Reactions to Choice of Kerlikowske as Drug Czar

Drug Reform groups and others are beginning to react to the reports that President Obama will choose Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske as the new Drug Czar:

  • Paul Armentano at NORML

The day the U.S. government finally — and properly — recognizes that drug use is a public health problem and not solely a criminal justice issue will be the day that the President appoints a White House ‘Drug Czar’ who possesses a professional background in public health, addiction, and treatment rather than in law enforcement.

But until that day arrives, perhaps the best we reformers can hope for is a cop who appreciates that pot poses less of a danger to the public than alcohol, and who recognizes that from a practical and fiscal standpoint, targeting and arresting adults who engage in the responsible use of cannabis doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.


  • Dominic Holden at Slog (calls it a brilliant choice.)

Marijuana laws are not the only drug laws that need to be reformed. I have not seen anything to suggest Kerlikowske will take a different approach than his predecessors on the draconian sentences facing other drug offenders or mandatory minimums.

Stay tuned.

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  • Display: Sort:
    If the change ball doesn't get rolling now.... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:18:59 AM EST
    it never will...we've got like the perfect storm for reform...empty treasury, crazy sherrif in South Carolina making a federal case out of a bong rip, a nation desperate for some euphoria to escape a drowning sea of bad news, a crop that grows pretty much anywhere that could stimulate the legit economy, and a new generation familar with reefer who laugh at "Reefer Madness" instead of taking it seriously.

    If not now...probably never.  Sad to say I'm betting on never because we are hopelessly dumb and lazy beasts paralyzed by fear.

    and for good reason. (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:45:03 AM EST
    Sad to say I'm betting on never because we are hopelessly dumb and lazy beasts paralyzed by fear.

    as always, follow the money trail. there's billions (if not trillions) invested in the "war on drugs", with billions more flowing into it annually. too many people have a vested fiscal interest in it continuing, and will do whatever's necessary to ensure that it does.

    this would include "law n order" politicians, police unions, prosecutors, prison guard unions, private prison owners/mgmt, the DEA. an entire industry has grown and thrived, based on the money generated by the failed "war on drugs".

    these people won't give it up without a fight to the death.


    Looks like the gun nutz... (none / 0) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:29:28 AM EST
    ...are none too happy with him...

    Reports that Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske has been tapped to become the nation's next "drug czar" offer more proof of the anti-gun intentions of the Obama administration, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.


    I get the sense... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Samuel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:35:25 AM EST
    that those articles are meant to evoke anger as well as drive up gun sales.

    I'm confused... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:36:14 AM EST
    he's drug czar, not gun cazr.  What do guns and drugs have to do with each other, besides that the men who come to take your drugs and freedom have guns?

    It's all about selling fear. (none / 0) (#5)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:41:52 AM EST
    Fear of losing their guns, fear of "minorities"/liberals/DFH's and the old Reefer Madness fueled fear.  

    Nothing new, really.


    Who is selling fear of the state and tyranny? (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:50:01 AM EST
    Because I'm buying:)

    Well... (none / 0) (#8)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:24:19 AM EST
    ...if this guys is any kind of Polack, he should have a healthy fear of the "state" and tyranny.  After all, the Poles have lived with that for eons.

    Yes (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:42:22 AM EST
    His wife is brunette too, many blonds are now sure that Obama is against blondes too.

    As a member in good standing... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:53:04 AM EST
    ...of the Americans with Recessive Genes Society (ARGS), I didn't get that memo!  

    Well.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 11:09:40 AM EST
    I was joking, to make a point, but concerned about the obvious potential danger to your constitutional rights I did some checking and found out that I got it wrong. His wife is blond, blondish or at least supporting blondish rights with a dye job.

    It is the brunettes and redheads who are now worried about Obama's new appointment and what it could mean for their constitutional rights to be brown haired and red.


    Abolish the post of Drug Czar (none / 0) (#7)
    by nellre on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:08:29 AM EST
    That would be a new way of doing business in Washington.
    I'm sick of this Czar fad. Like they think there is a magic bullet for the issue or something.