Nine former heads of the DEA have written a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to oppose the marijuana law reform measures I-502 in Washington, Amendment 64 in Colorado and Measure 80 in Oregon.

“We urge you to oppose publicly Amendment 64 in Colorado, Initiative 502 in Washington, and Measure 80 in Oregon,” the letter states. “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public … a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.” Signatories include every former director of the DEA since the agency’s inception.

“Dangerous initiatives?” No, what’s dangerous is these people and their continued insistence on propping up a drug war that enriches violent criminals and gangs and fuels violence in this country and beyond. Cannabis is a non-toxic plant but the inflated, prohibition-era profits from cannabis buys guns that kill people. Which is more dangerous?

Many things in this world are dangerous, including the DEA’s very existence (how many people has the DEA killed vs. how many cannabis has killed). But marijuana is not one of the dangerous things. You cannot overdose on it and there is no proof that it leaves lasting negative effects. The same can not be said for a bullet in the head, whether it comes from a gun held by a gang member or a DEA agent.

– Joe Klare

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