Polis Rips DEA Agent: “An Affront To Our Entire State”

Brought to our attention by none other than Jon Caldara of the right-leaning Independence Institute, remarks posted to Facebook by Rep. Jared Polis (D) in response to an interview of Barbra Roach, new agent-in-charge for Colorado at the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Where, regardless of how you feel about marijuana prohibition, you kind of get the impression that ingratiating one’s self in a new community is not Agent Roach’s strong suit.

There are so many things wrong with (new regional Drug Enforcement Agency Director) Agent Roach’s approach in today’s Denver Post article. I’ll call her soon to discuss my concerns. Let me know yours. In this article she manages to insult not just my hometown of Boulder but our state Capital of Denver and so many other cities in Colorado: “Right now, she is choosing a city for her husband and two children to live in where no marijuana dispensaries are allowed.”

Her choice of where to live in our state is absolutely her own decision (though I question her judgment, she is entitled to her decision) but to publicly state shortly after arriving in a state that living in our premier city and many of our great towns is outright unacceptable to you is nothing short of an affront to our entire state.

As for her judgment, why should it matter if there is a dispensary across town? I mean, by all means don’t get a place next to a dispensary if you dislike them so intensely, but who cares if there is one somewhere else in town? Personally as a father, I would much rather have a well-regulated dispensary as a neighbor than a seedy liquor store, but neither one would absolutely disqualify an otherwise perfect place to live with good schools and a safe neighborhood.

Then Agent Roach just gets, well, weird: “People are not taking into account what can happen to those who are growing it (marijuana). There are homes with mold and water damage in the hundreds of thousands.” Oh my. That’s just a very strange thing to say. No doubt that some idiots have flooded their basements growing marijuana. No doubt that some idiots have flooded their basements growing tomatoes. I stained my tiles in my living room last year growing narcissus. Ok. So for this we need a federal cop busting people?

I mean, if you are dumb enough to flood your basement or create hundreds of thousands of dollars of mold damage, that is entirely your own fault and federal law enforcement should NOT be in the business of preventing you from ruining your basement. The fact that an opponent of medical marijuana uses arguments like “it causes water damage to homes” shows how bankrupt that side is of facts.

I truly wish Agent Roach well. In her defense, she’s a cop not a public speaker or public relations person, but I hope she is more careful with her words in the future.

She concludes that her goal is to “focus on dismantling the “top echelon” of drug organizations.” And “to strive for the large drug trafficking organizations – not just domestically, but internationally.”

On this, I wish her well. Ironically, Colorado’s legalized and regulated marijuana industry has probably done more damage to large drug trafficking organizations than her work will ever accomplish, but I certainly wish her well in her efforts unless she starts raiding legal Colorado businesses who are abiding by our laws.

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34 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Middle of the Road says:

    Oh my, the ignorance of Agent Roach is astounding. There are countless studies by physicians that document the medicinal purposes marijuana provides for patients suffering from a variety of ailments including glaucoma, MS, gout, PTSD, migraines, arthritis, lymphoma, and Alzheimer’s Disease.  

  2. ModerateGal says:

    I stained my tiles in my living room last year growing narcissus. Ok. So for this we need a federal cop busting people?

    And I especially love that Rep. Polis is an outspoken supporter of Colorado’s legal medical marijuana industry.

    Does anyone know whether Rep. Polis supports the marijuana issue that will be on the ballot in the fall? (Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol)

  3. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    By that I mean Rep. Jared Polis. She is entitled to live wherever she wants, and to believe about marijuana what she wants. Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. No medical use exists under the law.

    Rep. Polis owes Agent Roach an apology, and I, for one, would like to welcome her to the state of Colorado. I hope she’ll consider moving her family to the wonderful city of Centennial in the south metro area, where marijuana dispensaries and residential growing of pot are permanently banned.

    • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

      In Centennial, commercial cultivation in both commercial and residential zones is prohibited. Under Amendment 20, medical marijuana patients may grow up to six plants for personal consumption. In Centennial, that can only be done indoors, and no odors or other problems from growing marijuana are allowed to be visible.

    • Tom says:

      her new job is to serve the people of a state that voted to legalize medical marijuana and to state such a prejudice right out of the gate is not putting her best foot forward.  

      • droll says:

        It’s just not the nicest way to introduce yourself and does imply something about all Denver/Boulder residents. Which makes it prejudicial in two ways, just like you wrote.

        That being said, her new job is to enforce federal law; the DEA is on a marijuana rampage. Right or wrong, that is a fact. And it is illegal on the federal level in any form. So arguably her job is to be as prejudiced as possible. Probably not a jerk about it, but I don’t get DEA memos.

        http://www.justice.gov/dea/ong

        http://www.justice.gov/dea/mar

        http://www.justice.gov/dea/ong

        Links to reiterate they are MMJ pissed. (And I don’t mean pissed like Bradford, but like mad – pick your definition.)

        • Tom says:

          Her job is to enforce federal law in a state that has chosen to enact contradictory laws.

          Perhaps she doesn’t fit the mold for Burt Reynolds as the complicit sheriff, but it’s not doing her any good to arrive on the scene and start shouting “Texas Has a Whorehouse in It!”

          With 2% of the population registered as MMJ patients and a majority in favor of MMJ, she is doing a good job alienating the people that she will have to rely upon to do the more important parts of her job. That’s just incompetence on her part.

          • droll says:

            really give a fuck about what some woman said when she moved to town?

            Her job is to continue the DEA crusade. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t it make it not so. The DEA doesn’t like MMJ, the new DEA agent doesn’t like MMJ and makes a huge deal out of it. Ta da! It’s not so much like BLWiT, but more like people who label Bruce’s lack of tax payment “ironic.” It’s typical.

