Here’s a good idea — take money from the DEA and use it to fund police reform nationwide. Read on:
In a significant blow to the United States’ decadeslong war on drugs, House lawmakers voted Tuesday to strip $23 million from the embattled Drug Enforcement Administration’s budget, diverting the funds toward community outreach programs, fighting police abuse and ending the DEA’s controversial bulk data collection programs.
With simple voice votes, lawmakers approved four amendments offered to the fiscal year 2016 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill that would cut into the DEA’s budget.
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The DEA declined to comment on the amendment votes.
The votes occurred as the agency has come under increasing fire for a number of scandals, including alleged DEA-linked killings in Honduras in 2012, allegations of using National Security Agency resources to spy on U.S. citizens and then covering it up, secretly tracking billions of Americans’ international phone calls without warrants for decades and the using confidential informants.
The controversies came to a head in April when the DOJ announced that DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart would be stepping down after allegations that DEA agents participated in cartel-funded “sex parties” with prostitutes in Colombia. The news came shortly after a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers declared “no confidence” in Leonhart.
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On Wednesday, lawmakers also passed multiple amendments to the same funding bill aimed at stunting DOJ’s and DEA’s ability to interfered with state-legal medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations.
“Congress dealt a major blow to the DEA by ending their invasive and offensive bulk data collection programs and by cutting their budget,” Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “The more the DEA ignores common sense drug policy, the more they will see their agency’s power and budget come under deeper scrutiny.”
Lots more detail at the original post HERE. It’s worth your time to keep up with this issue.
[image: Google images “Congress”]
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