The DEA Sucks At Math
By Tom Angell, Marijuana.com
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a very strict anti-drug policy for its hirees. But the agency apparently has no requirement that its employees grasp basic mathematics skills.
See if you can spot the error in this DEA filing scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday:
Yep: 33 minutes is not the equivalent of .33 hours.
The new filing concerns a drug enforcement questionnaire that DEA wants to send to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies across the country. The National Drug Threat Survey is used as the basis of a report the Justice Department puts out each year to summarize market, use and trafficking trends for illicit substances.
But this year, due to the basic math error, DEA is significantly underestimating the amount of time it is asking police personnel across the U.S. to spend filling out its survey.
While DEA’s faulty back-of-the-envelope calculation puts the total at 4,218 hours, 33 minutes is actually the equivalent of .55 hours, putting the real amount of time it wants an estimated 12,782 law enforcers to spend filling out the survey at at just over 7,030 hours.
That’s a significant margin of error, not that details matter much to the DEA, which earlier this month ruled that marijuana has no medical value and should stay in its restrictive Schedule I category.
But thankfully, the public now has 60 days to comment on the proposed survey plan. In particular, the new Federal Register document asks for input on “the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.”