Drug Enforcement Administration

Drug Enforcement Administration

Overview
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a federal
Federal
Federal or foederal may refer to:In politics:*Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies or a federal organised monarchy*Federal district, a subdivision in a federal state that is under the direct control of a federal government...

 law enforcement agency
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 under the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Not only is the DEA the lead agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act
Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain...

, sharing concurrent jurisdiction
Concurrent jurisdiction
Concurrent jurisdiction exists where two or more courts from different systems simultaneously have jurisdiction over a specific case. This situation leads to forum shopping, as parties will try to have their civil or criminal case heard in the court that they perceive will be most favorable to...

 with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it also has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing U.S. drug investigations abroad.

The Drug Enforcement Administration was established on 1 July 1973, by Reorganization Plan No.
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Encyclopedia
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a federal
Federal
Federal or foederal may refer to:In politics:*Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies or a federal organised monarchy*Federal district, a subdivision in a federal state that is under the direct control of a federal government...

 law enforcement agency
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 under the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Not only is the DEA the lead agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act
Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain...

, sharing concurrent jurisdiction
Concurrent jurisdiction
Concurrent jurisdiction exists where two or more courts from different systems simultaneously have jurisdiction over a specific case. This situation leads to forum shopping, as parties will try to have their civil or criminal case heard in the court that they perceive will be most favorable to...

 with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it also has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing U.S. drug investigations abroad.

History and mandate


The Drug Enforcement Administration was established on 1 July 1973, by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1973, signed by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 on 28 July 1973. It proposed the creation of a single federal agency
Federal agency
Federal agency may refer to:*United States federal agencies—see List of United States federal agencies*Federal agency -See also:*Government agency*Statutory corporation*Statutory Agency*Crown corporation*Government-owned corporation...

 to enforce the federal drug laws as well as consolidate and coordinate the government's drug control activities. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 accepted the proposal, as they were concerned with the growing availability of drugs. As a result, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
The Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs was a predecessor agency of the Drug Enforcement Administration . It was formed as a subsidiary of the United States Department of Justice in 1968, combining the Bureau of Narcotics and Bureau of Drug Abuse Control The Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous...

 (BNDD), the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement
Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement
The Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement was a Justice Department agency that Richard Nixon established in January 1972, headed by Myles Ambrose. The office was chiefly a tool for the federal government to assist local government in enforcing drug laws and oblige drug addicts to undergo...

 (ODALE), and other federal offices merged together to create the DEA.

From the early 1970s, DEA headquarters was located at 1405 I ("Eye") Street NW in downtown Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 With the overall growth of the agency in the 1980s (owing to the increased emphasis on federal drug law enforcement efforts) and a concurrent growth in the headquarters staff, DEA began to search for a new headquarters location; locations in Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, and various abandoned military bases around the U.S. were considered. However, then-Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

 Edwin Meese
Edwin Meese
Edwin "Ed" Meese, III is an attorney, law professor, and author who served in official capacities within the Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Administration , the Reagan Presidential Transition Team , and the Reagan White House , eventually rising to hold the position of the 75th Attorney General of...

 determined that the headquarters had to be located in close proximity to the Attorney General's office. Thus, in 1989, the headquarters relocated to 600-700 Army-Navy Drive in the Pentagon City area of Arlington, Virginia, near the Metro
Pentagon City (Washington Metro)
Pentagon City is a side platformed Washington Metro station in the Pentagon City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, United States. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority...

 station with the same name.

On 19 April 1995, Timothy McVeigh
Timothy McVeigh
Timothy James McVeigh was a United States Army veteran and security guard who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995...

 attacked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children...

 in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 because it housed regional offices for the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

 (ATF), and DEA, all of which had carried out raids that he viewed as unjustified intrusions on the rights of the people; this attack caused the deaths of two DEA employees, one task force member, and two contractors in the Oklahoma City bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19...

. Subsequently, the DEA headquarters complex was classified as a Level IV installation under United States federal building security
United States federal building security
United States federal building security refers to the security of federal government installations in the United States. A variety of measures are undertaken to make the buildings safer, while preserving an "open" architecture consistent with democratic governance...

 standards, meaning it was to be considered a high-risk law enforcement target for terrorists. Security measures include hydraulic steel roadplates to enforce standoff distance
Standoff distance
Standoff distance is a security measure that focused on preventing unscreened vehicles from approaching within a certain distance of a building. It is intended to deter truck bombs by making it more difficult for them to cause catastrophic damage. In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, many...

 from the building, metal detectors, and guard stations.

In 1999, the DEA opened the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum in Arlington, Virginia. In February 2003, the DEA established a Digital Evidence Laboratory within its Office of Forensic Sciences.

Organization


The DEA is headed by an Administrator of Drug Enforcement appointed by the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. The Administrator reports to the Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

 through the Deputy Attorney General
United States Deputy Attorney General
United States Deputy Attorney General is the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice. In the United States federal government, the Deputy Attorney General oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department of Justice, and may act as Attorney General during the...

. The Administrator is assisted by a Deputy Administrator, the Chief of Operations, the Chief Inspector, and three Assistant Administrators (for the Operations Support, Intelligence, and Human Resources Divisions). Other senior staff include the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Counsel. The Administrator and Deputy Administrator are the only Presidentially-appointed personnel in the DEA; all other DEA officials are career government employees. DEA's headquarters is located in Arlington, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 across from the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

. It maintains its own DEA Academy located on the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 base at Quantico
Quantico, Virginia
- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there are 561 people, 295 households, and 107 families living in the town. The population density is . There are 359 housing units at an average density of .-Racial composition:...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 along with the FBI Academy
FBI Academy
The FBI Academy, located in Quantico, Virginia, is the training site for new Special Agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was first opened for use in 1972 on 385 acres of woodland. It is a relatively small government academy, housing three dormitory buildings and...

. It maintains 21 domestic field divisions with 227 field offices and 86 foreign offices in 62 countries. With a budget exceeding 2.415 billion dollars, DEA employs over 10,800 people, including over 5,500 Special Agents. Becoming a Special Agent with the DEA is a competitive process.
After receiving a conditional offer of employment, recruits must then make it through a 16 week rigorous training which consist of
firearms proficiency including basic marksmanship, weapons safety, tactical shooting, and deadly force decision training. In order to graduate, students must maintain an academic average of 80 percent on academic examinations, pass the firearms qualification test, successfully demonstrate leadership and sound decision-making in practical scenarios, and pass rigorous physical task tests. Upon graduation, recruits earn themselves the title of DEA Special Agent.

Job applicants who have a history of any drug use are excluded from consideration. Investigation usually includes a polygraph test for special agent, diversion investigator, and intelligence research specialist positions.
The DEA's relatively firm stance on this issue is in contrast to that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

, which, in 2005, considered relaxing its hiring policy relevant to individual drug use history.
The DEA Aviation Division or Office of Aviation Operations (OA) (formerly Aviation Section) is an airborne division based in Fort Worth Alliance Airport
Fort Worth Alliance Airport
Fort Worth Alliance Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located north of the central business district of Fort Worth, city in Tarrant County, Texas, United States....

, Texas. The current OA fleet consists of 106 aircraft and 124 DEA pilots.

The DEA shares a communications system with the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 for communication with state and regional enforcement independent of the Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 and police information systems and is coordinated by an information command center called the El Paso Intelligence Center
El Paso Intelligence Center
The El Paso Intelligence Center was established in 1974 in response to a study by the Justice Management Division of the U.S. Department of Justice entitled, "A Secure Border." Recommendation number 7 of this study suggested the establishment of a southwest border intelligence center to be led by...

 (EPIC) near El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 649,121. It is the sixth largest city in Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States...

