War on Drugs

Marijuana Legalization Scares Us, Panicked DEA Official Tells Senators


James L. Capra

"There are more dispensaries in Denver than there are Starbucks," marveled Drug Enforcement Administration Chief of Operations James L. Capra, varying a bit from his prepared script (PDF) during a Wednesday Senate hearing about anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan. "Going down the path to legalization in this country is reckless and irresponsible," he said. "It scares us!"


"This is a bad experiment. It's a bad, bad experiment," he insisted. The drug-warrior lifer (he's been in the DEA since 1987) got emotional, and then apologized for his excitement, proving that whatever the prohibitionist side may lack in sense and respect for liberty, it doesn't want for sweaty dedication to the cause. Or maybe he just hit way too many of those Starbucks while counting dispensaries. It's thirsty work.

"You're going to demand from me…You're going to demand from DEA: How are you going to stop that?" he said, seemingly on the verge of tears.

Senator Dianne Feinstein voiced sympathy for Capra's outburst, attributing it to "great law enforcement frustration." She then called marijuana a "gateway drug" and repeated her longstanding opposition to legalization, though she allowed for some medical use.

Just a thought: Marijuana is pretty soothing, and effective at calming nerves overstressed by hard and, perhaps, fustrating work.

The fun starts at the 1:20 mark in the video below.