’t care about state medical marijuana laws, she was going to keep on arresting people, thankyouverymuch.

Polis was asking Leonhart yes-or-no questions about weed. And she repeatedly, and with much thought, refused to say that marijuana was less harmful than heroin. Or crack. Or meth. It’s a competition between Cheech and Chong and Requiem for a Dream, and the DEA is telling Congress they’re the same movie.

It’s a pain in the ass to transcribe things. Like, way more work than poor secretive Wonkette Jr. usually puts into these interblog things. But… man. This one’s a doozy, and you poor folks with “day jobs” and “bosses who care about you doing work” shouldn’t miss out because you can’t watch videos.

Polis: Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?

Leonhart: I believe all illegal drugs are bad.

Is methamphetamine worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?

I don’t think any illegal drug—

Is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?

Again, all—

I mean either yes, no, or I don’t know. I mean, if you don’t know you can look this up. You should know this, as the chief administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency. I’m asking you a very straightforward question: Is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?

All illegal drugs are bad.

Does this mean you don’t know?

Heroin causes an addiction that causes many problems and is very hard to kick.

So does that mean that the health impact of heroin is worse than marijuana? Is that what you’re telling me?

I think you’re asking a subjective question.

No, it’s objective. Just looking at the science. This is your area of expertise. I’m a layperson but I’ve read some of the studies and am aware of it. I’m just asking you ask an expert in the subject area, is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?

And I’m answering as a police officer and as a DEA agent that these drugs are illegal because they are dangerous, because they are addictive, because they do hurt a person’s health.

OK. So heroin is more addictive than marijuana? Is heroin more addictive than marijuana?

I think generally the properties of heroin, yes, it’s more addictive.

Is methamphetamine more addictive than marijuana?

Well, both are addictive.

Is methamphetamine more highly addictive than marijuana?

I think some people become addicted to marijuana and some people become addicted to methamphetamine.

You mentioned that your top priority, I believe you indicated to us, is abuse of prescription drugs. Is one of the main classifications of prescription drugs painkillers that you’re concerned about?

That’s correct.

And are those painkillers addictive?

Yes they are. Very addictive.

And are those painkillers more addictive than marijuana?

All illegal drugs are in Schedule I are addictive.

Well, again, this is a health-based question and I know you’re a, obviously you have a law-enforcement background, but I’m sure you’re also familiar, given your position, with the science of the matter. And I’m asking you know, again, clearly, your agency has established abuse of prescription drugs as the top priority — is that therefore an indication that prescription drugs are more addictive than marijuana?

All illegal drugs are addictive.

OK, your agency has established abuse of prescription drugs as its top priority, you’ve indicated as much to us. Does that mean that abuse of prescription drugs is a greater threat to the public health than marijuana?

Because it’s an emergent, an emerging threat, because people are turning to prescription drugs faster than any other drug, that is why we prioritize it.

In many states, including my home state of Colorado, we have a legalized and regulated regime of medical marijuana, and we have found some great degree of success in combating the abuse of prescription drugs by making sure the patients have access to medical marijuana, which the science indicates, and I would certainly encourage you to look at the science, is less addictive and less harmful to human health than some of the narcotic prescription drugs that are abused. And when they’re used on-label than can be very harmful to health as well.

Would your agency consider supporting medical marijuana provisions when that can be used to, in pursuit of your top priority, which is reducing abuse of prescription drugs. If it can be documented that use of medical marijuana helps reduce the abuse of prescription drugs, is that something you’re willing to pursue?

Well, Congress has determined that marijuana is a controlled substance, and DEA is tasked with enforcing federal law.

You mentioned priorities though, and you said top priority, reducing abuse of prescription drugs. One tactic to do that would be use of medical marijuana and I wanted to make sure that top priority, in pursuit of your top priority, are you willing to look at the use of medical marijuana as a way of reducing abuse of prescription drugs?

We will look at any options for reducing drug addiction.

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  • My Jazz Drug of preference is "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis.

    • Indiepalin

      So what?

    • chascates

      "A Love Supreme"

    • I prefer Brubeck's "Take Five" but then I take weird jazz drugs.

    • Pragmatist2

      I'm going with "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartmann."
      But I don't inhale.

