Lucy Steigerwald
April 8, 2014

During an April 3 Senate subcommittee meeting on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s budget, Michele Leonhart, the head of the DEA, reaffirmed her commitment to stopping the movement for legal marijuana from going any further—and her commitment to using any excuse she can possibly find to justify her agency’s existence.

Leonhart has previously trashed her boss Barack Obama for letting Colorado and Washington state proceed with selling pot for recreational purposes. She also took issue with Obama’s line about pot being no worse than alcohol (an accurate thing to say, though it rings hypocritical given the ongoing war on drugs his administration is fighting).

But at last week’s hearing, Leonhart upped her game and verbally wrung her hands about an odd victim of the war on drugs: dogs. Yes, as USA Today cautioned in March, dogs can get sick and even die if they consume marijuana edibles. Dogs can also die from eating chocolate or getting hit by cars or getting shot by police officers, yet we never hear any noise about banning those things. Leonhart’s won’t-someone-PLEASE-think-of-the-fluffy-puppies plea makes it seem as if she truly is running on empty, argument-wise.

But she’s not done, nor is the rest of the DEA. Leonart and her agents were not disheartened by the legalization of weed in Colorado and Washington state. “Actually, it makes us fight harder,” she said at the hearing, before fretting that parents would be teaching their teens that pot isn’t so bad.

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