Drug Policy

DEA Administrator Says Pot Prohibition Protects Dogs; Many Dead Dogs Would Disagree


Police video

Testifyng before a House subcomittee yesterday, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration warned that marijuana legalization is bad for dogs. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart was not talking about the pot-sniffing canines who are out of work in Colorado and Washington now that the odor of cannabis is no longer probable cause for a search. She was talking about pets that ingest marijuana-laced snacks:

There was just an article last week, and it was on pets. It was about the unanticipated or unexpected consequences of this, and how veterinarians now are seeing dogs come in, their pets come in, and being treated because they've been exposed to marijuana. Again, it goes back to the edibles; it goes back to products that are in the household that are now made from marijuana, and it's impacting pets. We made a list of the outcomes we thought that might happen in these two states. We never thought of putting pets down.

Evidently Leonhart read a recent USA Today story in which Colorado veterinarians worry that "the increasing availability of marijuana appears to be driving an increase in pot-poisoned pets." Poisoned is a rather misleading term in this context, since "the marijuana itself isn't particularly harmful to dogs." The main concern is that marijuana, an anti-emetic, will make dogs less likely to vomit potentially dangerous foods into which it has been infused, such as butter and chocolate. According to a study by Colorado State veterinarian Tim Hackett, two dogs have "died from eating large amounts of marijuana-infused butter" since 2000, when Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use. That's one dog death every seven years. Still, marijuana legalization clearly is bad for dogs.

You know what else is bad for dogs? Marijuana prohibition:

Police Raid Berwyn Heights Mayor's Home, Kill His 2 Dogs

SWAT Team Kills Dog With Child Present, Arrest Father In Misdemeanor Marijuana Bust

Police Chase and Kill 3 Dogs in Marijuana Raid: "Like Shooting Deer"

Missouri SWAT team shoots family dog during raid over "small amount" of marijuana

Garland Police Shoot Dog in Raid That Nets One Ounce of Weed

DEA, FBI, IRS raid two Westside pot dispensaries; officers shoot a pit bull

Dog shot, S. Tahoe man arrested on pot charges

Police shoot and kill dog during Fostoria drug raid

Easton police: Man faces drug charges, pit bull shot by officers in raid

McHenry woman questions why dog shot in drug raid

Couple says their dog shouldn't have been shot during drug raid


As that last item suggests, marijuana prohibition is also dangerous to humans.

More on police and pets here.

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  1. I hear that chocolate is also bad for dogs. I’m sure she mentioned that in her testimony.

    1. So is hot lead.

    2. But of course it was the hash oil in that fudge that made the dog sick.

      1. I’m sure it was also the hash oil that attracted the dog to eat the fudge in the first place. Because there’s been any case of dog EVER eating something it shouldn’t until people started leaving their pot brownies where Fido could get to it. Right? RIGHT???

        1. Another case of real life resembling The Onion.

    3. The very first word of this article is misspelled. How do you do that? Reason, how hard is it to do editing. Just run it through a spell checker before posting. Even just glancing over your article before posting would apparently improve the quality. Yeesh.

      1. Sorta like you using a period instead of a question mark. If it’s that hard for a brainiac like you, how hard is it for ordinary people?

        1. I get them confused. Was the Joez Law or RC’s Law?

          1. If it involves using a period instead of a question mark, it’s DB’s Law.

          2. MS-

            Joez Law- If your argument is that someone is stupid depends on an error they made in grammar or spelling, you will almost inevitably make a similar mistake in your response.

            RC’s Law- When you make a “typo”, the result is often funnier or more true than if you had got the word right in the first place.

        2. not even close. testifyng. vs ./? point is still valid.

    4. Michelle Leonhart is an idiot who can’t answer a yes/no question in a congressional hearing. She isn’t even smart enough to think of “maybe”.

      1. “A thousand dead children means we’re winning war on drugs.” ~ Michele Leonhart

        You nailed it – she’s an idiot.

  2. Ever notice that they’re always pit bulls?

      1. There’s a similar one for firearms that is pretty funny.

        1. Something like this?

          1. That’s the one. Thanks.

    1. My two dogs actually are pitbulls and if anyone ever hurt them they better be ready for a violent reaction.

      1. I’ve got a pit bull and a pug. The pug totally dominates the pit bull.

        1. One of mine is a puppy and I have to watch him because he plays rough with my big dog and the big dog is too gentle to correct him.

          1. My four pound Papillon will torment my 70 lb Retriever, who will lay there and tolerates it to a point. Then the big paw comes down gently and pins the little one. Message sent/message received.

