The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is recruiting contractors to burn large volumes of evidence, which includes drugs, and lots of them. One of the requirements that the DEA has reportedly listed is the ability for the contractor to burn at least 1,000 pounds of marijuana per hour and for a minimum of eight consecutive hours per day.
In addition to cannabis, the contractor will also need to be required to burn papers, cassette tapes, and pharmaceuticals.
The DEA seems to be careful about who they are handing this job over to, as they are requiring extensive background checks and drug tests. The DEA has also reserved the right to video record the contractor at all times to make sure they aren’t taking any of the evidence for themselves. The DEA also said that they will provide their own armed guards to keep the contraband safe until the burn.
This will be a temporary job that will run until the end of September and will be located in Texas—reportedly somewhere near Houston.
After the story of the open contract hit the news, the DEA made the following statement and distributed it to the media:
“Although we appreciate local citizens’ willingness to offer their help, this is a complicated, large-scale government contract we’re required by law to bid every few years, and there are usually only a handful of companies with the necessary facilities and resources to help us dispose of this material. While it makes for an interesting headline, the truth is far more prosaic – our agents working across the Houston Division make a huge number of great cases, and as a result, we seize a tremendous amount of illegal drugs. Arranging for the save and effective destruction of these drugs is just part of the job”
It makes sense that the DEA would need to hire someone to incinerate evidence, but it seems a bit ridiculous that they would need to burn such large amounts of cannabis. The fact that they are requiring a contractor to burn 1,000 pounds of cannabis per hour, must mean that they are still confiscating at least that amount. As states across the country are choosing to legalize cannabis, the war on weed is still alive and well.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, 659,700 people were arrested for cannabis in the US in 2017, the most recent year that records are available. 599,282 of those arrests were for simple possession, that’s 90.8%. Last year, Forbes reported that cannabis arrests are actually increasing despite legalization coming in various forms to over half of the country.
Every 19 seconds there is a drug bust in the United States.