.

Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Teams


As of January 2010, FAST fields five teams. One team is always stationed in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 conducting Counter Narcotics (CN), Counter Terrorism (CT), Direct Action
Direct action (military)
In the context of military special operations, direct action consists of: "Short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and which employ specialized military capabilities to seize, destroy,...

 (DA) missions. The remaining four teams are stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico
Marine Corps Base Quantico
Marine Corps Base Quantico, sometimes abbreviated MCB Quantico, is a major United States Marine Corps training base located near Triangle, Virginia, covering nearly in southern Prince William County, northern Stafford County, and southeastern Fauquier County...

, Virginia. FAST originally was created to solely conduct missions in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 but has evolved into a global action arm for the US Department of Justice and DEA.

Selection for FAST is extremely difficult; attrition rates are usually above 50%. Selection is rumored to last 8 weeks where events such as timed runs, timed ruck sack marches, land navigation and many other events are conducted daily.
Once selection is complete, advanced training begins with empahsis in small unit tactics, and close quarters battle
Close quarters battle
Close quarters combat or close quarters battle is a type of fighting in which small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, potentially to the point of hand-to-hand combat or fighting with hand weapons such as swords or knives...

.

Budget


The 2010 DEA budget was directed toward three of five major goals of U.S. drug eradication:
  • Demand reduction
    Demand reduction
    Demand reduction refers to efforts aimed at reducing public desire for illegal and illicit drugs. This drug policy is in contrast to the reduction of drug supply, but the two policies are often implemented together...

     ($3.3 million) via anti-legalization education, training for law enforcement personnel, youth programs, support for community-based coalitions, and sports drug awareness programs.

  • Reduction of drug-related crime
    Drug-Related Crime
    In the United States, Illegal drugs are related to crime in multiple ways. Most directly, it is a crime to use, possess, manufacture, or distribute drugs classified as having a potential for abuse...

     and violence ($181.8 million) funding state and local teams and mobile enforcement teams.

  • Breaking foreign and domestic sources of supply ($1.0149 billion) via domestic cannabis eradication/suppression; domestic enforcement; research, engineering, and technical operations; the Foreign Cooperative Investigations Program; intelligence operations (financial intelligence
    Financial intelligence
    Financial Intelligence is the gathering of information about the financial affairs of entities of interest, to understand their nature and capabilities, and predict their intentions...

    , operational intelligence
    Operational Intelligence
    Operational intelligence is a form of real-time dynamic, business analytics that delivers visibility and insight into business operations. Operational intelligence solutions run query analysis against live feeds and event data to deliver real-time, actionable information...

    , strategic intelligence
    Strategic intelligence
    1. Strategic intelligence pertains to the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence that is required for forming policy and military plans at the national and international level....

    , and the El Paso Intelligence Center
    El Paso Intelligence Center
    The El Paso Intelligence Center was established in 1974 in response to a study by the Justice Management Division of the U.S. Department of Justice entitled, "A Secure Border." Recommendation number 7 of this study suggested the establishment of a southwest border intelligence center to be led by...

    ); and drug and chemical diversion control.

Firearms


DEA agents' primary service weapons are the Glock 22 and Glock 23 in .40 S&W
.40 S&W
The .40 S&W is a rimless pistol cartridge developed jointly by major American firearms manufacturers Winchester and Smith & Wesson. The .40 S&W was developed from the ground up as a law enforcement cartridge designed to duplicate performance of the FBI's reduced velocity 10mm cartridge which could...

 caliber ammunition, DEA agents can also qualify to use the Glock 27 and SIG Pro
SIG Pro
The SIG Pro is a series of semi-automatic pistols developed and manufactured jointly by Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft and J. P. Sauer & Sohn...

