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DEA ‘Chief Propagandist’ Says Agency Knows Pot is Safe, Keeps it Illegal for Profit

A former “chief propagandist” for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), now turned cannabis advocate, made startling comments at the recent Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado. There, Belita Nelson described what many of us suspected – the DEA is corrupt to the bone and full of lies.

Marijuana is safe, we know it is safe. It’s our cash cow and we will never give up,” Nelson said to the audience of doctors and nurses, describing the modus operandi of the DEA.

Illegally Healed reports:

“Nelson represented the DEA in the international media from 1998 to 2004. She did regular appearances on the talk show circuit, including the Oprah Winfrey show and Nightline, espousing the dangers of cannabis. Today she advocates for its medical use, specifically in the treatment of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional football players through an organization she founded: The Gridiron Cannabis Foundation.”

It didn’t take long for Nelson to realize cannabis has medical benefits. In 2000, she was watching her close friend suffer from late-stage cancer, losing more than 50% of his weight and no longer being able to eat or sleep.

Being aware of cannabis’ ability to treat these symptoms, Nelson procured some for her friend, who, along with a better diet, was able to live nine more years. Nelson even grew the cannabis herself, knowing black market products were potentially unsafe.

In 2004, Nelson was investigating a heroin epidemic in Plano, Texas and discovered that some addicts were kicking their opioid addictions by turning to cannabis. At this point she could no longer continue pushing propaganda for the DEA when it was clear to her cannabis was a life-saving plant.

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Nelson resigned in 2004, and went out with a bang.

“[When they hired me] they forgot to get me to sign a confidentiality agreement—and boy did I know the dirt. They called me in and said ‘name your price, $10,000 a month? $20,000? What do you want Belita?’”

She said she left the office screaming, “You know this is safe and you are keeping it from people who are sick! I am not taking your money and you better worry about what I am going to say!”

Sure enough, Nelson turned her passion into something positive. She moved to Colorado and began advocating for medical cannabis. In 2014, she focused her energy on using cannabis to help treat CTE and other traumatic brain injuries, setting up a holistic clinic with former Denver Broncos player Rick Upchurch.

CTE, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma, kills many former football players. The Gridiron Cannabis Foundation hopes to convince the NFL to allow players to use medical cannabis to counter the onset of CTE.

Regarding her time at the DEA, Nelson has a succinct way to describe the agency.

“If you think the DEA are the good guys, they are not. They are really not. We are talking corruption on steroids.”

The DEA refused to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule 1 drug in 2016 when it had the opportunity, somehow concluding that ‘more research is needed’ to show cannabis has medical benefits. The only explanation for maintaining the absurd Sch. 1 classification for this miraculous healing plant is to protect Big Pharma, which knows cannabis is a threat to their profits.

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As we reported recently, DEA continues to tell 25 lies on its website about the purported dangers of cannabis, even though they refuted these very lies in 2016. This willful deception is in violation a federal law called the Information Quality Act.

The DEA is the biggest obstacle to freedom and health options. It is abundantly clear that corruption and lies – not the interest of the American people – is what drives this agency to continue its tyranny.

Edit, 1/29/17: Nelson was interviewed by The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine in 2013, where she explained how she caught the attention of DEA in 1998. Nelson’s son was fighting heroin addiction, and she had set up a non-profit organization to help addicts get treatment, while speaking out against drugs. The $10,000 DEA offer in 2004 was part of an effort to turn Nelson into a confidential informant — against those she was helping with her non-profit.

In 2004, the agency came to her with a proposal: give agents useful information gained from patients in her drug treatment program, and they would pay her $10,000 a month. It was an offer that she would refuse on ethical, as well as legal, grounds. Doing so would prove to be absolutely disastrous to her career.

The War on Drugs has corrupted law enforcement to the point where the DEA is indistinguishable from the cartels,” says Belita in her interview with The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine. This lack of ethics on the part of law enforcement drove Belita to the stance she currently holds in regards to currently illegal drugs: “The only solution is legalization— full legalization. For all drugs.””


    SUPPORT FUNDING CUTS; Repeal massive twenty-six billion annual over-funding of the D.E.A. and likewise the F.D.A..
    Anyone who still believes this war is about drugs is an idiot. There was a quite successful bipartisan campaign to cut their funding by both Congress and the Senate. This was working very well, until Obama came along and increased the D,E,A,’s budget from two billion annually up to twenty eight billion annually. Until this massive overfunding is halted it will take an,unprecedented, natural disaster or world war to remove them from power. Soon everyone who oppose them will be labeled an enemy of the state stripped of all Civil and Human Liberties. Civilization itself is at stake. Already it is beginning to collapse down on top of them, Ultimately all Authoritarian and totalitarian regimes,’ mistakenly’ resort to using fear to maintain power and intimidate their subjects. We all may be forced to go underground. However; it is everyone’s duty to resist. Together our unity as a united front will defeat them. One resembling analogy likens them to a ten pound tick on a five pound dog. They can not be overcome with force however; If they continue to refuse reform, they can, and must be removed.

