Marijuana is more available now in the United States than it has ever been. This means, no matter how you slice it, the people responsible for making marijuana less available have failed.
While many groups have a hand in attempting to stop the flow of cannabis in the US, no agency has more responsibility than the Drug Enforcement Administration. So the bulk of the failure lies with them.
To be fair, prohibition never works, so they were always fighting with the deck stacked against them. And now with legalization beginning to sweep the country, their jobs become less important.
With that in mind, there are some members of the US Congress who want to cut the $18 million per year the DEA spends going around the country and cutting down cannabis plants (with the help of state and local authorities). After all, what is the point of spending that money? Can anyone reasonably say that it has made a dent in the marijuana black market?
The plan would be to initially cut $9 million from the eradication budget before eliminating it totally in the next budget. This news comes on the heels of what has been a rough year for the DEA that included scandals, resignations, a viral petition calling for the firing of the new DEA head after his stupid comments and more. Needless to say, the folks at the DEA hope 2016 goes better than 2015.
Even if things do go better, the DEA cannot escape the fact that it is slipping into irrelevance. Stopping cannabis trafficking made up the bulk of its responsibilities; what will happen when cannabis is legal across the country?
It’s good to see these issues getting some attention on the federal level. Changes in the way the federal government approaches marijuana are imperative if legalization is ever to become a nationwide reality.