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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Will Michele Leonhart's Nomination As Head Of DEA Mean For Patients

On December 22, 2010, acting DEA administrator Michele Leonhart was nominated by the Senate to fill the top position permanently. Leonhart has been the acting director since November 2007, when Karen Tandy stepped down.

Leonhart’s appointment has been on hold due to concerns by Sen. Herb Kohl that nursing home residents don’t have adequate access to medications due to the DEA’s stepped-up efforts to combat prescription drug abuse. Kohl is supposedly pacified by the Obama Administration which has agreed to work with the Senator on future legislation.

Ultimately, medical cannabis patients must consider what her appointment means for us. During Leonhart’s acting term, she oversaw the landlord threat letters, a rash of raids and prosecutions – in California. Reports indicate that hearings around Leonhart’s nomination never touched on medical marijuana or the states that allow it. 30 Senators failed to consider the patients in their 15 medical cannabis states.

PAN will continue work with the Department of Justice, House Judiciary Committee and members of the Senate this next year to make sure patients’ concerns have a voice in Washington.

copyright © 2010 Degé Coutee

Michele Leonhart In The News:,0,1506659.story

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