Congressman Mocks DEA Agent for Claiming Medical Marijuana Is Dangerous Because It Causes Water Damage


Colorado's new special DEA agent in charge (emphasis on "special") told the Denver Post late last month that medical marijuana is dangerous because it can cause water damage in houses where children live. 

"By federal law, marijuana is illegal," Barbra Roach told the Post. "There is no medical proof it has any benefit. People are not taking into account what can happen to those who are growing it. There are homes with mold and water damage in the hundreds of thousands and there are children in there too."

The drug war truly does claim a new casualty every day.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who Reason nominated as a possible successor to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), mocked Roach on Twitter and his Facebook page last week: 

"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?"

"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." 

Lucy Steigerwald on Colorado's raid-happy SWAT teams.  


NEXT: Matt Welch on Obama's Symbolic Presidency

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  1. This is your drain on drugs.

    1. This deserves some applause, people.

  2. Barbra Roach. Nice DEA name. She probably works with Jim Stone.

    1. Yeah…and my girlfriend’s name is Juggalina hottenfuk

    2. Like an anti-drug attorney general named Holder?

  3. My first (60-year-old) house had sagging floors… I wonder if marijuana caused that? /sarc

  4. “There is no medical proof it has any benefit. People are not taking into account what can happen to those who are growing it. There are homes with mold and water damage in the hundreds of thousands and there are children in there too.”

    Sieg Health!

    Once again, the tyranny of the modern Public Health office rules the day.

    If you can’t make a logical argument, make a sentence using “mold” and “children” in the same sentence. Done and done.

  5. Science now confirms that being a drug warrior causes more severe damage to the cerebrum than any drug known to man.

    1. you have to wonder if theyre using the appropriate safety gear when handling seizures. Gloves, respirators, strap-on dildos, the works.

      1. A large stick up the ass is no substitute for a properly fitted butt plug. I’d say that’s the entry vector.

  6. You guys are not being fair to the cop. He was talking about the water damage that occurs, after the police kick down your door, shoot the dog, start a fire with a flash grenade and the fire department shows up to put the fire out. That is the water damage caused by growing pot.

    1. Yes, and also getting a** raped in prison because you were arrested for a harmless activity is in no way dangerous to anyone.

      1. Yes, using drugs is the number one cause of ass rapes. You are correct.

        1. And here I thought it was Obama.

        2. I thought that was STEVE SMITH.

  7. Whenever your argument starts to break down, just start crying, say “think of the children”, and use some rare case of a child being hurt to convince the sheeple to give up their liberties.

  8. Roach didn’t initially plan on becoming a federal drug agent. She set her goals first on law school to study criminal law but changed her mind because she didn’t desire to sit at a desk all day. “It’s more fun to catch ’em than to cook ’em,” she said.

    What delightful down-home humor!

    1. Soylent Green is people

      1. And all this time I thought they were saying, “Soylent Green is PURPLE!”


        *forehead slap*

        1. well, the minority people…

    2. I’m glad she finds depriving people of their liberties so life-affirming. Maybe someone will one day do her the same kindness she enjoys doing for others.

      1. once she’s eventually caught accept bribes from the cartels.

  9. Yes. The only solution to poor ventilation (gee, I wonder why the ventilation isn’t too good in places where people grow pot?) is to criminalize a product. We’d better ban all other houseplants too, while we are at it. And mandate air conditioning. Some places get pretty humid and there might be danger of mold, even without pot plants growing.

    1. You would actually want to ban condensation creating air conditioners and mandate dehumidifiers, and mandate emptying those dehumidifiers.

      1. ummmm

        “condensation creating air conditioners” ARE a form of dehumidifier….but again, only if people are tossing out the water produced.

      2. @the colonel: i love your name. thats what my friends used to call me in high school.

  10. Alt Test

    “Not aActually a DEA agent”


  11. No excuse is too small to be a fascist pig.

  12. Right now, she is choosing a city for her husband and two children to live in where no marijuana dispensaries are allowed.

    Guess who wears the pants in the Roach family!

    1. Know who else relocated families to a place devoid of dispensaries?

      1. The United States government?

    2. I am sure the dealers at her kid’s high school sell a better quality of weed anyway.

      1. I dunno, I’ve seen pics of the pot they sell in dispensaries, and it looks waay better than any of the crap I smoked in high school.

        1. True. Anything is better than ditch weed.

  13. of course if pot was legal people would be more likely to grow it outside rather then in the basement.

    1. What makes you think this?

      FDR proved you wrong with tobacco decades ago.

      1. ???

