This is not an Onion Article. Recently, DEA Chief Michele Leonhart said, ”There was just an article last week, and it was on pets. It was about the unanticipated or unexpected consequences of this, and how veterinarians now are seeing dogs come in, their pets come in, and being treated because they’ve been exposed to marijuana.”
She was referencing an article that ran in USA Today which featured veterinarians in Colorado talking about family pets, mostly dogs, coming in who had eaten marijuana cookies, brownies, or other edibles.
Leonhart continued, “Again, it goes back to the edibles, it goes back to products that are in the household that are now made from marijuana, and it’s impacting pets…We made a list of the outcomes we thought that might happen in these two states. We never thought of putting pets down.”
Under Leonhart’s logic, we ought to retire all drug dogs out of concern for their over all safety, and to end the cruel and unusual punishment they are subjecting these animals to daily by making them seek out cannabis. I would wager that police officers present a much greater threat to a dog’s well being than marijuana.
It’s awful to think of a dog having to suffer the uncomfortable and overwhelming experience that would result from eating an entire batch of edible marijuana goods, but at the end of the day, we have to look at the HUMAN cost of our war on pot.
Dogs? What about the people? Think of the mothers, the fathers, the children that are affected by prohibition? It is an outrage to think of the tens of thousands of individuals who are currently behind bars for non-violent, marijuana related crimes. See: Man Serving Life in Prison For Marijuana).
Only now are we seeing reduced mandatory minimums for drug crimes. Why now? The answer is obvious: Money. Neill Franklin of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) stated that, ”Even excluding the costs involved for later trying and then imprisoning (marijuana users), taxpayers are spending between one and a half to three billion dollars a year just on the police and court time involved in making these arrests.”
We spent $6.5 billion on our prisons last year, according to a report referenced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole. In a speech he gave to the NY Bar Association, Cole stated that “Over half of the federal prison population is there for drug offenses. Some are truly dangerous people, who threaten the safety of our communities and need to be taken off the streets for a long time. But others are lower level drug offenders, many with their own drug abuse issues, who fall into the all too common vicious cycle of drug abuse, crime, incarceration, release — and then the cycle repeats.”
It is an absolute outrage and hypocrisy for the chief of the DEA to think of Marijuana as a public health issue when it comes to dogs, but when we are dealing with actual human beings, it becomes a criminal matter. To that I can only say, Woof.