DEA and Aspen: They Just Can't See Eye to Eye

The latest in the ongoing strife between the DEA and Pitkin County Sheriff's. The DEA thinks they are the good guys. The majority of the community, as evident by its overwhelming rejection of pro-drug war Sheriff candidates since 1976 say otherwise. [More...]

In 2006, Bob Braudis trounced pro-war drug candidate Rick Magnuson, an Aspen police officer, 5,445 votes to 941. In 2010, current sheriff Joe DiSalvo garnered 79% of the vote, 5,182 votes to his competitor's 1,358.

A DEA agent couldn't get elected dog catcher in Pitkin County, let alone to a position directing law enforcement policy. Why? The difference in views:

The DEA views the drug epidemic as criminal problem, and the best way to curb it is by arresting the high-level dealers. The Sheriff's Office, however, considers it a health and societal issue that can be successfully addressed through education and rehabilitation.

There are good guys and bad guys when it comes to drug policy. Aspen's residents make it clear every four years what side they are on. The DEA cites to the Aspen Times 100 e-mails it has received as support for its drug work in Pitkin County.

“Not that we need affirmation that what we are doing is right, but it's nice to see citizens of Aspen share our concerns.

The DEA needs to take its blinders off.

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  • Display: Sort:
    There are 6,000+ (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Zorba on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:07:45 PM EST
    people in Aspen (17,000+ in Pitkin County), and the DEA thinks that 100 supportive e-mails gives them an overwhelming affirmation in Aspen?  (And, oh, by the way, DEA, did you check the IP addresses of all the e-mails to make sure that they actually came from 100 different people?)

    My thoughts exactly... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:36:35 PM EST
    I'd seriously worry about 100 people emailing the DEA for kicks...sounds like more lies.  Quite obviously elected local law enforcment is a far better indicator than 100 emails to an unelected DC based jackboot agency anyway.    

    Listen to Mr. Mason DEA, just leave it alone.

    Love the Dave Mason! Touring this summer, No CO dates:( but I saw a MD:)


    Right... (none / 0) (#5)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 10:48:56 AM EST
    ... because we all know the DEA would never say anything that isn't true.

    Who the F emails the DEA, and even if they did, did they make sure it was residents, or like so often happens, some competitor is pushing them in another direction.


    That, too, Scott (none / 0) (#6)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 12:08:44 PM EST
    Do we trust their word?  (Not really.)  And, BTW, did they have any negative emails?  We'll never know.

    Easy Killer... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    remember, they require no validation from the likes of us...as long as them paychecks we provide keep clearing, the jackboots march on...mind your faces.

    The Fiscal 2011 DEA budget (none / 0) (#8)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 01:50:26 PM EST
    is over $2 billion.  It may be chump change compared to the total US budget, but a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking some serious change.  Get rid of the DEA, and we save $2 billion+.  And, while we're at it, get rid of the TSA, and we save another $8 billion+.  If we're in such dire straits economically, we can save over $10 billion/year by eliminating those two agencies.  (And don't even get me started on the costs of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, et al.)

    From your keyboard... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:09:46 PM EST
    to the budget slicers ears...if those ain't the obvious places to start, I give up.

    Sure Zorba (none / 0) (#11)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:28:10 PM EST
    ... Let's stop building nukes while we are fantasizing.

    I hear ya, but if we don't increase the debt limit and go belly up, those three will be the last funded, not the first de-fended, guaranteed.  We love policing, from our own crazed MJ users to bandits on the other side of planet who have never harmed an American.

    The TSA and the DEA, are really one in the same when you think about their core purpose.  Protecting citizens from themselves, or rather from the scared creatures politicians have turned some of us into.  One can argue the terrorist aspect, but I bet if you look at who is getting busted for what, it's non-dangerous Americans almost entirely for BS they would never know about if not for the bomb rouse.

    Both agencies overlap enormously, and I to this day think all this TSA security is more about drugs than bombs.  The dirty diaper news this weekend sealed that idea for me.  No way I buy they were looking for explosives, ditto with kiddie rub downs.

    We made it roughly 200  years w/o either, now it seems we can't live w/o them.  Like Notorious BIG said a time or two, "Mo Money, Mo Problems".  Even when broke, Americans are so rich we have to invent reasons and agencies to police ourselves.

    I would also add your figures don't include prosecution and human storage fees which I assume topple their actual budgets, add in the many storm trooper lawsuit settlements, and that number goes from small to significant.


    The thing that most troubles me (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:15:10 PM EST
    is Americans' apparent indifference, or in many cases, outright approval of, the increasing police state in this country.  Time after time, I have heard people say "Well, as long as it makes us safe....." or "If you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have to worry....."  I don't believe it makes us any safer and I do worry about it, even though I have not done anything wrong.  It is unacceptable to me to spend so much money on so-called security, policing, spying on citizens, locking people up, fighting unnecessary wars, and so on ad nauseam, when we are talking about further shredding the social safety net for those in need, and are more worried about not taxing extremely wealthy individuals and corporations than we are about average workers and those in need.

    That's something (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Nemi on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:55:30 PM EST
    that gets to me too: The laid back reaction to the more and more intrusive putting up surveillance cameras everywhere: "Don't mind. Haven't done anything wrong." As if they get to decide what is considered "wrong".

    Besides I don't think one less crime has been committed due to those cameras. Maybe more criminals caught. Maybe faster too. But preventive? I very much doubt it.


    I keep thinking of (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Zorba on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:21:24 PM EST
    the famous Benjamin Franklin quote:  
    Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
     We are rapidly becoming a country that, indeed, deserves neither.

    I Want to Strangle People Who Say... (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:21:15 PM EST
     ..."If you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have to worry....."

    IOW, "You can do whatever you want so long as it doesn't effect me."

    I wish someone would do an experiment, besides the TSA, to see how far people will bend in the name of safety.  

    Official looking people go door to door with badges claiming to be in pursuit of a terrorist and see how far they can go before the residence say enough.  Pretty sure your Average American would stop them at the undie drawer, and only out of shame rather than their actual rights.

    The sad thing is it's probably legal, "We don't need to stinking warrant".


    Go the FOK to Nullification (none / 0) (#2)
    by dead dancer on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:31:05 PM EST
    Give the Gander a little Goose Treatment (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 09:32:34 AM EST
    To me an easy deterrent would be to tell the DEA they bring dope into the county, they will be arrested, period.  They take someone to court and admit on record they possessed/sold drugs into the Pitkin County, bam, in shackles before they leave the building.

    Probably won't stick, but it certainly would embarrass and cost those clowns a lot of headaches and treasure.

    I always assumed that the DEA had to have local cooperation, otherwise their undercovers are just ordinary citizens who are required to follow the laws like any other person.

    The government routinely breaks the law (none / 0) (#9)
    by republicratitarian on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:09:01 PM EST
    to catch citizens breaking the law.

    Right. (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 02:32:31 PM EST
    But Feds can't drink and drive locally, how can they bring in drugs to a community w/o locals cooperating, or worse, without their knowledge ?

    My point is local laws apply to everyone, not just the locals.  Why not use those laws to deter the DEA.  


    I'm in agreeance with you (none / 0) (#14)
    by republicratitarian on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 03:38:29 PM EST