NORMAN J CLEMENT RPH., DDS, NORMAN L.CLEMENT PHARM-TECH, MALACHI F. MACKANDAL PHARMD, BELINDA BROWN-PARKER, IN THE SPIRIT OF JOSEPH SOLVO ESQ., IN THE SPIRIT OF REV. C.T. VIVIAN, JELANI ZIMBABWE CLEMENT, BS., MBA., IN THE SPIRIT OF ERLIN CLEMENT SR., WILLIE GUINYARD BS., JOSEPH WEBSTER MD., MBA, BEVERLY C. PRINCE MD., FACS., LEROY BAYLOR, JAY K. JOSHI MD., MBA, ADRIENNE EDMUNDSON, ESTER HYATT PH.D., WALTER L. SMITH BS., IN THE SPIRIT OF BRAHM FISHER ESQ., MICHELE ALEXANDER MD., CUDJOE WILDING BS, MARTIN NDJOU, BS., RPH., IN THE SPIRIT OF DEBRA LYNN SHEPHERD, BERES E. MUSCHETT, STRATEGIC ADVISORS
M. Renee Blare Pharmacist New Castle, Wy:
“Escalating suicide and overdose rates, misapplication of the guidelines by political, state, and federal agencies including the DEA, led to a traumatic impact on chronic, severe pain patients in America including rare disease, post-surgical, and disabled patients.”
DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE AUGUST 2020
IT’S TIME TO DISMANTLE THE DEA
For nearly 50 years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has fueled mass incarceration, wasted taxpayer money, abused its authority, and blocked scientific research.
The DEA was established in 1973 ostensibly to consolidate drug enforcement activities into a “superagency” that would bring together federal drug enforcement resources. In the last 50 years, it’s been a tremendous waste of resources and left a wake of devastation in the United States and abroad. (12)
DEA personnel have repeatedly engaged in unlawful operations, spent lavishly, ignored civil rights, packed federal prisons, and still failed to make a significant impact on drug supply. Meanwhile, Congress has engaged in little scrutiny of the agency, its actions, or its budget.
“IF YOU EVER THINK YOU ARE TOO SMALL TO MAKE A CHANGE, THEN YOU HAVE NEVER SLEPT WITH A MOSQUITO”
WASTING TAXPAYER FUNDS
The DEA is the central player in the failed war on drugs. When the DEA was created in 1973, it started with less than $75 million. In the fiscal year, 2020 U.S. taxpayers spent more than $3.1 billion on the DEA. President Trump asked for even more for the fiscal year 2021 – a staggering $3.5 billion, with more than $520 million specifically for its international programs. (12)
What has it done with all that money?
It has facilitated the growth of paramilitary forces on U.S. soil, expanded surveillance, and embedded itself in communities throughout the U.S. and abroad. It has directly participated in domestic enforcement at the local level and even conducted its own research and public propaganda campaigns
Ten percent of its Special Agent and Intelligence Analysts are permanently stationed overseas conducting drug interdiction, including undercover operations, surveillance, money laundering, paying informants, and facilitating arrests. Internationally, the DEA-led drug war has contributed to increased violence in many countries, as well as political and economic instability.
The DEA now has:
- Over 10,000 employees in 23 “field divisions”
- 47 district offices
- 111 “resident offices”
- 58 “posts of duty”
- 90 foreign offices in 67 countries
Its functions, however, are also performed by other federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation unit, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
S.Clarke @CRPSisaRealPain Replying to @urwithinthenorm:
“Yes. It’s just so frustrating how if they do talk about it, it’s either just referenced in OD rates as JUST opioids, not indicating the role of illicit opioids, or if they do mention OD from illicit opioids it’s a 3-second blip that no one pays attention too! Uneducated media?”
FUELING MASS INCARCERATION AND RACIAL DISPARITIES
More than 20,000 individuals were convicted of federal drug offenses in 2019. Most of those sentences included imprisonment for many years. The average sentence for those convicted of trafficking marijuana was 31 months in federal prison. Sentences for methamphetamine trafficking average nearly 8 years, but many extend for decades.