 in .40 S&W. They also have the option of using the newly appointed Smith & Wesson M&P
Smith & Wesson M&P
The Smith & Wesson Model 10, previously known as the Smith & Wesson Military & Police or the Smith & Wesson Victory Model, is a .38-caliber revolver developed from the Smith & Wesson .38 Hand Ejector Model of 1889. In production since 1899, it is a fixed-sight, six-shot handgun with a fluted...

 series pistol. H&K UMP40
Heckler & Koch UMP
The UMP is a submachine gun developed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch. The UMP has been adopted by various agencies such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection...

 in .40 S&W is the standard SMG. Shotguns such as the Remington 870
Remington 870
The Remington Model 870 is a U.S.-made pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company, Inc. It is widely used by the public for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It is also commonly used by law enforcement and military organizations worldwide.-Development:The Remington 870 was...

 are used. They use assault rifles like Rock River Arms CAR-A4 DEA Carbine
Rock River Arms
Rock River Arms, Incorporated is a manufacturing company based in Colona, Illinois that manufacturers parts and accessories for AR-15/M16 type rifles, as well as complete firearms.-Law Enforcement Use:...

. In June 11th 2009, DEA made a contract with LWRC rifle company and DEA agents are now using their new LWRCI M6A2 Carbines as their new personal duty service rifle.
DEA Special Agents (SA's) may also qualify with their own personally-owned handguns. Certain handguns are allowed to be used with permission from the DEA Firearms office in Quantico, VA. DEA SA's are required to qualify on all assigned weapons quarterly.

Impact on the drug trade



In 2005, the DEA seized a reported $1.4 billion in drug trade related assets and $477 million worth of drugs. However, according to the White House's Office of Drug Control Policy, the total value of all of the drugs sold in the U.S. is as much as $64 billion a year, making the DEA's efforts to intercept the flow of drugs into and within the U.S. less than 1% effective. Defenders of the agency's performance record argue that the DEA has had a positive effect beyond their relatively small annual seizures by placing pressure on traffickers, raising prices for consumers which may reduce the affordability of drugs .

Critics of this theory (including the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winning economist Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

, prior to his death a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a non-profit, international, educational organization comprising former and current police officers, government agents and other law enforcement agents who oppose the current War on Drugs. LEAP was founded on March 16, 2002...

) point out that demand for illegal drugs is inelastic; the people who are buying drugs will continue to buy them with little regard to price, often turning to crime to support expensive drug habits when the drug prices rise. One recent study showed that the price of cocaine and methamphetamine is the highest it has ever been while the quality of both is at its lowest point ever. This is contrary to a collection of data done by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which states that purity of street drugs has increased, while price has decreased. In sharp contrast to the statistics presented by the DEA, the United States Department of Justice released data in 2003 showing that purity of methamphetamine was on the rise.

Narcotics registration


The DEA has a registration system in place which authorizes medical professionals, researchers and manufacturers access to "Schedule I
Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain...

" drugs, as well as Schedules 2, 3, 4 and 5. Authorized registrants apply for and, if granted, receive a "DEA number
DEA number
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a United States Department of Justice law enforcement agency tasked with enforcing the Controlled Substances Act of 1970...

". An entity that has been issued a DEA number is authorized to manufacture (drug companies), distribute, research, prescribe (doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, etc.) or dispense (pharmacy) a controlled substance.

Diversion control system


Many problems associated with drug abuse
Drug abuse
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. The term "drug abuse" does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in nonmedical contexts...

 are the result of legitimately-manufactured controlled substances being diverted from their lawful purpose into the illicit drug traffic. Many of the narcotics, depressants and stimulants manufactured for legitimate medical use are subject to abuse, and have therefore been brought under legal control. The goal of controls is to ensure that these "controlled substances" are readily available for medical use, while preventing their distribution for illicit sale and abuse.

Under federal law, all businesses which manufacture or distribute controlled drugs, all health professionals entitled to dispense, administer or prescribe them, and all pharmacies
Pharmacy
Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs...

 entitled to fill prescriptions must register with the DEA. Registrants must comply with a series of regulatory requirements relating to drug security, records accountability, and adherence to standards.