        Lets look at what Joshua claimed:

        “people would be more likely to grow it outside [compared to now] rather then [sic] in the basement”.

        Outside in your garden doesnt require grow lights. Cost savings. I think at least some people would shift their home op from basement to outside garden, hence, “more”.

        1. FDR prohibited citizens from growing their own tobacco and food, if I remember correctly.

    2. If pot were legal, people would buy it at the store like milk instead of growing it themselves indoors or out.

      1. Which is why no one homebrews beer.

        Oh wait….

        1. Exactly.

        2. Homebrewers are really a threat to InBev’s bottom line.

          1. I doubt it. Most homebrewers (at least the ones I know) would be spending very little on InBev products.

            1. Sorry, I was being sarcastic. Homebrewers pose no threat to InBev just like homegrowers would pose no threat to ADP or Monsanto or whoever established the factory-produced weed in a post-legalization America.

            2. You mean you didn’t get into homebrewing to recreate Bud Light?

              1. That is actually well beyond my skill level. Do you know how hard it is to make something that crappy?

                1. I would think it would be pretty easy, seeing as how all Bud Light is is piss in a brown bottle (or can, as you prefer).

                  1. Piss has way more flavor (I would assume) than Bud Light.

                    1. I would think it depends on the health and dietary habits of the pisser.

                    2. My piss has more malt and hops than any “American Light Lager.”

                2. Do you know how hard it is to make something that crappy?

                  When there is that little flavor there is zero wiggle room.

                  I suppose that’s why so many homebrewers make big IPAs.

                  Lately I’ve been on a simple pilsener kick where I mash 10# lager malt, use 5HBUs for bitter, and .25oz dry hop. Fermentis Saflager for yeast. Force carbonate.

                  It’s pretty good.

                  1. Ive got a zoigl Im going to keg on Wed.

                    Very subtle…tasted good heading into lagering.

                    While the lack of wiggle room does make things harder, that wasnt so much what I was referring to. Its the insane levels of fermentation and filtration that Bud Light (or even moreso, Bud Light Platinum) have to go thru to get rid of every residual sugar and every stray carbohydrate.

                    IIRC, most light beers end up below 1.000 FG. Ive gotten really close with saison yeast, but that is crazy.

                    1. I thought they did that with very careful mashing techniques. Six row barley and nibbler instead of splitter temperatures.

                  2. I love a brewing challenge. While I am a big hop head, I also love great Pilseners. Getting a crisp beer without interfering off flavors is difficult but very rewarding.

                  3. I love a brewing challenge. While I am a big hop head, I also love great Pilseners. Getting a crisp beer without interfering off flavors is difficult but very rewarding.

                    1. I find the hardest part is providing the yeast a happy temperature.

                      My lager brewing is limited to November through March. The rest of the time my basement is too warm.

                    2. I have a chest freezer outfitted with a dual temperature controller and a reptile heater. I can control the cerm temp to +-2 degF. Not too expensive and the benefit on every beer is worth it. I usually do a 3 step temp profile for my ales and i never have problems with off flavors anymore.

                    3. I have a chest freezer outfitted with a dual temperature controller and a reptile heater.

                      I have a similar setup for my kegs.

                      For fermentation temps I’m at the mercy of the seasons.

                      Lager when the basement is cold, otherwise it’s all about the ale.

                    4. As far as ales go I think they come out best if they don’t get above mid 60s.

                    5. I usually start them off at around 68F then drop to 65 for a few days then step back to 68 and then finish with about 2days at 72. The last step helps clean up off flavors.

                    6. I try to keep lagers below 55.

      2. If pot were legal, people would buy it at the store like milk instead of growing it themselves indoors or out.

        I sure as fuck wouldn’t. The first thing I do on the day it’s legalized is start a whole bunch of seeds.

  14. It’s easy to forget that think of the childrunz is just a clich? around these here parts.

  15. The war on pot is really the height of surreality. Think about it. We have this weed that will grow about anywhere. And if you smoke it it may or may not do long term harm but generally makes you goofy and feel kind of stupid. And it does seem to have some medicinal value.

    And as a result of this, we spend billions of dollars and throw millions of people in jail. Really? All this over a stupid weed? We really have gone insane.

    1. ^^ This… ^^

    2. That’s soooo true, John. Wanna get high?

    3. Meanwhile states are struggling with budgets and they could save billions not enforcing pot laws while sin taxing it like alcohol and boosting revenue.

      You are wrong John, “WE” havent gone insane. They have. Im not a part of their fucking collective.

      1. We as in “society” as a whole. Pot laws are reasonably popular or we wouldn’t have them.

        If you just made it legal to grow for personal consumption, you will kill the illegal market for it. It is not hard to grow it yourself or chip into a little neighborhood collective and have your local green thumb grow it.