            1. I was once taking my Chocolate Lab/ Ridgeback Hound mix for a walk when a little miniature poodle came over and started jumping all over him and being really annoying.

              After asking the poodle’s owner to control their dog and being met with “Oh, he’s just playing!” I looked at my dog and said “Do what you’ve gotta do.” At which point my dog picked the poodle up by the scruff of its neck and carried it several feet before putting it down. After that the poodle stopped its irritating bullshit. It’s owners were pissed, but fuck them. They had their chance to control their little shit dog and refused.

      2. I’ve got three pits (well, technically a geriatric American Staffordshire, and two British Staffordshires).

        You never know, of course, but my reaction to watching them get gunned down by laughing goos would probably be pretty violent.

        If not at the time, then perhaps later.

        1. If not at the time, then perhaps later.

          I am stunned this hasn’t already happened. Like some rogue vigilante who goes around the country avenging the killing of innocent dogs by in kind treatment. We could make a TV show out of it starring Carl Urban.

          1. I think most people have enough intelligence and self control to realize that while having your dog shot is very upsetting, it is still better than being shot or imprisoned for a long time yourself.

            1. I would look at it as more of a community service. Plus, my self-respect would have a hard time with just submitting to goons butchering my pets.

              “Thank you, sir! I have another dog in the backyard you may have missed!”

            2. most people? Maybe, Cops obviously not. Hence my surprise. 300 million people and not one has flipped yet? i think it is a matter of time.

              1. The general public is much less blood-thirsty and has much more self control than the LEO community. The fear, loathing and contempt that Law Enforcement has for the general public is not reciprocated.

  3. Oh, for fuck’s sake.

  4. We never thought of putting pets down.

    *makes motorboat noise, falls down stairs*

  5. Back in ’70s (that was a million years ago) my connection, Rex, wouldn’t do anything unless his dog did it too.

    So I’m sitting on the bean bag chair in his apartment living room one day and asked him the impertinent question “Who named you ‘Rex’?”

    His mom came out the kitchen and said “I did.”

    1. The ’70s you say? I’m imagining it went something more like this:

      ::gurgling water noise::

      “Like, man, who like, named you Rex, man?”

      ::exhales smoke from side of mouth::

      ::mom pokes head through beads in doorway::

      “Like, I did, man.”

      ::adjusts rose colored glasses and tends to fondue pot::

      ::both go back marathoning blaxploitation films::

  6. It isn’t just drug raids:

    1) Checking out open door – Shoot the dog.
    2) Crossing yard to follow suspect – Shoot the dog.
    3) Jaywalking – Shoot the dog.
    4) Helping emergency medics – Shoot the dog.
    5) Going to family home to tell them their kid was killed in a MVA – Shoot the dog.

    1. 6). Gambling – shoot the suspect, since no dogs were present.

      1. Did you mean gamboling?

        1. No, although that is probably punishable by death as well.

            1. I can only imagine what lurkers think when they see oblique references to The Pale Indigenous Who Shall Not Be Named.

              1. Our lurkers deserve our pity. To a point.

    2. 6) At a dog park and another dog barks at your dog – Shoot the dog.

      1. Shoot both, just to be safe.

  7. Nobody ever shoots the cats because they’re born libertarians — when the cops come busting in the door, they scram.

  8. God, Leonhart is an evil idiot. Is she actually suggesting that dogs are being put down because they ate some pot cookies?

    1. That is what I want to know. Is she really evil and knows how stupid this is? Or is she that dumb and really believes it?

      How can any sentient being say shit like this? Does she simply have a bad writing staff? Are they so lazy that they think that they can still use reefer madness applause lines to win the argument?

      1. Hanlon’s Razor, gubmint ed.: Never attribute to incompetence that which is adequately explained by malice.

    2. We made a list of the outcomes we thought that might happen in these two states. We never thought of putting pets down.

      When she says “putting pets down”, I believe she means on the “list of the outcomes”, but I think it was intentionally worded that way to make people think that pets were being put down. If someone misunderstands, she keeps quiet; if pushed for evidence, she could “clarify”.

    3. She must have dirt on Obama. She has come very close to openly criticizing him and he hasn’t even reprimanded her. Given how close the DEA and the NSA are these days, I can imagine some cross-pollenization going on.

      1. I read an article that actually mentioned the NSA was sharing info (illegally) with the DEA. It would not surprise me if every elected official has been blackmailed by them.

  9. It’s almost like dogs have some sort of instinct that makes them protective of their home and owners when strangers break down the door and act threateningly. Who could have predicted this?

