Ex-DEA Spokeswoman: 'Marijuana Is Safe', Kept Illegal Because It's A 'Cash Cow'

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Alex Thomas via TheAntiMedia.org,

Before the heroin epidemic became a nationwide problem, claiming thousands of lives; Plano, Texas, was already entrenched. And like many of the places caught in the crosshairs of the continuing heroin crisis, Plano is the last place that one would expect to be swept into the opioid tidal wave.

Anti-Media recently interviewed Texas-native Belita Nelson, who has had an interesting few decades.

For six years she termed herself the “chief propagandist” — or spokeswoman — for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Before that, as a Plano mother and teacher, Belita noticed what was happening in her community. She described Plano as an area rivaling Newtown, Connecticut, or Cape Cod — tight-knit regions where tragedy strikes hard and deep.

She explained that [Plano] has the best school districts in the state of Texas…it’s a gated community. And in 1998, for heroin to be that prevalent in the community was stunning. Stunning. We got all the media attention because we were this upscale Texas neighborhood that nobody thought would be inundated with heroin.”


Nelson decided to take action, saying, I decided I’d had it. I was going to organize my community and fight this thing at the grassroots level. But we were never grassroots because the first thing I did was go on the Oprah show for the DEA.”

Belita stresses that she was never officially employed by the DEA but traveled for six years as a sort of unofficial spokeswoman for the agency.  The group recruited her because their goals aligned, and in many ways, she was perfect for the role. She was a mother who had witnessed the toll of heroin first-hand. She was passionate and knew what she was talking about. Belita spoke to schools and parent groups and appeared on television networks.

With the help of a former Dallas Cowboy, she founded the Starfish Foundation to tackle heroin addiction. That organization ran until 2004 when one of the employees pocketed the donation money and left the foundation scrambling in the dark.

In our interview, Belita was hesitant to speak too openly but mentioned that when she first went to work with the DEA (she was contacted and became familiar with agency’s goals), she was told “‘Marijuana is safe, we know it’s safe, but it’s our cash cow and we will never, ever, give it up.’ When the DEA seizes a car or makes a drug bust, it’s likely they’ll find wads of money. They turn in the pot (or other drugs) — and keep the cash. Civil asset forfeiture law essentially gives the police and feds free reign, and they have confiscated billions of dollars from Americans, a majority of whom have not been charged with a crime.

Belita, like many people, posits that the DEA is not willing to give up the long disproven idea that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” Unlike heroin, most people are open to trying marijuana. At high school or college parties, it’s much more likely that a joint is being passed around than a needle. While a joint conjures up images of Bob Weir or SOJA on stage, a needle brings to mind a lifeless Philip Seymour Hoffman or Basquiat.

Belita cut ties with the DEA in 2004 after becoming frustrated with the system and the government’s need to keep marijuana criminalized, despite knowledge that the drug was safe.

While at the Starfish Foundation, Belita heard time and time again the tale of pot-smoking teenagers who were pushed into heroin simply because marijuana carries harsh penalties. And it’s a story that’s been told repeatedly. Today Belita works for the Gridiron Cannabis Foundation,  a nonprofit dedicated to fighting CTE, concussions, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, neuropathy, dementia, chronic in?ammation, Leukemia, and brain and other cancers. But the group’s pockets that only stretch so far.

In contrast, her opposition — and the opposition of anyone fighting the heroin epidemic and hoping to legalize marijuana — are big pharma companies.

Recently, we’ve seen pharma companies hit the grassroots to secure influence. Anti-Media and a number of other news outlets recently reported on an opioid company pumping half a million dollars into Arizona anti-marijuana groups in an effort to keep the plant illegal. These sorts of campaigns do not serve the dead in Plano and the hundreds of thousands around the nation suffering from opioid addiction. Rather, they benefit CEOs and pharmaceutical groups who have invested millions in developing drugs that minimize pain. Unfortunately, they come with a dangerously high likelihood of addiction.

Big pharma corporations see dollar signs in every painkiller that moves across a counter, but some of which could easily be replaced by marijuana, which is increasingly proven to help decrease pain. So the American consumer, from Plano, Texas, to Portland, Maine, is faced with the dilemma — is it better to be a living Bob Weir or a dead Basquiat?

