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Rep. Jared Polis Burns Colorado's New DEA Chief Barbra Roach Over Strict Anti-Marijuana Stance

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 03/01/12 02:18 PM ET  |  Updated: 03/01/12 03:06 PM ET

Jared Polis

Colorado's new top DEA Agent Barbra Roach may be a fresh arrival to the state, but that hasn't stopped her from getting burned. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has taken issue with Roach's strict anti-marijuana stance, detailed in a recent Denver Post article.

Of particular ire to the Representative were Roach's assertions that medical marijuana endangers residents via exposure to "mold and water damage" in the houses of those that grow it. Rep. Polis initially responded to the issue via tweet Wednesday (below):


Jared Polis
Drug Enforcement Agency's new motto: Protecting America from mold & water damage. Running out of excuses vs

Still incensed, Polis authored a longer rebuttal on his Facebook page, where he addressed Roach's goal to live in a city where no medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed (Denver currently has more dispensaries than it does Starbucks).

There are so many things wrong with (new regional Drug Enforcement Agency Director) Agent Roach’s approach in today's Denver Post article. I’ll call her soon to discuss my concerns. Let me know yours. In this article she manages to insult not just my hometown of Boulder but our state Capital of Denver and so many other cities in Colorado: “Right now, she is choosing a city for her husband and two children to live in where no marijuana dispensaries are allowed.”

Her choice of where to live in our state is absolutely her own decision (though I question her judgment, she is entitled to her decision) but to publicly state shortly after arriving in a state that living in our premier city and many of our great towns is outright unacceptable to you is nothing short of an affront to our entire state.

As for her judgment, why should it matter if there is a dispensary across town? I mean, by all means don’t get a place next to a dispensary if you dislike them so intensely, but who cares if there is one somewhere else in town? Personally as a father, I would much rather have a well-regulated dispensary as a neighbor than a seedy liquor store, but neither one would absolutely disqualify an otherwise perfect place to live with good schools and a safe neighborhood.

Then Agent Roach just gets, well, weird: "People are not taking into account what can happen to those who are growing it (marijuana). There are homes with mold and water damage in the hundreds of thousands.” Oh my. 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?

I mean, if you are dumb enough to flood your basement or create hundreds of thousands of dollars of mold damage, that is entirely your own fault and federal law enforcement should NOT be in the business of preventing you from ruining your basement. 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.

I truly wish Agent Roach well. In her defense, she’s a cop not a public speaker or public relations person, but I hope she is more careful with her words in the future.

She concludes that her goal is to “focus on dismantling the “top echelon” of drug organizations.” And “to strive for the large drug trafficking organizations – not just domestically, but internationally.”
On this, I wish her well. Ironically, Colorado’s legalized and regulated marijuana industry has probably done more damage to large drug trafficking organizations than her work will ever accomplish, but I certainly wish her well in her efforts unless she starts raiding legal Colorado businesses who are abiding by our laws.

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