  10. It would be interesting to see how many dogs survive police break-ins versus those that aren’t legally sanctioned.

    1. Burglars are nicer to dogs, and tend to get along just fine.

      1. The biggest challenge for anyone robbing my house will be getting the damn dogs out of their truck (woo-hoo! rides!) and back in their kennels where they belong.

        1. I used to have a big shepherd mix like that. He loved rides so much that if he was out in the front yard when the mailman came by in his truck, he would jump in the truck ready to go. I would have to grab his collar and drag him out so the guy could complete his route.

      2. There used to be a show on Discovery Channel called It Takes a Thief where these two reformed burglars would arrange to break into people’s houses (with cameras put up and with their permission, of course) and then hook them up with a brand new security system and basically point out all their weeknesses (and return all their “stolen” stuff, natch). Then they’d come back a couple of weeks later to try and get in again to see if they’d learned their lesson.

        There was one episode where the family dog just followed the “thief” around the whole time, and at the end he told the dog “up you go,” the dog got into the van and he drove off. Literally stole the dog.

        I tried finding a clip, but failed.

        1. imagine a see saw. A dog is trained to be either a guard or a pet. The more of one then the less of the other. A well trained guard dog is a lousy pet (but does till respect boundaries) and vice versa. It would take physical violence to have gotten my Husky to intervene (which he did on two occasions, one legit the other horseplay). Beyond that he would help you carry the tv out of the house. Especially if you brought McDonalds french fries.

          1. Pretty much. We go to a lot of effort to keep our little band of barbarians well-socialized and friendly.

            If they ever saw one of us getting assaulted or threatened, though, things would escalate to a level that would probably be visible from orbit. I’ve seen the targetting radar switch on, and it is intimidating to say the least.

        2. Why don’t they get to keep whatever they can steal on the 2nd run?

  11. These shit-addled twats aren’t even trying any more, are they?

    Better that 10,000 men go to prison, than one dog kick for a hash brownie.

    1. No they are not. For example, we had a police chief here in New Hampshire that was fixing criminal charges in exchange for sexual favors. When it came to light, the state AG cleared him because he had not been acting in his official capacity. Got that ? Makes no sense, obviously. But it worked…they don’t even have to come up with a good bullshit excuse anymore. Any bullshit will do.

      1. Some animals are more equal than others.

  12. Goddammit, Sullum. Fucking sad dying puppy pictures. Here. That’s better.

    1. Is that your dog warty? Funny, he doesn’t look raped.

      1. Warty’s dog has learned to like it.

  13. Sounds like that dude has some serious issues. Wow.


  14. I have a suggestion.
    It should become official Reason editorial policy that all SWAT personnel are referred to as “troops.” Instead of “SWAT teams did X” we should say “SWAT troops did X”, etc. This would be a more accurate description and help remind people that our police have become an occupying force.

    1. “SWAT goons” will also be acceptable.

      1. The SWAT goo on the other hand..well, use your imagination.

  15. Michelle Leonhart is just trying to supplant James Clapper on the list of most despicable federal bureaucraps, that’s all. She’s doing a pretty good job of it too. A few more bald faced lies might just do the trick. What a mendacious cunt.

  16. Isn’t Michelle Leonhart the one who testified before congress and refused to answer questions about the lack of harmfulness of MJ? If I remember right she just glared menacingly at her questioner and refused to answer.

    That is one sadistic, evil bitch. What do you want to bet in private she likes to dress up as an SS officer and put the lash to naked people who are in shackles?

    1. What do you want to bet in private she likes to dress up as an SS officer and put the lash to naked people who are in shackles?

      I’ve also heard from reliable sources that she likes to fuck sheep. And that prior to her current gig, she used to perform in Tijuana donkey shows.

      1. So she is really Jerry Blank?

  17. What’s dangerous in butter for dogs? The lactose?

  18. Urge to kill…rising.

    I wish I was joking.

    I totally am joking

  19. Harmful to dogs. Now that’s really grasping at straws, isn’t it?

  20. Let me see if I get this:

    1) The DEA claims that mixing a drug (THC and other cannabinoids) with something poisonous to dogs (chocolate) is bad.

    2) The DEA claims that mixing a drug (hydrocodone, oxycodone) with something poisonous to humans (acetaminophen) is good.

    Do I understand what they are claiming?

  21. Well done, Jacob, Sullum. Prohibition KILLS family pets.

    Interestingly: There are vets who are researching cannabis for dogs.



    Doug Krammer died suddenly last year of unknown reasons at 36.

  22. As the DEA dinosaur thrashes in the tar pit, ravings about marijuana-“poisoned” dogs are it’s last words.

    Maybe we can find a position for Leonhart in Animal Control.

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