      • CaninesCanines says:

        The most glaring example would be the Drug Czar position, heading the Office of National Drug Control Policy Office:

           Responsibilities. The Director […]

           (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that-

               is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and

               has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

        When anyone hears, in the months ahead, the Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske oppose the legalization amendment on Colorado’s ballot, don’t be surprised: That’s what he’s paid to do.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      But you inspired a nice new sig line for me.

    • Leonard Smalls says:

      Unless it’s something I happen to disagree with!

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      at anyone who refuses to live in a city that has an abortion facility.

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    that we tar and feather the “agent-in-charge”?

    We used to do that in Colonial times, right?

    Where is the Tea Party when I really need them?

  5. dwyer says:

    She is a federal employee who has to uphold the federal law.  To live where she is not confronted by operations that are legal by state law but not by federal law makes sense to me.

    She is caught in the middle.

    In my extended family, we have someone dealing with glaucoma.  Glaucoma is one disease for which marijuana is a effective medication.  It reduces pressure in the eye.  But that person is caught in the dilemma where the reputable doctor does not want to prescribe marijuana because of the federal law.  Going the route of the medical marijuana dispensary could cause problems with that person’s personal doctor.

    Right now, the prescription medication is working to keep eye pressure under control, but when and/or if “legal” remedies fail, then medical marijuana may be the only option.  Caught in the middle.  It can be a serious problem.  It should be resolved.  I don’t understand why it has not been.

    Where are the 10th amendment Rick Perry troops when you need them?

    Marijuana also helps with the nausea from chemo…thank god, the family doesn’t have to deal with that at the moment.

    • AmyCO says:

      The answer is to lobby Congress to change the law.  That is the only solution.  Until then, I have absolutely no problem with a DEA agent charged with enforcing federal drug laws wanting to live in a community that does not condone violation of federal law.

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        No, we can’t possibly do that.

        • dwyer says:

          My 10th amendment comment was partly in jest…however that is one way to “leaving people the fuck alone.”

          @AmyCO

          Congress is never going to change the law, IMHO.  The 10th amendment movement is very much an answer.  I hate absolute statement that are not backed up by anything. fyi…unless, of course, I am making them.

          • Fidel's dirt nap says:

            but people like AmyCO want to insist the only way is to ” lobby congress to change the law ” knowing full well that won’t happen because, as Pols readers are painfully aware of, at this time in history we don’t have a functional legislature.  Their sole desire is to create another hurdle for medical marijuana in order to stall full legalization, while claiming they might be in favor of it “in principle”. Its a pathetic cop out.

            Its almost as bad as that saying that ” It almost takes an act of Congress to get this done “.  Wait, it does !  Good, lets use that !

            we can celebrate the firearms, we can celebrate the alcohol, we can celebrate the tobacco, but when it comes to marijuana, oh good God no !  I don’t think I’ll ever understand these people, partially because I really don’t want to.

            • AmyCO says:

              gives priority to federal law.  If we want to throw in the towel and claim we can’t change preemptive federal law, then the states need to stop “legalizing” MJ in any form or fashion.  Don’t pretend we’re doing something legal when we’re not.  Dispensing MJ for medical or any other purpose is illegal distribution of a federal controlled substance.  If you want to break the law and claim moral ground to do so, fine.  But be prepared to go to jail and don’t bitch because people hired to enforce the law are enforcing the law.  I refuse to do violence to the constitution because getting legislation passed in Congress is hard.

              • Fidel's dirt nap says:

                Recommending a course of action you know full well will be unsuccessful is disingenuous at best.  We can’t change federal law because the inmates are in charge of the asylum, and thats just a plain fact.  Lets be honest here – if there were a Federal law legalizing medical marijuana and a state/local law prohibiting it you’d be howling about federal overreach and states rights.

                Pull the bug out of your ass, cut the bullshit, and take your idiotic sanctimony elsewhere.

              • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

                Federal law trumps state law. Sometimes we appreciate that (Civil Rights), sometimes we don’t (MMJ). But if we support the concept of living in a nation of laws, then we work within that framework all the time, not just when we agree with it.

                • CaninesCanines says:

                  Yes, federal law takes precedence.

                  However, I think everyone knows that change doesn’t happen on a national level unless it comes from the grassroots. Voting on a statewide initiative is a way to increase the dialogue on a national level.

          • AmyCO says:

            has been addressed and rejected by the courts, most notably Raich v. Gonzalez, 500 F.3d 850.  This by the “liberal” 9th circuit.  The 10th amendment argument is a legal non-starter.  

  6. jaytee says:

    Is condemned for all of her one life on earth to be Babs Roach. She is a DEA agent, which is punishment enough for her idiocy, I guess.

  7. And then there’s this.  If you want to announce to the state that you are never going to work with them, that you are 100% close-minded about the subject, and that MMJ patients as well as dispensaries have more to be worried about now than before you were appointed to the position, then this is one good way to do it.

    This isn’t policy; it goes beyond policy into sounding like a personal vendetta.

  8. SLC-CO says:

    In interest of disclosure I am a former staffer for Jared and I am currently a proud constituent.  I am proud of my Representative and former boss because he is doing his job -Representing the values of his constituents.  Congressional District 2 overwhelming voted in favor of amendment 20 (Boulder  67%,  Clear Creak 62%, Eagle 69% Summit 72% not to mention the City of Breckenridge voted to legalize marijuana for all adults as did the town of Nederland).  Agent Roach’s comments are not consistent with the values of Jared’s constituents and he does well as our elected federal representative to inform other federal officials of the position of his constituents.  Jared’s comments should be applauded.

  9. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    On this, I wish her well. Ironically, Colorado’s legalized and regulated marijuana industry has probably done more damage to large drug trafficking organizations than her work will ever accomplish…

    When will government get it?  

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