February 26, 2014
While Washington State is still adjusting to many changes since legalizing recreational marijuana—from growing space size to the number of licenses to give out—one of the biggest changes may be Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) employees going to work in the private sector. Reason TV sat down with Patrick Moen, a former supervisory special agent with the DEA, who now works as compliance director and senior counsel at Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm that invests in cannabis.
“The more law enforcement officers admit that prohibition [of marijuana] is wrong, the better off society is going to be,” said Moen. At the DEA he specialized in wiretaps and worked on cases varying from busting heroin and methamphetamine rings to rooting out pot and painkiller dealers. “Taking that first step is often the most difficult one, it just so happened that I was the one to take it.”
Moen says that he got a lot of support from friends and former colleagues, the latter of which privately asked him for jobs. He says people may be surprised to know that an overwhelming majority of agents he interacted with didn’t feel marijuana should be a priority for the DEA.