All of these investigations are conducted by Diversion Investigators (DIs). DIs conduct investigations to uncover and investigate suspected sources of diversion and take appropriate civil and administrative actions.

MDMA DEA scheduling overturn


In 1985 MDMA and its analogues were under review by the American government as a drug for potential of abuse. During this time, several public hearings on the new drug were held by the DEA. Based on all of the evidence and facts presented at the time, the DEA's administrative law judge did not see MDMA and its analogues as being of large concern and recommended that they be placed in Schedule III. The DEA administrator, expressing concern for abuse potential, overruled the recommendation and ruled that MDMA be put in Schedule I, the Controlled Substances Act's
Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain...

 most restrictive category.

Criticism



The DEA has been criticized for placing highly restrictive schedules on a few drugs which researchers in the fields of pharmacology
Pharmacology
Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function...

 and medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 regard as having medical uses. Critics assert that some such decisions are motivated primarily by political factors stemming from the U.S. government's War on Drugs
War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade...

, and that many benefits of such substances remain unrecognized due to the difficulty of conducting scientific research. A counterpoint to that criticism is that under the Controlled Substances Act
Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain...

 it is the Department of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Health and Human Services
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a Cabinet department of the United States government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America"...

 (through the Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

 and the National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a United States federal-government research institute whose mission is to "lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction."-History:...

), not the DEA, which has the legal responsibility to make scientific and medical determinations with respect to drug scheduling; no drug can be scheduled if the Secretary of Health and Human Services recommends against it on a scientific or medical basis, and no drug can be placed in the most restrictive schedule (Schedule I) if DHHS finds that the drug has an accepted medical use. Jon Gettman
Jon Gettman
Jon B. Gettman is a marijuana reform activist, a leader of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, and a former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He has a PhD in public policy and regional economic development from George Mason University and is a longtime...

's essay Science and the End of Marijuana Prohibition describes the DEA as "a fall guy to deflect responsibility from the key decision-makers" and opines, "HHS calls the shots when it comes to marijuana prohibition, and the cops at DEA and the general over at ONDCP
Office of National Drug Control Policy
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy , a former cabinet level component of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, was established in 1989 by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988...

 take the heat."

The DEA is also criticized for focusing on the operations from which it can seize the most money, namely the organized
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 cross-border trafficking of heroin and cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

. Some individuals contemplating the nature of the DEA's charter advise that, based on order of popularity, the DEA should be most focused on marijuana. Others suggest that, based on opiate
Opiate
In medicine, the term opiate describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium poppy plant.-Overview:Opiates are so named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium, which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy,...

 popularity, the DEA should focus much more on prescription
Medical prescription
A prescription is a health-care program implemented by a physician or other medical practitioner in the form of instructions that govern the plan of care for an individual patient. Prescriptions may include orders to be performed by a patient, caretaker, nurse, pharmacist or other therapist....

 opiates used recreationally, which critics contend is far more widespread than heroin use. Some scheduled substances are extremely rare, with no clear reason behind the scheduling of 4-Methyl-aminorex
4-Methyl-aminorex
4-Methylaminorex is a stimulant drug of the 2-amino-5-aryloxazoline class that was first synthesized in the 1950s by McNeil Laboratories. It is also known by its street names "U4Euh" and "Ice"...

 or bufotenine.

Practitioner
Practitioner
A practitioner is someone who engages in an occupation, profession, religion, or way of life.Practitioner may refer to:* Medical practitioner* Justice practitioner* Solitary practitioner, in Wicca and Paganism...

s who legally prescribe medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 however must possess a valid DEA license. According to federal law the budget of the entire DEA is to be paid by these license fees. In 1984 a three year license cost $25. In 2009 the fee for a three year license was $551. Some have likened this approach to license fees unreasonable, "like making pilot licenses support the entire FAA budget."

