No-heart Leonhart

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Now that Michele Leonhart is retiring, do you have opinions on who should be the new head of the Drug Enforcement Administration?


Indeed I do. But first I would like to say this to Leonhart: So long, farewell and don’t let the door hit you on your disingenuous ass on the way out. Leonhart, a holdover from the Bush administration, is retiring after DEA agents were caught sleeping with Colombian prostitutes. In many cases, the women were supplied by Colombian drug cartel members. And if you think I am being unduly harsh, here is a bit of the press release from Tennessee Senator Steve Cohen’s office: “It is appropriate that Michele Leonhart resign; she has not prioritized or concentrated on drugs that actually lead people to commit crimes, like heroin and methamphetamine, and she was insubordinate to the president when she criticized his acknowledgment of the fact that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol. Hopefully her successor will help lead the effort to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I, where it is currently restricted at the same level as heroin and at a higher level than more harmful drugs like cocaine.”

Woo-hoo, Steve Cohen! In my opinion, she should have been let go long before this. This is the person that battled with President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder over reducing mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug crimes. This is the same person that couldn’t admit that crack cocaine is a more harmful drug than marijuana. This is the person that told a room full of sheriffs that one of the lowest points in her career was when the White House flew a flag made of hemp on the Fourth of July a few years back. It is way beyond time for her to have a seat. Seeing as all they do is waste money and ruin lives, I think that the DEA should be disbanded and replaced with an agency dedicated to harm reduction and social health. Of course, this has no real chance of happening, but a fella can dream.

I would nominate Neill Franklin as the new head of the DEA. He is the head of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a former police officer. Maybe someone should start a petition …

How was Denver?


Denver was great! I was a judge at the High Times Cannabis Cup! Woot woot! I had to judge 18 different high-CBD strains. CBD-heavy strains can be hard to figure out because CBD isn’t psychoactive like THC is, but we had a great time, and smoking all those CBDs has made me want to add more CBD to my cannabis regimen. I definitely had way less anxiety, and my knees felt great! Overall, the cannabis in Denver is good, but I think commercial pressures and lack of any real mom-and-pop or artisanal small-batch producers creates a lack of premium “head stash” top-notch flowers, although I did smoke a Tangie and a Thunderbud Haze that were both phenomenal.