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TeamDepends's picture

OT: Guys, ol' TD is ready to take the Bitcoin plunge but confused as to where is the best place to buy, how to store, etc. Heard localbitcoins was good, then bad. Same with Coinbase. All input (even smart-ass) appreciated. Oh yeah, we are thinking of starting something called "Bitweed", who's in?

flaminratzazz's picture


how you going to get it lit?

flaminratzazz's picture

lol have to find the bitbong too

MANvsMACHINE's picture

TD, I have a few BTC in a Coinbase account. Had them for a couple of years. They sit there and do nothing other than change in price. I know little about them but wanted to have a small position in case I was wrong about Shitcoin. Coinbase has two factor authentication so maybe that provides some extra safety.

Placerville's picture

Coinbase is fairly easy to get started with, but you won't be able to buy a whole bitcoin right away (restricted buying limits) until you get verified (send a photo of your drivers license) and use a bank account for the purchase. You can use a credit card too, and your limits will increase after a few transactions clear.


I would get some BTC if you can afford it, at least they can't be naked shorted.

sleigher's picture

Get a wallet.  electrum is good.  Not sure if dark wallet ever really took off.

Once you have the wallet address, go to localbitcoins and buy from someone with a good rating.  Once the btc hits the wallet the money will be released to their account.  You can also meet up with people local to you and buy direct with cash.

After that is done, make a back up of your wallet.dat.  Just in case...  Like a backup of any digital file.  Use a thumb drive.  Non magnetic media.

Then you are good to go.  You now own BTC.

F coinbase unless buying and withdrawing.  I stay away from exchanges for obvious reasons.  They get hacked and they also want to know all your personal details.  Use localbitcoins.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

I take it you know what your talking about but when I read what you wrote, I see Chinese. No clue what you're talking about and I imagine there are many ZHers who are clueless like me. I'm not stupid generally but when it comes to Bitcoin, I'm an idiot.

sleigher's picture

Electrum is just a software program.  Google it.  Download it, run it.

In there you will find addresses like this - 1NSFyt6LSZKT3rwC61UWuKxNmYPrcAS78B

When you go to purchase the BTC is localbitcoins you will have a wallet on their site.  After you purchase the BTC, you can withdraw to your own wallet in electrum.

Tips gladly taken at above address... :)

Mr.BlingBling's picture

Altough I know nothing about bitcoin per se, I do know that if you store your bitcoins on an exchange they're at risk of being hacked. This article reviews some other storage options. Good luck.
EDITED TO ADD: Contrary to the link text, it's a 2017 review.

Philthy_Stacker's picture

How to buy Silver:

Walk to nearest coin,pawn or antique shop.

Buy Silver.

Walk home.

Anarchyteez's picture

War on drugs...geez. Cost billions, manufactures criminals out of thin air, ruins families, and is just plain stupid.

Al Bondiga's picture

Yeah, bit it's a cash cow for the prison industrial complex.

Crash Overide's picture

I have good intel from high level sources that tell me if you smoke weed you start less wars.

The rest is icing on the cake.

Cthonic's picture
halcyon's picture

So DEA, just like CIA, FBI, FDA, USDA, DOJ, NSA and FCC is rotten to the core. Totally corrupt, running amok.

The swamp runs deep and there is no hope in sight. Only revolution or systemic collapse left as options.


BandGap's picture

More bullshit.

No studies on effect of marijauna on child and adolescent brain development.

No long term studies on habitual addiction. No long term studies on overall health affects.

I am not against weed, I am against statements based on zero data.

fauxhammer's picture

Data point:

7,000 years of human consumption; no reported problems.

BandGap's picture

Like it being more carcinogenic than cigarettes?


Stop being an asshole, or just keep spouting bullshit. By all means light up a blunt.

fauxhammer's picture

Lol...you're an idiot.

Stay scared...

HardAssets's picture

Well, it ultimately comes down to who owns your body, who owns your life.

Unless youre nothing but a slave and 'the full faith and credit of USA Inc' is backed with your carcass as the collateral.

sleigher's picture

No one owns your body.  That is slavery and it is illegal.  Voluntary servitude is not illegal.  Guess what we are?

mary mary's picture

Get a real job, DEA lardbrick.  Try to find something customers will actually pay you to do for them.  Get off the government teat.  You might end up actually getting a little pride in yourself.

HillaryOdor's picture

You need to be monitored you psychopath.

"I am against statements based on zero data."