The total cost of the DEA from 1972 to 2009 according to the agency website was $536,367,800,000.00 with 10,784 employees in 2009. For the data available for the years 1986 to 2009, the average
Average
In mathematics, an average, or central tendency of a data set is a measure of the "middle" value of the data set. Average is one form of central tendency. Not all central tendencies should be considered definitions of average....

 cost per arrest made was $9,893.09

Others, such as the Cato Institute
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the largest privately held...

 and the Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Policy Alliance
The Drug Policy Alliance is a New York City-based non-profit organization, led by executive director Ethan Nadelmann, with the principal goal of ending the American "War on Drugs"...

 criticize the very existence of the DEA and the War on Drugs as both hostile, and contrary, to the concept of civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

 by arguing that anybody should be free to put any substance they choose into their own bodies for any reason, particularly when legal drugs
DRUGS
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are an American post-hardcore band formed in 2010. They released their debut self-titled album on February 22, 2011.- Formation :...

 such as alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

, tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 and prescription drug
Prescription drug
A prescription medication is a licensed medicine that is regulated by legislation to require a medical prescription before it can be obtained. The term is used to distinguish it from over-the-counter drugs which can be obtained without a prescription...

s are also open to abuse, and that any harm caused by a drug user or addict to the general public is a case of conflicting civil rights. Recurrently, billions of dollars are spent yearly, focusing largely on criminal law
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

 and demand reduction
Demand reduction
Demand reduction refers to efforts aimed at reducing public desire for illegal and illicit drugs. This drug policy is in contrast to the reduction of drug supply, but the two policies are often implemented together...

 campaigns, which has resulted in the imprisonments of thousands of U.S. citizens. Demand for recreational drugs is somewhat static as the market for most illegal drugs has been saturated, forcing the cartels to expand their market to Europe and other areas than the United States. United States federal law registers cannabis as a Schedule I drug, yet it is common for illicit drugs such as cannabis to be widely available in most urban, suburban, and even rural areas in the United States, which leads drug legalization proponents to claim that drug laws, like most other laws, have little effect on those who choose not to obey them, and that the resources spent enforcing drug laws, as well as many other laws, are wasted. As it relates to the DEA specifically, the vast majority of individual arrests stemming from illegal drug possession and distribution are narrow and more local in scope and are made by local law enforcement officers, while the DEA tends to focus on larger, interstate and international distribution networks and the higher ranking members of such organizations in addition to operating in conjunction with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies along U.S. borders.

Some groups advocate legalization of certain controlled substances under the premise that doing so may reduce the volume of illicit trafficking and associated crime as well as yield a valuable tax source, although some of the results of drug legalization have raised doubt about some of these beliefs. For example, marijuana is now available as a palliative agent, in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, with a medical prescription. Yet 86% of Canadians with HIV/AIDS, eligible for a prescription, continue to obtain marijuana illegally (AIDS Care. 2007 Apr;19(4):500-6.) However, this could be due to the availability or quality of illegal cannabis compared to provisions by government sources. Bureaucratic impediments may also discourage patients from actually attempting to receive it from the government.

The DEA was accused in 2005 by the Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

n government
Government of Venezuela
|Venezuela is a federal presidential republic governed by a constitution. There are five branches of government: Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Citizen, and Electoral....

 of collaborating with drug traffickers, after which President Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 decided to end any collaboration with the agency. In 2007, after the U.S. State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 criticized Venezuela in its annual report on drug trafficking, the Venezuelan Minister of Justice reiterated the accusations: "A large quantity of drug shipments left the country through that organization,...[]..We were in the presence of a new drug cartel
Drug cartel
Drug cartels are criminal organizations developed with the primary purpose of promoting and controlling drug trafficking operations. They range from loosely managed agreements among various drug traffickers to formalized commercial enterprises. The term was applied when the largest trafficking...