    • FNMA

      I was listening to some Wes Montgomery this morning and now I have a craving for potato chips and ice cream.

    • neiltheblaze

      "Our Man in Paris" by Dexter Gordon is my go-to jazz drug album. (Oh fuck, I said "album"! I'm old!)

      • If it's any consolation to you, "CD" is quickly joining that category. Soon, your kids will be uncool.

        • ChernobylSoup

          You're just going to skip over 8 tracks and cassettes without so much as a how do you do?

          • We don't speak of 8 tracks.

          • BerkeleyBear

            The Technology that Shall Not Be Named.

    • Thelonious Monk or gtfo.

    • UnholyMoses

      Does Pink Floyd count as jazz … ?

      'Cause that was always my fave. (Meddle being the album of choice. And, yes, ALBUM, bitches.)

    • Callyson

      I go back and forth between him and Mr John Coltrane, myself. What can I say, I'm a slut when it comes to drug choices…

    • Preferred Customer

      OTOH, Miles Davis' Jazz Drug preference was cocaine. Also Lamborghinis.

    • scvirginia

      Miles is always welcome, but Evans, Getz & Brubeck are also, too. I notice we aren't classifying vocalists as being as addictive as hornplayers, and I would submit that all Class 1 jazz should be considered dangerous.

    • mannacler

      The greate4st jazz album of all time.

  • ChernobylSoup

    Still, that was the most productive moment in Congress since January 2011.

  • Crank_Tango

    I am willing to look at any options for reducing drug addiction.

    In fact, as soon as I get my work done this morning, I am going to look at a nice bong full of options and maybe make a snack or two.

  • randcoolcatdaddy

    "I think you’re asking a subjective question."

    I think you're evading any real dialogue here in favor of protecting your Congressional funding and possible consulting jobs in the security industry after you leave government.

    But that's just a subjective observation, mind you…

  • Estproph

    Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

    Christ. This is the best they can come up with?

    • BerkeleyBear

      I read the entire transcript in Mr. Mackey's voice, for some reason. Just seemed to fit.

  • elburritodeluxe

    Jared Polis (D-Dude, What?)

  • Crank_Tango

    Michele Leonhart: All illegal drugs are bad.
    Mr. Mackey: Drugs are bad, mmkay.


  • elburritodeluxe

    A lot of law enforcement jobs and infrastructure would be lost if we abandoned our present idiotic course, so she's got to sit there and lie.

    • And think of all those poor blah men who wouldn't get arrested and would be able to lead carefree lives working better jobs and raising families, maybe completing an education. They're taking away white folks' jobs!

    • occams8ball

      plus lucrative for profit prisons, fabulously lucrative illegal drug trade, and disenfranchisement of minority voters in many states, and the primo method of enforcing white supremacy in the US. The war on drugs provides cover for class war, discrimination, and genuine criminal behavior.

  • Allmighty_Manos

    Ok, but what's the DEA's position on whipits?

    • Whipits? Good.

    • Chichikovovich

      In favor. In fact, all the red-helmeted people in this video are DEA agents.

    • HarryButtle

      Lying down, preferably. If you do 'em standing up, you fall down and crack your head open.

      What? Isn't that what you meant?

    • UnholyMoses


      (Love me some "hippie crack.")

    • Dashboard Buddha

      They want to whip it…whip it good.

    • scvirginia

      You mean those dogs that look kinda like greyhounds?

  • all I'm hearing is that heroin isn't that bad for you.

    • FNMA

      Seriously, look at Keef. Guy will live to be 100.

      • Crank_Tango

        Apparently at higher concentrations it acts as a preservative.

      • Keith's already dead. His body just hasn't gotten the memo yet.

      • And his book is surprisingly good, though I don't know if he actually wrote it.

    • Guppy

      This message brought to you by the fine folks at Bayer AG! Heroin: the less-adictive alternative to morphine!

  • IncenseDebate

    Love is the drug for me.

    • viennawoods13

      Ok, now got that song running through my head (But that's ok, I like it)

  • slithytoves

    What about alcohol? I mean it's legal, so it's not addictive, right? And oxycontin, too? Whoopee!

    • BerkeleyBear

      Put em together and make all the pain melt away for a while.

