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December 11th, 2013
06:58 PM ET

Former DEA agent joins pot investing firm

(CNN) - Former DEA agent Patrick Moen made his living fighting what used to be called "the war on drugs." But then he decided it was, ah-hem, high time for a radical career change.

Moen went from being a Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor, in charge of a team of agents busting traffickers for a living, to working as an in-house attorney at private equity firm Privateer Holdings. The company's entire business is based on weed.

"There came a point in time in my career when I realized that targeting marijuana was not an effective use of our resources," Moen said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper.

Moen said he and his colleagues always subconsciously prioritized drugs that they felt were causing the most harm to society –cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.

So how do his old DEA buddies feel about Moen's budding new career?

"I have to be honest, the response has been overwhelmingly positive," said Moen, who adds that he had a fulfilling career at the DEA, and has the utmost respect for his former colleagues who do "difficult, dangerous, and thankless work."

At his new job, Moen works on investing and managing businesses that support the cannabis industry.

For example, the company operates leafly.com, which Moen describes as the Yelp of cannabis, and also established an enterprise that will run business parks in Washington state for marijuana production.

"It's an emerging industry, and as we transition from a black market to a legal market, we're kind of having to make it up as we go along, but doing it in a way that's ensuring professionalism," said Moen.

For more of our interview with former DEA agent Patrick Moen, check out the video above.

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