DEA Assisting “to the Maximum Extent Possible” in the Federal Law Enforcement Response to Nationwide Protests — NORML Responds

DEA Assisting “to the Maximum Extent Possible” in the Federal Law Enforcement Response to Nationwide Protests — NORML Responds

If you haven’t read our statement on the murder of George Floyd and the intersections of marijuana criminalization and racial justice, please take a moment to do so here.  As first reported by Buzzfeed News, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is expanding its law enforcement powers so that it can better assist “to the maximum extent possible in the federal law enforcement response” to the wave of ongoing, nationwide protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd by a member of the Minneapolis police. According to a DEA memorandum, the agency requested to expand its policing powers beyond the enforcement of federal drug laws to include the enforcement of “any federal crime committed as a result of protests over the death of George Floyd.” Buzzfeed reports that the agency was granted permission to exert these new, expanded policing powers nationwide for a period of fourteen days. To be clear, the DEA is not asserting its existing authority to arrest those participating in peaceful protests who may be in violation of federal drug laws. Rather, it is exerting newly expanded police powers to take action against those for whom it perceives to have engaged in the violation of any federal law. Given the DEA’s long track record as an overzealous, ideologically driven agency, this rapid expansion of its policing authority should be discomforting to us all. The DEA has long misused its drug enforcement powers, and especially its powers to enforce federal marijuana prohibition, to target dissident groups and…

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Source : norml
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