."


In the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, both the Dutch government
Politics of the Netherlands
The politics of the Netherlands take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state. The Netherlands is described as a consociational state...

 and the DEA have been criticized for violations of Dutch sovereignty in drug investigations. According to Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 present at the 2005 trial of Henk Orlando Rommy, the DEA has admitted to activities on Dutch soil. Earlier, then minister of justice Piet Hein Donner, had denied to the Dutch parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 that he had given permission to the DEA for any such activities, which would have been a requirement by Dutch law in order to allow foreign agents to act within the territory.

Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries


The DEA has taken a particularly strong stance on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act on persons and organizations acting within state laws that allow medical cannabis
Medical cannabis
Medical cannabis refers to the use of parts of the herb cannabis as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine...

 cultivation and distribution.

"The people of California and the County of Santa Cruz have overwhelmingly supported the provision of medical marijuana for people who have serious illnesses," county Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt told the San Francisco Gate. "These people (blocking the road) are people with AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 and cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 and other grave illnesses. To attack these people, who work collectively and have never taken money for their work, is outrageous."

As a result, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, with the City and County of Santa Cruz, has sued the DEA, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and the ONDCP. The most recent court decision rejected the government's motion to dismiss, which allows discovery to move forward. The American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 hailed the decision as "a first-of-its-kind ruling. "

More recently, the DEA has escalated its enforcement efforts on the recently-proliferated Los Angeles area medical cannabis collectives. On July 25, 2007, the DEA raided the California Patients Group, Hollywood Compassionate Collective, and Natural Hybrid (NHI Caregivers) in Hollywood, California. Earlier that day, the operators of those collectives participated in a press conference with LA City Council members announcing the City's intention to regulate the collectives and asking the DEA to halt raids on collectives while the City drafted regulations. The dispensary operator of Natural Hybrid (NHI Caregivers) was forced to close down the collective due to the tremendous loss caused by the DEA conducted joint task force raid against them.

See also


  • Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad
    Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad
    The Administrative Department of Security was the Security Service agency of Colombia, also responsible for the immigration services. It was dissolved on 31 October 2011 as part of a wider Executive Reform, and it was superseded by the National Directorate of Intelligence, DNI.- Activities :Its...

  • Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. State Department
    Diplomatic Security Service
    The U.S. Diplomatic Security Service is the federal law enforcement arm of the United States Department of State. The majority of its Special Agents are members of the Foreign Service and federal law enforcement agents at the same time, making them unique...

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

     (FBI)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • List of United States federal law enforcement agencies
  • Operation Panama Express
    Operation Panama Express
    Operation Panama Express is a long-running Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force comprising participants from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement , the United States Coast Guard and the United States Attorney's Office...

  • Regulation of therapeutic goods in the United States
    Regulation of therapeutic goods in the United States
    Regulation of therapeutic goods in the United States is carried out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , which makes some drugs available over the counter at retail outlets and others by prescription only....

  • Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

     (CBP)


Further reading

  • Harry J. Anslinger
    Harry J. Anslinger
    Harry Jacob Anslinger held office as the Assistant Prohibition Commissioner in the Bureau of Prohibition, before being appointed as the first Commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics on August 12, 1930.Anslinger held office an unprecedented 32 years in his role...

     and Will Oursler
    Will Oursler
    Will Oursler was an American author, lecturer and radio commentator, and the son of noted novelist and playwright Fulton Oursler. He frequently wrote and spoke on religious and inspirational subjects....

     (1961), The Murderers: The Story of the Narcotic Gangs, New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy.
  • Edward Jay Epstein
    Edward Jay Epstein
    Edward Jay Epstein is an American investigative journalist. While a graduate student at Cornell University in 1966, he published the book Inquest, an influential criticism of the Warren Commission probe into the John F. Kennedy assassination...

    (1977), Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America, New York: Putnam.

External links