  • FNMA

    They really should be looking at this as an economic issue. I mean, if it weren't for weed, Taco Bell would have gone out of business years ago.

    • And Doritos. I mean, really, have you ever eaten an entire bag of Doritos without *some* mood-altering substance within arm's reach?

      • BerkeleyBear

        Once. But as I recall, I was coming off a multiple day fast/workout regimen to cut weight in wrestling, which is basically a mood-altering experience on par with pot.

    • Biff

      4thmeal libel!

  • IncenseDebate

    In this story there is no hero but there is heroin.

  • freakishlywrong

    Bath salts aren't even a drug. Just sayin'.

  • "So does that mean that the health impact of heroin is worse than marijuana? Is that what you’re telling me?"

    That's a clown question, bro.

  • ChernobylSoup

    Public Admin 101: When caught between common sense and agency funding, always go with the funding.

  • This is a song we used to listen to while we skated around. I think it's about drugs or something.

  • Headline is completely out of proportion to the post, which failed to provide any laffs. Next!

    • Nitpicker…

    • IncenseDebate

      I wasn't going to say anything…

  • The question the Congresscritter SHOULD have asked is, "Is alcohol worse for a person than marijuana? Is tobacco worse for a person than marijuana?"

    • Crank_Tango

      Answer: "It not my yob, mang. Ask the ATF rep."

  • chascates

    A puff. A party. A tragedy. REEFER MADNESS!!!!

  • not that Radio
  • Polis 2016
    Yes We Can Haz Legalization.

  • noodlesalad

    Gubmint says crack=heroin=pot This same formula brought to you by the people who think Iraq=Iran=North Korea and torture=rendition=Founding Fathers' values. That is all.

  • CrunchyKnee

    Ahhh, Jared, using gotcha questions with a tool of big pharma and the private prison corporations just points out their toolyness.

  • ExecutorElassus

    There's a nice article over on boingboing about all the insane logic that goes into UK drug policy, so it's not just the US:

    (it's the same argument: "It's illegal because it's harmful. Since all illegal drugs are harmful, it's harmful because it's illegal." )

    Yay for eternal war!

    • In fairness to the UK…and just about every other sane nation on the planet…the US instigated an awful lot of current global drug policy.

      • viennawoods13

        Canada is preparing to ramp up the war on pot even as we speak- or type- grow six pot plants and you're in the slammer for 6 months minimum. Texas law enforcement has told the Conservatives in Ottawa they're making a bad decision. TEXAS. The original draft of the law had someone growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit receiving a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal. They may have changed that.

  • Not to be all looksist but Imma thinking that Lenohardt should be supporting the use of jazz drugs, since its about the only way she can get some.

    I'm not ashamed to admit I've tapped worse while looped.

  • Nothing about grass is addictive. Whenever I smoked it (years ago, mind you) the only thing I ever did was fall asleep under the coffee table. I decided it wasn't worth it, all on my own.

    Besides that, the hundred dollar case of munchies afterwards was a bigger problem.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      I spent several months thoroughly zonked, back in the day, and came to the same conclusion — ironically, in of those drug-induced moments of deep insight. Just up and walked out of a room full of fellow dopers, and never looked back. (Turned out that girls were much more fun … who knew?)

      It's not "addictive", it's just a habit — and only if you've got nothing better to do.

    • Geminisunmars

      I had a few giggles, but mostly it made me more sleepy, horny, or hungry — all of which I could do without.

      • kissawookiee

        Hmmm. You just described my morning to a T, except that I haven't had any weed today. So my job is actually a Schedule I drug? And here all this time I thought it was just archaeology.

        • Geminisunmars

          Well, I can see it making you more horny or sleepy – but hungry? I suspect that you are addicted to getting paid for your job.

        • scvirginia

          You're an archaeologist? Did y'all find Washington's dinosaur yet?

          • kissawookiee

            Yes. Unfortunately, he appears to have keeled over just after eating the last page of the Constitution, which Jesus signed.

          • scvirginia

            I hope the other Founders are suitably contrite for telling Georgie that 'the dinosaur ate my constitution' was a lame excuse…

  • MiniMencken

    I remember meeting a top DEA admin at a social function in Houston in the late 80s. He explained with a delighted smirk that the DEA had recently received scientific research that identified the three root factors in the development of drug users. The best one was "Not enough spankings." Really.

