Marijuana

Jeffrey Sweetin, head of Denver DEA, sets the record straight on "rogue agents" and medical marijuana

Jeffrey Sweetin, special agent in charge of the Denver field division of the DEA, lately hasn't been too fond of the mainstream media. Much of it has to do with how reporters covered the case of Chris Bartkowicz, a Highlands Ranch man who was arrested by DEA agents last month after he revealed his marijuana grow operation on a local news station.

Afterward, Sweetin was quoted as saying, "The time is coming when we go into a dispensary, we find out what their profit is, we seize the building and we arrest everybody. They're violating federal law." That was enough for some people to label him a rogue agent, one who wasn't respecting new federal rules regarding state medical-marijuana laws. Since then, Sweetin says folks have filed complaints against him, threatened him with lawsuits, even sent him death threats.

But Sweetin believes most journalists got the story wrong. To set the record straight, Sweetin invited Westword to a sit-down at DEA's Denver headquarters. Page through below to get Sweetin's in-depth take on medical marijuana, the media and the future of pot.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner