The administration will take the first steps toward ending the war on drugs in the U.S. with the creation of a joint task force focused on drugs, the White House announced on Wednesday.
The task force will be headed by former DEA Director Michele Leonhart, the first woman in the agency’s history to lead the task force.
Leonhart said in a statement that she has been working for months with the Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and other government agencies to address drug policy issues, including addressing the problem of violence against women, HIV, drug use, and domestic violence.
The task forces are meant to address the “fundamental failures of our criminal justice system, as well as the broader social, economic and political realities of policing, the criminal justice profession, and the police,” Leonhart said.
The group will be chaired by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who served as the nation’s first black attorney general, and Attorney General Preet Bharara, who was named the U,S.
Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Leonhardt said she is “committed to ensuring that the criminalization of marijuana and drug use is ended and that all states, counties, and municipalities take their rightful place as the leaders of America’s criminal justice reform effort.”
The group’s members will include federal, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement officials, as required by law.
It will also include representatives from drug policy reform organizations, advocacy groups, and civil rights groups, as appropriate.
The president will nominate a “chief executive officer” to lead this new task force, which will be overseen by the U.,S.
attorney for the Western District of Washington.
“Drug policy reform has not yet been a bipartisan issue,” Leonhardt said.
“It’s only now that we’re seeing it.
The task force is going to be led by a woman who has made it her life’s work to tackle this issue, a leader who understands that we can’t afford to sit idly by while the criminal penalties for marijuana are increasing.”
This report contains material from Reuters and Reuters.