    • Oh fer fucks sake. Tell it to all the drug addicts who had the crap beaten out of them as kids.

    • finallyhappy

      top level gov't administrators are often really dumb and arrogant and will protect anything to hold onto jobs they don't deserve(thinking a lot about people who get their jobs because of donations/friends- appointees and then they get themselves regular gov't jobs when their president is out). 35 years working in the Fed- it is true. Not to say there aren't smart people too- but many of them will also go along to keep high level jobs- truth and facts lose out. So glad I was able to retire.
      I just had some interaction with someone "high level" and his "assistant"(in the fed gov't )- both with real attitudes because of their "positions"(given the woman's clothing and attitude- I'm thinking there are some more unusual positions involved there since she didn't seem to have lots of smarts). I laughed about their arrogance- because it doesn't mean shit to me anymore- I just feel bad for the employees.

      • BerkeleyBear

        Top level admins seem to fit broadly into 3 categories – pure political hacks, some of whom have a lot of credentials but sold out long ago (totally useless, like dipshit Brown running FEMA and somehow turning that clusterfuck into a post-admin career), careerist lifers who just want to make it to retirement ("I've seen administrations come, and administrations go" types who view their pension vesting as more important as to whether the system works or not), and the rarest kind – the person who actually gives a shit, wants to do the right thing and cares more about making solid, logical improvements than getting credit. The few of that last category that manage to get anything done are amazing, but most who could get tired of politics before the top levels and find some niche to work in for decades doing good work.

  • fawkedifiknow

    I just want to know what the Catholic Bishops think about this question, before I take a position. They're the ultimateauthority on all public policy issues, aren't they?

    • Guppy

      Marijuana leads to fornication!

  • Biff

    That cunt.

  • Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    I baked for years, but was able to walk away with no problems… other than regret.

    Law Enforcement Lady should enforce the law, while Congress works to revoke it tout suite.

  • Teh funding has made the cops the biggest junkies in the war on drugz. IMO, the war on drugs was the worst disaster to come out Reagan's misguided presidency and that it has killed thousands and destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands.

    • Boring correction: Nixon initiated the war on drugs. Reagan took it to a new level and added the whole "dealing drugs to fund arms for Iran" twist.

      • Nixon coined the term, but Ronnie totally pulled the financial plug on the commie social service approaches, like therapy and intervention, and redirected almost all drug monies to the criminal justice system.

        I directed a drug treatment agency in the late 70s early 80s & our funding totally dried-up while incarceration skyrocketed (see Wiki graph, btw guess who got elected in 1980????). With the staggering jump in the incarceration rate, the price of drugs increased in lockstep and with that the violence that we today associate with drug dealing gangs. In the late 80s, when crack had made major inroads, Mrs. weejee and I went to bed every night to the sounds of gun fire. It was like being back in the fucking Nam.

        Teh war on drugz is a recession-proof industry.

  • Exhausted66

    Is one L in Michele an indicator for mental retardation?

    • TacoMonger

      Hmmm… MicheLe Bachmann is spelled that way.

  • Katydid

    Look at her eyes. She's totally baked.

  • Contempt! If ya don't answer the question, the shit hits the fan!

    (But it's really good shit, Mrs. Pretzky.)

  • UW8316154

    The obvious lack of criticial thinking skills undermines the anti-drug message. Not all drugs are equally bad. That statement is so obvious that denying it undermines the credibility of anyone who claims otherwise.

    Look: meth is bad. coke is pretty bad too. Heroin boils down to a lifestyle choice. Pot? To say that marijuana is the same level of evil as meth is laughable. Mushrooms? Equating mushrooms and bath salts in terms of potential long-term damage is equally absurd.

    • finallyhappy

      Hen of the woods and Lobster mushrooms are hell on your bank account

  • HoytClagwell

    "… these drugs are illegal because they are dangerous …"

    At least in the case of marijuana, this is backwards. Most if not all of the danger comes from the fact that it's illegal.

    • ElPinche

      Yep..danger being high as fuck and saying "uh oh" out loud in the presence of a cop at a 7-11 whilst having an ounce of Thai bud in the car.

