Uttam Dhillon takes up the job of acting Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) administrator following Robert Patterson who recently stepped down as acting DEA chief.
Prior to his retirement, in an email to his employees on June 18, Patterson said he "realized that the administrator of the DEA needs to decide and address priorities for years into the future -- something which has become increasingly challenging in an acting capacity."
Dhillon is the third acting DEA director in a row after Patterson who replaced Chuck Rosenberg last October. Neither Patterson nor Rosenberg were in the position long enough to receive Senate confirmation.
Dhillon previously worked as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement under George W. Bush and as an associate deputy attorney general for the Justice Department. Before that, he served as an associate deputy attorney general in the Justice Department and more currently in the White House as deputy counsel and assistant to the president.
Appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions with the idea of curbing the country’s devastating opioid crisis, it remains to be seen what Dhillon’s stand on marijuana legalization will be.
We do know, however, what his boss Jeff Sessions thinks. While his words, uttered in 2016 when he was appointed Attorney General, made for a great punch line, they were indicative of his extremely backward attitude: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”