Morning Links: DEA chief publicly undermines Obama, Holder

  • A harrowing, chilling story about an American citizen the FBI apprehended in Sudan and attempted to turn into an informant. When he refused, the government tried to destroy his family.
  • Colorado’s pot legalization is saving the lives of children who have found that cannabis oil can stop or diminish debilitating seizures. The fact that the federal government has long forbidden any medical testing in this area is a good sign that the drug war has never been as much about public health as its proponents often claim.
  • Civil asset forfeiture in action: Texas police seize $30K from motorist, send him on his way. No criminal charges.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart continues to lobby against the sentencing reform supported by her bosses, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama. This is a good illustration of why it ought to be more acceptable to fire insubordinate officials who work in the executive branch. Leonhart isn’t just actively undermining the agenda of the administration she serves, she’s doing so by making public statements about marijuana that aren’t just wrong, but embarrassingly wrong.
  • Human Rights Watch says unarmed protesters have been beaten, tortured and shot in Venezuela.
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to bring back the soda ban.
  • I’ve written at length about the problems in the Durham, N.C., prosecutor’s office. Seems there are a lot of problems in the police department as well.
Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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Radley Balko · May 5