        1. Society doesnt pass laws. Government does. Society isnt that stupid, at least not the one Im a part of.

          1. Don’t ever underestimate the amount of stupidity out there. People like Roach don’t come from another planet.

            1. But she isnt a part of my society.

              1. That’s because you are part of high society, isn’t it?

                1. I dunno. robc has always seemed a little low-cla…Oh wait. I see what you did there.

        2. Pot laws are reasonably popular or we wouldn’t have them.

          I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

          They exist because it is taboo to question them.

          It’s one of those things where the vast majority of people know that pot is harmless, but you don’t talk about it too openly because if the wrong person overhears (law enforcement) you may find yourself being investigated.

          It’s equivalent to thoughtcrime.

          1. Maybe so. I would like to think that they are wildly unpopular. But that people don’t know just how unpopular it is and thus are afraid to express their objections.

            1. John, damn near everyone who ever smoked dope lies to their kids about it. That is why pot is still illegal – because of the rampant hypocrisy of our society.

              1. damn near everyone who ever smoked dope lies to their kids about it

                That’s self preservation, not hypocrisy.

                You lie to your kids about it because you know that if “Officer Friendly” or the school’s guidance counselors catch wind, they may then try take the kids away or raid the house for drugs.

              2. That and if they know you smoked dope, emulate you, and get caught, then they’re disqualified for student loans or joining the military.

                1. That and if they know you smoked dope, emulate you, and get caught, then they’re disqualified for student loans or joining the military.

                  These days, that might not be such a bad thing…

          2. I think that anti-pot laws were popular for a long time. But we seem to be reaching a point where most people either are against them or don’t care. And the “don’t care” default position seems like it might be shifting away from keeping the status quo.

          3. Thats bullshit. Miscegenation laws were reasonably popular too.
            Popularity is not a justification for a moral framework.

      2. Way off topic…

        Check out Country Brew Brewery and Taproom. It seems to be exactly what you are working for yourself and might give you some ideas.

        1. Now that is a first class beer joint.

        2. Location Im doing, wont be able to do the tap room. No by the drink service.

          I would have to be downtown in the enterprize zone (like the BBC brewery) to pull it off. That is how BBC brewery has a tap room.

        3. Also, Im going bigger on equipment. Ive run the numbers and its hard to make money as a brewery at that size. But…the taproom makes it possible.

          1. They are going to expand the brewery operation soon, according to the owner I talked to Saturday night. The taproom is really to fund the expansion, they haven’t even started bottling yet. They’ve been just viral marketing so far, and only open a month. I was there from about 6-8:30 Saturday night and they probably had 300 people in and out.

            They serve no food at all. But a taco truck is there most nights. Oh, man were those tacos good.

            1. It being Kentucky and all, do they have a jukebox with good country music on it? If so, I might have to move to Lexington.

              1. The jukebox wasn’t plugged in, so I’m not sure. Probably not, considering it was near campus. It was mostly the older grad student crowd, medical students, and a few old fucks like me.

            2. BBC taproom also serves no food (this is the brewery, not the brewpub…man, that was the stupidest decision ever when they both kept the name after the split up).

              Marketing in craft beer is almost all viral. Sam Caglione of DFH discusses this…there is really no need for most craft breweries to actually spend money on traditional advertising.

              Sam Adams is basically the only one running tv commercials. Basically, because, for example, Breckinridge runs some on local tv. Probably some others do to.

              That doesnt mean marketing isnt important, its just viral, social, packaging, etc type marketing that is important.

              1. Lexington is oddly lacking in certain types of bars, so this place was slammed. We have plenty of dudebro douchepens and sad sack alcoholic bars, but a place to go have a quiet beer and talk without shouting are either downtown (no parking, and full of hipster douches), or tiny and fill up fast.

                It’s getting better, we’ve had three bars open since the first of the year, a craft cocktail place that I haven’t put through the paces yet, Country Boy, and Lexington Beerworks, a 14 tap/no-food place. And we are getting a large gastropub downtown, run by the Pazzo’s people (and they hired a actual chef, so there is hope the food will be better than Pazzo’s).

                1. I dont know how often you get to Louisville, have you hit any of the recent beer hot spots?

                  ATG (where Brownings used to be) or Holy Grale?

                  Germantown is exploding with restaurant/bars with great tap lineups.

                  1. No. We day trip to Louisville, but are rarely there during the drinking hours. We are spending the weekend in May, so I’m going to try and hit as many of the new places as I can. Holy Grale is on the top of my list.