Look at this pretentious asshole.  Look how perfect he is.  Every claim he has ever made is backed up by mountains of data.  Just ask him.  He'll tell you.  And data is the ultimate form of truth.  Nobody that handles data ever manipulates it to suit an agenda.  No, that has never happened in the history of mankind.  So we can put all our faith in whatever "science" tells us, from now into eternity.

BandGap's picture

Fuck off. I have used it nd will use it when I feel like it. But I won't make remarks about it's wonderfulness for habitual use because the data just isn't there.

If you want go right ahead, enjoy. But just because an asshole like you uses it doesn't make it safe. Mindless fuck.

Have a nice day, dick.

fauxhammer's picture

So they made you smoke some during DEA training.


mary mary's picture

You're the asshole. You've been too chicken your entire life to try it, and then you say "somebody" needs to "study it".  Have you never had the courage to get off your cowardly butt and try anything yourself?  Do you expect to be spoon fed and have your diapers changed all your life?

Oh regional Indian's picture

He quoted NIH data to support his "data" point. Nuff sed!


HillaryOdor's picture

Yeah sure.  But it should be "monitored" "like all drugs."  Kill yourself.  I'll monitor you to make sure you succeed.

I've got all the data in the world showing how great things will be when you're gone.  I wouldn't make the claim otherwise.

gruden's picture

This kind of thing bugs me. It assumes people cannot ever be responsible for their own decisions and actions and need to be babysat by someone.

No, we don't need to monitor everyone. Yep, sometimes people will do stupid things and bad things will happen. Overall, people will learn to be more mature by suffering the consequences of their mistakes. It's called growth. Stop stifling it with fearmongering about the need for security.

BandGap's picture

Not monitor people, monitor it's use. Develop information based on people who use it and their health outcomes. NOT monitor people.

mary mary's picture

The DEA has had 80 goddamned years to study it scientifically.  They didn't study it, and they are NEVER going to study it.  They know that it gives them a blank check so they can sit on their fat lieing lazy asses for their whole lives and then get a huge government pension, paid for by the very people they have spent their lives terrifying.

The DEA is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.

flaminratzazz's picture

wrong use of the apostrophe, moron.

MK13's picture

You want to get high?

Get a job, start a company, raise a family, climb a mountain, get involved in your local church. Smoking leaves that don't want to be anywhere near fire doesn't fit that bill. So stop blaming government or its alphabet agencies for not encouraging you to light up things that don't want to stay lit.

Anarchyteez's picture

...need to be leagal. Fixed it.

MonkeyKnutz's picture

"Like all drugs it needs to be monitored."

 You forgot a comma.  Keep on drinking.

mary mary's picture

Like all drugs - sugar, alcohol, tobacco, aspirin, chocolate,....

Arrow4Truth's picture

Fuck off. Go suck some big pharma cock.

KingFiat's picture

Really? How come alcohol is not monitored?

ableman28's picture

Regulations blocking research into the benefits of marijuana by medical researchers were developed under Nixon.  The purpose being to control public perception that there were any benefits to use of the drug.

Republicans.......if they don't like the science, they just stop the research.

nmewn's picture

You are a fucking idiot.

mary mary's picture

True about Nixon.  Didn't totally dislike the man, but he was a terrorist when it came to mind-expanding drugs.  Totally toed the fascist TPTB line.  Read Timothy Leary's autobiography "Flashbacks" for some mind-blowingly juicy details.

nmewn's picture

Well I didn't down ya but I can say its not physiologically addictive, psychologically yes. I quit for years for multiple reasons (none of them for health, where I worked etc) and on occasion I do partake but most of the time I just say no thanks...and everyones cool with it...no biggie.

Its like turning down a martini because you're drinking scotch, without the shakes & vomiting later ;-) 

sleigher's picture

"Its like turning down a martini because you're drinking scotch, without the shakes & vomiting later ;-) "


I usually frown on e-mail signatures, but I finally found one for me...  Thanks nmewn

mary mary's picture

If you partake only on occasion, I would consider that evidence that it is NOT psychologically addictive.  My impression was always that those who used it regularly tended to do so because it was inexpensive.  It helped them have fun without spending lots of money on travelling or expensive toys or entertainment.

nmewn's picture

On occasion now at 57, when I was younger it was everyday, first thing in the morning then all day and night. I guess from around 15 to late 20's early 30's.