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      They’ll never have the DEA even up for a budget cut… unless it’s to bait people into falling for far more objectionable cuts.

    • canucanoe2

      The DEA budget is only 3 billion. The Federal Drug Control Budget is 30.5 billion in fy 2016. Included in this budget is treatment and prevention which amounts to 15.8 billion. Just so you know.

      • TOPDOG1

        Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I will be up all night correcting, double checking sources and rewriting if it is incorrect., It went out to,’probably’ hundreds of media sources. Fortunately I can track most of them.The 28 billion figure was from another source. However the actual budget is under the the National Security Act and as such is classified. The Fed’s give far more than three billion away to international police organizations every year. The actual budget could be even higher when you consider that only about half the actual U.S.budget is unclassified propaganda distributed to the gullible and hapless public.

    • The FDA is not massively overfunded. They cannot even keep up with review and approval of new drugs without the drug companies themselves paying for contract workers at the FDA to do the clinical work.

      • TOPDOG1

        If so, it is probably because they are spending their funds to fight a drug war against Americans and not using it to do the drug research they are intended and also because they are incompetent. All the more reason to remove or reform them, Any private corporation could do a much better job and do it at a profit. We do not need these government leeches.

        • What pharma does with the DEA is irrelevant. The FDA has nothing to do with schedule 1 drugs. People who think that everything government does is wasteful or evil are the ones who voted Trump into office. Hows that working out for you?

          • OttoZeit

            Really well, actually!

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      Who says that they “can not be overcome with force”? I don’t agree…people power can take them down, lowlifes that they are!

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      Obama is CIA, their Indonesian candidate. He knows all about their money games.

  • MostOfYouRBrainwashed HAHA

    “[When they hired me] they forgot to get me to sign a confidentiality agreement—and boy did I know the dirt. They called me in and said ‘name your price, $10,000 a month? $20,000? What do you want Belita?’”
    She said she left the office screaming, “You know this is safe and you are keeping it from people who are sick! I am not taking your money and you better worry about what I am going to say!”

    If this part is really true and the full story, salute to her!
    Not many people would turn down a guaranteed $20k every month (for the rest of her life???). I’m kinda skeptical, though.

    • Ed


  • foodforthought

    No one should promote the canard that marijuana is dangerous, like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”. Despite occasional accidents, eagerly reported by police-blotter ‘journalists’ as ‘marijuana-related’, a mix of substances was often involved. Alcohol, most likely, and/or prescription drugs, nicotine, caffeine, meth, cocaine, heroin, and a trace of the marijuana passed at a party ten days ago. However, on the whole, as revealed in big-time, insurance-industry stats, within the broad swath of mature, experienced consumers, slower and more cautious driving shows up in significant numbers. A recent Federal study has reached the same conclusion. And legalization should improve those numbers further.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    I am appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

  • Abz B Zbas

    I hope she gets busted by DEA to give her a taste of her own medicine.

  • Mark Skinner

    26 billion dollars to stop legalisation of a natural remedy for so many sick people ? It shows just how much money the “Big Pharma’s” stand to lose should pot be legal. Because cannabis is a naturally occurring drug in a plant that grows like weeds in your back yard, it can never be subject to any patent. Now why would anyone make a trip to the drug store and pay big money for a drug that you can make at home in an hour or so. This is why Big Pharmacology manufacturers are desperate to stop legalisation at any cost.

  • FiuToYou

    DEA, CIA, FDA, etc, all tied into the trafficking of drugs in a big way! Close them down, clean them out and stop this ridiculous ‘war on drugs’. It just makes things worse!!!! It’s a proven fact that prohibition does not work, unless you want to make big bucks illegally!

    • Abe Martin

      You forgot to mention the PIC (Prison Industrial Complex). They are very determined to block any ending of the DEA “war on drugs” as that is what guarantees their people in cages for $50/ per head per day profits.

  • Army Vet 4444

    There has already been a bill posted to totally get rid of the ATF. I can see NO reason we cant do the exact same thing, and just eliminate the DEA all together. Their entire job is “redundant” anyway. There isn’t really a good case to KEEP the DEA on the payroll.

  • Guy

    Okay, I am all for the complete legalization of all forms of Pot for all purposes, good well and fine !

    But what about the really bad crap, like Heroin, Coke, Meth and other nasties like opioids, that to me do more harm than good, have very little to non existent medical value and are extremely addictive ! The south of the border cartels control most if not all of the trade, make billions in the process and kill people pretty regularly over it, to keep there routes protected and there business flourishing !

    Do we draw a line in the sand, and say no to all of that, along with the misery it causes, or do we say okay to it, like some other countries have, and learn to live with it !?

    • IceTrey

      Cocaine and amphetamines are Schedule 2. If drugs were legal the cartels would be out of business.

    • Ed

      It causes misery because we don’t treat it as a medical condition. Where the hell did all the mental hospitals go? Oh ya, it cost to much!