      • HoytClagwell

        The danger is at least mitigated here in Ohio because all that would happen is (1) confiscation of said substance and (2) a $50 fine*. You'd be amazed at how many people are unaware of this state's relatively enlightened attitude toward simple possession.

        *unless it's packaged for sale, in which case you're well and truly fucked…

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Clearly, this woman is on drugs.

    • Biff

      And not the good kind.

  • Millennial Malaise

    HAHA my day job is to transcribe reality television and you're right Wonkette Jr. It sucks. And it still irritates me that I can't really type emotions. This transcript, for instance, is dripping with sarcasm but how can you tell?!

    • finallyhappy

      really! Will you have to do Bristol's show? Do you need the drugs in the article to get through the day?

  • Hera Sent Me

    She speaks in that robotic, fact-impervious manner usually associated with right wing ideologues.

  • qwerty42

    As long as marijuana is "schedule I", I don't think someone in her position can say much else. (sigh)
    But it's stupid, stupid, stupid. Actually, it is probably worse than stupid (cruel, unjust, immoral come to mind). But it's an election year, so I'm not optimistic.

    • MonkeyBiz

      She could say "Look, I don't agree with it, but I'm a public servant, sworn to uphold the law to the best of my ability."

  • Guppy

    these drugs are illegal because they are dangerous

    These drugs are illegal because Congress says they're illegal. Why does she get to tell Congress what to do?

  • Dashboard Buddha

    "… these drugs are illegal because they are dangerous …"

    I was nearly run down by a geezer who drove right through a pedestrian crosswalk. So, now the debate is…

    a. Old people driving should be illegal because it's dangerous
    b. Walking should be illegal because it's dangerous
    c. Danger is dangerous so it should be illegal.

    • HoytClagwell

      I'm sorry, was that you? I was texting. I really need a phone with a bigger display.

  • superdave

    Whoa, man. She's really harshing my mellow, man.

  • ElPinche

    *inhales ooh so deeply* I'm just happy about having "glaucoma" at such an early age. *exhales*

  • CleverSobriquet

    We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!

    • MonkeyBiz

      I didn't get a Harrumph out of that guy!

      • ttommyunger

        "That's HEDLEY".

  • now this is fast and furious.

  • notanncoulter

    I realize that today's jerbs market is, well, really bad.
    But… how do people get these jobs that they are SO unsuited for?
    Wait… she's a Bush appointee, isn't she?
    [yes, though the Kenyan Communist supports her]

    I would say:

    But there is already an ample supply here.

  • StanleyPain2

    And this man makes, like, a gazillion more dollars than I will ever see in my life, and I can actually answer my job related questions with authority and logic. I'm gonna go smoke some weed.

  • CommieLibunatic

    Who the fuck did she take her PR lessons from? Jesse Kelly?

  • bumfug

    More than anything else, that exchange reminds me of the "Dave's not here" bit.

  • TacoMonger

    If weed were legal, see, it wouldn't be addictive.

  • owhatever

    Is the highly dangerous and addictive Black Friday shopping at WalMart after Thanksgiving is more dangerous than marijuana?

    Who did you blow to get this job?

  • lulzmonger


    What DEA Lady left out:

    Narcotics in general are staying illegal in America mostly because the CIA makes a fucking fortune off them & has since right after WW2, all that delicious money is off the books so it can be used for all kinds of illegal hijinx, & Joe Sixpack obligingly foots the bill whenever something goes FUBAR. Also as a bonus, those black-market 10,000% price markups keep the poors poorer & too fucked up to fight back against Teh Man.

    • sati_demise

      But the poors can grow their own marijuana, cheaply and easily, so that has to stay a Schedule 1 too.
      Fuck these fucking fuckers.

  • DahBoner

    Whereas "legal drugs" like alcohol, tobacco & Oxycontin are all GOOD GOOD GOOD.

    • sati_demise

      that says it all right there. up is down, hot is cold, 1984 is here, we are screwed, etc etc et al

  • MonkeyBiz

    I continued to insist that the greatest thing that could ever happen to America would be the hotboxing of Congress.

  • ttommyunger

    She is the product of the same outfit that gave us Sheriff Joe R. Piehole. Brain-dead automatons, and yes, they will shoot your ass dead.

  • Next, on today's Maury! "I started shooting up marijuana when I was ten!"

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