Half of those in federal prisons are serving sentences for drug crimes. Over 75 percent of those convicted of federal drug offenses in 2019 were non-white people. While people of all races use and sell drugs at equivalent rates, the DEA and the drug war have targeted communities of color, producing profoundly unequal outcomes across racial groups.
And the DEA’s influence does not end at the gates of federal prisons. Its support for local drug-war policing has helped grow the number of people in state prisons and jails from around 36,000 people in 1980 to nearly 375,000 in 2017. This is costing taxpayers billions for incarceration and far more in collateral consequences to individuals who face barriers to housing, employment, education, and public assistance. All of this is causing further harm to the broader economy.
DEA ABUSING ITS AUTHORITY
At its inception, the DEA was tasked with classifying drugs and establishing controls on them. Instead, it has ignored scientific evidence and blocked research into the medical benefits of certain drugs, including marijuana. It has also fostered a culture of sidestepping the Constitution and failing to protect human rights.
jay k. joshi md.,mba:
“The misguided emphasis on purported red flags conflates an elemental analysis with an essential analysis, allowing individual actions, taken out of context, to constitute the full understanding of the term, “prescribing outside of the scope of professional practice”, without incorporating the full context of clinical behavior – a logical fallacy that has allowed certain individuals to pass investigational fraud as inductive legal arguments, and to retroactively redefine interpretations of hopelessly vague statutes.”
Repeatedly the DEA has been found to have abused its authority. The agency has a history of human rights abuses, lavish payments to confidential informants, and surveillance of Americans with no suspected connection to illegal drug activities.
Over the years the DEA has rarely been held accountable for its scandals and the misconduct of its agents. Some of those scandals in the past decade have included:
Exorbitant Payments to Confidential Informants
A 2016 audit revealed the DEA paid 18,000 informants $237 million over five years. The informants operated with little oversight or review of the reliability of their information.
Bulk Collection of Phone Records
The DEA secretly and without explicit authority tracked billions of international phone calls made by U.S. residents for decades. The Justice Department Inspector General in 2019 raised numerous concerns about the DEA’s suspicionless surveillance of American’s phone records.
Tapping Phone Calls and Text Messages with Little Scrutiny
DEA agents went around federal courts and prosecutors to routinely get wiretap authorization from one local court. At one point this was the source of one-fifth of all U.S. wiretaps.
Lack of Supervision and Accountability of Agents
DEA agents reportedly received money, gifts and weapons from Colombian drug trade organizations. This included participating in parties with sex workers hired by these organizations. Most concerning is that DEA officials were not fully compliant with the Inspector General investigating the allegations.
Gross Neglect in the Handling of an Improperly Detained Person
DEA agents detained 23-year-old student Daniel Chong, but then left him locked in a windowless cell with no food or water for five days. He drank his own urine to survive. The DEA eventually paid $4.1 million to settle a lawsuit. The most significant sanction for the personnel involved included a 7-day suspension. (12)
Other incidents over the years have raised similar questions about the DEA’s practices, including:
- Undercover agents laundering money for international drug organizations as part of investigation tactics with insufficient safeguards
- Seizures of assets with no connection to drugs
- Suspicious circumstances surrounding the in-custody death of a man suspected of a drug sale
For too long the DEA fostered a culture of ignoring the law and tolerated abuses of power. It has rarely been forced to account for the misconduct.
LACK OF RESULTS
The DEA’s rogue practices have not only undermined the rule of law, they have also failed to deliver their intended result, cutting off the supply of drugs. Even as its operating budget has swelled and it sent a steady stream of people to prison, increasing violence and instability at home and abroad, the supply of drugs entering the United States has never significantly declined. (12)
According to the DEA’s own “2019 National Drug Threat Assessment” the “opioid threat (controlled prescription drugs, synthetic opioids, and heroin) continues at ever-increasing epidemic levels, affecting large portions of the United States” and “The stimulant threat (methamphetamine and cocaine) is worsening and becoming more widespread.”
“After billions of dollars spent on their futile drug war, drugs remain cheap, potent, and widely available.”
FOR NOW, YOU ARE WITHIN