      • Guy

        It’s cheaper to let them roam the street, than to warehouse em, like we did befor. Church soup kitchens cost nothing to the taxpayers, and all the cops have to do is shoot a few once in a while, throw em in jail and de-lice em a bit. Easy pize-ee !

      • TOPDOG1

        Jail and prisons nationwide are now used to warehouse handicapped persons with any form of mental abnormality. Included; is anyone who fails to blindly obey their screaming demands and shouting orders for compliance. Also; over a third of persons gunned down by police are harmless persons with mental disabilities or homeless. These are easy kills for the segment of our population who are the most vulnerable and least likely to defend themselves..

    • TechGump

      First, on a moral premise, I’m not sure what Right you think you have as a human to initiate violence against another for merely using a product on thier own body in a manner you disagree with. It’s one thing to advocate against it’s use by expressing your opinions, educating others on the dangers, and supporting rehabilitation. But it’s wholly another to initiate theft and violence to forcefully apply your beliefs upon others. That mentality has made us all much less safe.
      Second, as mentioned here and understood by many since banning drugs, is that cartels exist and earn their billions due to the criminality of drugs. The violence of the drug trade stems from the violence of enFORCEment by State. Of course, you don’t see this violence with drugs like alcohol, tobacco, or sugar.

      • Guy

        Who said anything about what rights you or I or the man in the moon has or not has !?
        But I got to say that is a nice bleeding heart liberal attitude you have as a halo over your head. Let me ask you some questions. You ever watch a junkie go without there fix and through withdraws, or watch some one shoot speedballs into there arms ? That’s heroin in one arm and the other arm is speed or coke ! You ever come home and all your stuff has been cleaned out and sold for next to nothing, so a friend can support his habit ? You ever buy what you thought was coke and it was baby power instead ? You ever watch a pretty girl, throw up her gut’s from bad junk she injected into her veins!

        I have Mr. Bleeding Heart Liberal, and a lot more that that too ! Why don’t you come down off of your moralistic perch and live like the rest of us have. Or what ? Maybe it is a little to messy for you in reality, rather than La La Land ?

        So by you, just legalize everything, because after all you don’t have to see it or smell it or taste it, or see the lives it destroys or the misery that hard drugs causes ! Because adults have more sense than that, it’s just a arbitrary substance they just want to use for the fun of it, no worse than alcohol ! At what age should it be okay Mr. High And Mighty ? 16,18,20 or 21 an for who, certainly not your kid’s, because they are to perseus to do that aren’t they ! So who dose that leave us with, Mine or the guy’s next door, or maybe just the inner city kids, because they aren’t worth nothing anyway Huh !

        Liberalism ! Is The Mental Diease !!!!!!

        • TechGump

          I’m not a Statist. Your labels are silly, meaningless, not to mention entirely incorrect. Hit me up in a few years when you’re ready to maturely discuss the argument at hand, and not feebly attempt childish personal attacks irrelevant to the issue.

          • Guy

            I see you didn’t bother to answer the question, rather too take the high road, is the much easer and safer rout isen’t ? Rather than be truthful about a difficult and controversial piece of reality !

            Statist you may not be, detached and aloof from reality you most definitely are ! Congratulations you must have gotten a A+ In your political science course in school, you know the one about how to spin and denied any subject under the sun ! And you’re a chump !

        • IceTrey

          If drugs were legal they would be of a known quality and dosage reducing overdoses. As for speedballs and stuff that’s their problem. Knock yourself out.

          • Guy

            I know Sweden, and I think Turkey has all drugs now legalized. I wonder how they cope with it all, has it run away from them and gotten out of hand, or have they managed to keep it under government control effectively ?

  • John Scudamore

    truth on cannabis would destroy the drug industry, for starters http://whale.to/a/cannabis_h.html
    then the government

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      Thanks! A worthwhile read!


    Yet people still vote to support this system!? Wow!

    • raz-0

      Is there someone on the ballot to vote for that isn’t in support of this system. Abstaining from voting is also voting to keep said system.

      The work to be done is to get the voters options, we aren’t even at the point we can criticize the voters. In most places for most offices, it isn’t even in play as an issue.

  • Vincent D’Emidio

    No kidding!!! The DEA, ah, “lied”? Well, the DEA is nothing but a group of cops, and cops are pigs, so therefore, the DEA is nothing but a group of pigs, and as we all know, cops (pigs) lie all the time, that’s why they’re hated by most folks.

  • acme

    The DEA is the dealers’ partner in the drug war. They need each other. Obviously the DEA needs the dealers, but the dealers need the DEA to keep the price up. If drugs were made legal both would be out of business. This includes all banned drugs, not just marijuana. It worked with alcohol. Didn’t solve all the problems, but got them under control.

  • Robert Farrior

    Revolution is the only recourse!

  • Chimera Gothic

    The really sad part about all the rules and regulations of the local, city, county, state, federal “governments” THEY ARE ALL PRIVATE FOR PROFIT CORPORATIONS. Fuck them all!