                  2. Gotta go to Sergio’s for the sheer what-the-fuck experience.

                    1. Gotta go to Sergio’s for the sheer what-the-fuck experience.

                      Bring cash.

                    2. huge pain in the ass, his cash only rule. still, i love that place.

            3. Hey, Kentucky fucks. I’m looking for some good mid day road food spots along the lines of Louisville or Lexington. Pubs, diners, or fast food. Is there any useful review sites?

              1. The Parkette in Lexington. (Ignore the douche endorsement.) But they aren’t open on Sunday. None of the really good fried chicken places are open on Sunday. God hates fried chicken.

                1. Even chickens need a day of rest.

              2. covers the louisville restaurant scene well.

              3. Try Cumberland Brews in Louisville. Great beer, very good food.

        4. Little bland looking- inside and out.

          1. Outside should be, its a fucking manufacturing plant.

            Inside is boring, but I like it. Utilitarian. Funny to here that from me, isnt it.

            1. Functional.

    4. AT the most base level, why should it be illegal to grow something in my back yard and smoke it? If you want to ban the sale and mass marketing of it for the “childrenz”, okay. But to make it illegal to grow it for personal use is just bat shit insane.

      1. And to make it even more insane, growing it for personal use has much worse penalties than going out and buying it from criminals. This is why, while it is better than nothing, decriminalization is bullshit.

    5. Remember when it was unconstitutional to enjoy a fermented beverage in America?

      America has been sliding down a gentle slope into insanity for the better part of the 20th century.

      1. This is worse than prohibition actually. The temperance movement could actually point to some real societal harms that resulted from alcohol. In the days before welfare and women being equal in the work place and the country being less wealthy, dad drinking away the paycheck leaving his family destitute was a real possibility.

        I am not defending prohibition. But the Temperance Movement could at least point to some real no kidding horror stories. Just what horror stories can the anti-weed people point to? A rash of stupid philosophizing and over consumption of Doritos? Listening to too many Grateful Dead records?

        1. By potheads are supporting Mexican drug cartels! (when the CIA isn’t busy laundering money for them)

          Someone might sell marijuana to TEH CHILLUNS! (When cops aren’t trying to entrap honor roll students with promises of dope-for-pussy)

          Marijuana is a gateway drug (One the count of three “correlation does not equal causation” One, two…)

          Fuck it. I just accuse drug warriors of being racists (like Harry J. Anslinger) and watch’em squirm.

          1. That is why they say stupid shit like the above. You can’t point to a horror story. No one ODs on the stuff. There is no science that says that it is particularly dangerous. There are any number of examples of well known people like Louis Armstrong, Willie Nelson and Paul McCartney who smoked the stuff daily for decades yet didn’t seem any worse for wear.

            So what do you do? You link it to harder drugs that are easier to demonize. You link it to the people who sell it, hoping no one notices that the reason why criminals sell the stuff is because you made it criminal. There just isn’t a rational argument to be made for pot prohibition beyond “I said so”.


        2. Don’t forget illicit sex. The phrase “Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll” strikes fear in the heart of every parent that wants their children to be vigins when they marry.

          For these folks, if some drug seller or user going to jail will improve the odds that my child will avoid any bad sexual experiences growing up, it’s worth it.

    6. All this over a stupid weed?

      The war on drug users is not about drugs.

      It’s about authority.

      It is to separate out and punish those who do not blindly obey authority.

      1. yet nothing undermines authoritah like the drug war. hilarious.

        1. No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.

          Unjust laws, such as laws against the use of politically incorrect chemicals, can force people to choose morality over the law.

          This undermines respect even for laws that are not unjust, especially if the person chooses a morality that is bankrupt to begin with.

          1. this imo is one of the best arguments for legalizing pot. there are a substantial # of people who EXCEPT for MJ are otherwise completely law abiding, pro police people.

            the war on pot too often puts them in a position to hide their actions and fear the police At least when holding from a trip to the dealer).

            these people should be on our side and they mostly are, but MJ turns too many against the system, since it’s so arbitrary, ridiculous, and unjust. i saw tons of sally soccer mom, normal people smoking pot. normalizing it helps them again be PART of the law enforcement community (the community is our eyes and ears) more completely

            but one reality there is a LOT of people who are very pro pot decrim/legalization who are VERY anti hard drugs. whether it’s rational or not, they draw a very hard bright line. i see it all the time, from community meetings, to when i was undercover.

      2. Worse than that, its origins are almost entirely racist. Its not so much about authority in general as White Power.

        1. Well God Damn it to hell Rob, were we just supposed to let the colored jazz musicians smoke weed and violate our women?

