When the DEA’s drug czar, Michele Leonhart, first met with President Donald Trump in May, she was concerned that marijuana was being decriminalized in states like Colorado and Washington.
“The drug czars are very concerned about marijuana being decriminalised in some states,” Leonhart said at the time.
“I don’t know how you would make that work, because the marijuana market is so fragmented.
And so we are going to have to figure out how to move marijuana and how to do it in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety of the people who are using marijuana.”
Leonhart and Trump have been working toward a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana.
Since taking office, the two have taken a more measured approach to marijuana policy.
But they’ve also expressed interest in moving marijuana to a different schedule, potentially changing how it is distributed, regulated, and taxed.
The DEA’s plan calls for a new schedule of marijuana, the most restrictive of the 18 categories of drug that can be classified as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, LSD, MDMA, PCP, and MDMA.
Schedule I drugs, which include fentanyl, codeine, coderine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, methadone, and tramadol, have been linked to severe, sometimes fatal, overdoses.
The new schedule would classify marijuana in the same category as heroin, oxycodeine, and codeine.
The plan would also set a maximum penalty for possession of more than one ounce of marijuana and impose a lifetime ban on selling marijuana to anyone younger than 21.
Drug czar Leonhart has said the government would focus on reducing access to marijuana.
“We are going after marijuana like any other drug,” Leonhardts deputy director of communications, Sarah Stilwell, told VICE News.
“It’s not just a medical issue, it’s an economic issue.
There’s a lot of evidence that marijuana is an addictive substance.”
The DEA would also target “recreational” marijuana, which includes the sale of cannabis-infused beverages and the cultivation of plants to sell to other people.
But the agency would also allow adults to grow marijuana in their own homes and not subject the plant to the same restrictions as marijuana.
The agency has not said how it would deal with those who grow marijuana and use it recreationally.
“You will be allowed to grow your own marijuana and you will be able to use it as medicine,” Leonhardt said in a recent press conference.
“But we will not have any enforcement authority.”
A proposal from President Donald Trumps Justice Department would allow people who grow, sell, or use marijuana to continue to use Schedule I substances for medical purposes.
Leonhart told VICE Sports in a May interview that the agency’s focus would be on the “recreation” aspect of marijuana.
That is, if it’s recreational, it would remain on Schedule I and could not be used for medical reasons.
If it’s medical, the agency could take actions to restrict its use.
“Medical marijuana is a matter of medicine, not a matter for the federal government to decide,” Leonard said.
“So we are not going to prosecute people for their medical use.
We are not saying, ‘You need to go to rehab, you need to smoke a pipe, you have to have these things.'”
The plan also calls for marijuana to be sold in regulated stores, like liquor stores and pharmacies, and for marijuana sales to be taxed like alcohol.
Leonhardt told VICE that the government could use the revenue to improve schools and the economy, but she said the federal budget is already in surplus.
“This is a real, real issue for our country and our country is on a downward trajectory.
It is the lowest level of tax revenue in the history of our country,” she said.
The budget deficit is expected to reach $1 trillion in 2021, according to a May report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
“If we don’t address the marijuana issue, we’re going to be facing the same problems that we have with Social Security and Medicare, which is how we get to the next crisis,” Leonart said.
For the DEA, it could be more difficult to reform the criminal justice system if it makes marijuana easier to obtain and more accessible.
According to a 2016 Congressional Budget Act analysis, the federal criminal justice budget is expected by 2021 to be $4.1 trillion.
That includes the Department of Justice, which has budgeted $2.6 trillion for 2018 and 2019.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, which focuses on enforcing federal drug laws, also has $2 trillion in budgeted expenses.
If the budget deficit were to balloon to $9 trillion, the DEA could face a huge financial crisis, according a recent report by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Drug law reform advocates have long criticized the DEA for its focus on prosecuting marijuana offenses.
In June, former Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) administrator Michele Leonhardt testified before the House Judiciary