|Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency|
|Elections and appointments|
|Nominated||February 2, 2010|
|Confirmed||December 22, 2010|
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Acting Administrator of the DEA|
|Deputy Administrator of the DEA|
|Special Agent in Charge of Los Angeles Field Division for the DEA|
|Bachelor's||Bemidji State University|
Leonhart was raised in Minnesota and earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Bemidji State University before beginning her career in law enforcement.
- 1978: Graduated from Bemidji State University in Minnesota
- 1978-1980: Baltimore City Police Officer
- 1980-1995: Special Agent for the DEA
- 1995-1996: Asst. Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division for the DEA
- 1996-1997: Recruiter for DEA Headquarters
- 1997-1998: Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division for the DEA
- 1998-2003: Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division for the DEA
- 2004-2007: Deputy Administrator of the DEA
- 2007-2010: Acting Administrator of the DEA
- 2010-Present: Administrator of the DEA
Views on marijuana
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) questions Leonhart at a congressional hearing in 2012.
Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) questioned Leonhart in 2012 on the dangers of marijuana use compared to drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines, in part because Leonhart stated she would not support the Obama administration's announcement that federal agencies would not target medical marijuana users and dispensaries operating legally under state and local laws.
On January 22, 2014, Leonhart took issue with statements made by President Barack Obama about marijuana in an interview. His statements included, "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol." Obama continued, "We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing." While speaking to a group of sheriffs at the Major County Sheriffs' Association in Washington, D.C., Leonhart "condemned" the president's remarks on marijuana and was received well by the group. Following the event, the Marijuana Policy Project started an online petition to have President Obama fire Leonhart from her position as DEA Administrator. Rep. Jared Polis re-iterated his frustrations with Leonhart, stating he "found her to be completely incompetent and unknowledgeable." In a similar statement, Rep. Steve Cohen suggested "the honorable thing to do would be to assume a Japanese posture and resign."
Leonhart is married with two children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Michele + Leonhart + DEA + Administrator
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Drug Enforcement Agency, "Michele M. Leonhart Confirmed by Senate as DEA Administrator," December 22, 2010
- Drug Enforcement Agency, "DEA Leadership," accessed February 25, 2014
- NNDB, "Michele M. Leonhart," accessed February 25, 2014
- Huffington Post, "Michele Leonhart, DEA Chief, Won't Say Whether Crack, Heroin Are Worse For Health Than Marijuana," June 22, 2012
- Huffington Post, "Obama's DEA Nominee Pledges To Ignore Administration's Medical Marijuana Policy," November 19, 2010
- U.S. News and World Report, "Congressmen: DEA Administrator 'Completely Incompetent,' Should 'Assume a Japanese Posture and Resign'," January 29, 2014
- New Yorker, "Going the Distance," January 27, 2014