          1. …were we just supposed to let the colored jazz musicians smoke weed and violate our women?

            Yes. Just not in that order.

        2. Its not so much about authority in general as White Power.

          If you’re caught with drugs then the cop can arrest you right there. If you resist then they get to beat the shit out of you. Either way they’re going to take all your stuff, and if you can’t afford a lawyer you ain’t getting it back.

          It’s not so much White Power about just plain old power.

          1. Yeah but they only arrest respectable white people when they have to. They tend to arrest minorities and poor people wherever possible.

            1. Yeah but they only arrest respectable white people who can afford to defend themselves in court when they have to. They tend to arrest minorities and poor people those who cannot wherever possible.


              1. in general, not really true.

                when it comes to minor pot possession, it very dependant on jurisdiction

                i worked in a small town where my chief told me he could not give a flying fuck if people were smoking pot and he did not care at all if we gave a warning or just dumped it.

                other agencies have literally a zero tolerance policy

                many jurisdictions it’s decrim’d where they cant’ (or at least won’t if it’s bifurcated as to crim/civil) even ARRESt but can at worst write a civil infraction ticket

                imo, race has zero to do with it. class may. celebrity can work AGAINST a person – as in tommy chong

                ultimately attitude matters a lot. act like dick, don’t expect to be given a break. i think that holds true in most areas of life, that attitude often determines outcome

                i work with guys who havcen’t made a misdemeanor (iow not a grow) MJ arrest in years. nobody cares here


      We fought a great civil war over pot – will the carnage never end???

      1. Just like a WKYK sketch, this war will drag on forever.

        1. Writing endings is hard.

  16. Then mandate attic fans and industrial dehumidifiers for the basement.

    But seriously, I’m glad DEA Agent Roach brought up this sensitive topic of house mold as I’m currently battling it in my attic along the eaves of the northern slope. I’m currently using 12% and 35% hydrogen peroxide to kill the existing stuff and will be installing an attic fan and cleaning out the eaves. But will it stay gone? Anyone have any experience abating this stuff?

    1. Keep it dry and ventilated and you’ll probably be OK. Attics are usually easier, so long as you don’t have a roof leak or a plumbing leak that’s pooling water. In basements, you may have runoff issues that have to be addressed. At any rate, with your can-do attitude you will be a master abater in no time!

  17. Is no one else going to comment on the great picture? If I squint I can pretend that Ayn Rand was a naughty, naughty girl.

    1. Someone’s grandmother had a great pair of legs.

      1. Hah, I was going to post “Nice gams.” to keep it related to the period. 😛

    2. Well, yes.

      Does anyone know the original source?

  18. duck lips

  19. When it comes time to get serious about the budget, DEA can be zeroed out along with TSA, Education, and HUD.

    1. When it comes time to get serious about the budget


  20. The DEA agent’s name is Roach? And she’s getting all pissy about medicinal roaches? Too… much… irony.

  21. go smoke a blunt. geez

  22. “By federal law, marijuana is illegal,”

    You know, back when you all did that with booze, it required an Amendment to the Constitution. So what’s changed?

    1. That’s a rhetorical question, right?

      1. and note that iirc, prohibition did not make consumption/possession illegal, only the distribution and manufacture

  23. The Plumber’s Union called Rep. Polis’ office and said they loved the idea for Federal Agents raiding homes with plumbing issues. President Obama referred to it as a “wrench-ready” stimulus plan he would support. He added under his breath- pot growers are the only small businesses I actually support, man.

  24. It’s amazing how pervasive and stupid puritan ethics are in this country. I’ve never met a person that was anti-pot that has actually had any experience with it. Who cares if it has medical value or not…it should be legal merely in the name of personal freedoms.

    1. i’d beg to differ. i’ve met LOT of ant-pot people, even some strong anti-pot zealots who smoked it frequently when they were younger. they are definitely out there

      not that MJ is addictive, but the “reformed addict being the biggest critics” thing holds for MJ as well

  25. I wish the citizens would start killing these federal mafia thugs. They are evil people who deserve a good hanging/stabbing/sniping.

  26. isn’t there some saying about “lord, please make my enemies ridiculous”?

    if this doesn’t qualify , nothing does.

    it mixes anti-marijuana hysteria with OH NOES DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE scares.

    maybe they need a petition

  27. Wow, thats a good one. There really is no good argument to support the drug war so I guess they have to come up with something! You can’t legislate morality. Check out the article Freedom and Virtue,

  28. Also, this article about Bush and Obama being brothers in tyranny. http://conservativesolutions.c…..n-tyranny/

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