New Drug Czar Signals Shift in War on Drugs

The new Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, in an interview, suggests the war on drugs may be facing changes -- or is it just an image lift?

The Obama administration's new drug czar says he wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting "a war on drugs," a move that would underscore a shift favoring treatment over incarceration in trying to reduce illicit drug use.

In his first interview since being confirmed to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday the bellicose analogy was a barrier to dealing with the nation's drug issues.

There's some cause for hope: [More...]

The Obama administration is likely to deal with drugs as a matter of public health rather than criminal justice alone, with treatment's role growing relative to incarceration, Mr. Kerlikowske said.

....The drug czar doesn't have the power to enforce any of these changes himself, but Mr. Kerlikowske plans to work with Congress and other agencies to alter current policies.

The full transcript of Kerlikowske's interview is here.

< Obama Citizen Briefing Book Out | Obama to Announce Continuation of Military Commissions >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    until such time as (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Thu May 14, 2009 at 08:57:48 PM EST
    president obama himself states it in public, and pushes legislation to support this position, i anticipate the slightest blowback from the republicans will take us quickly back to business as usual.

    i think mr. kerlikowske will find himself adrift on an ideological island, floating off into the distance, as pres. obama and the congressional democrats wave goodbye.

    My guess is we will not see as many photos of (none / 0) (#2)
    by JSN on Thu May 14, 2009 at 09:18:42 PM EST
    SWAT teams and more support for drug courts.

    But the SWAT teams... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:13:35 AM EST
    will still be out in force...terrorizing with battering rams and flash grenades...bet on it.

    Strikes me as an example of doublespeak...there will still be a war on but we will give it a rosy new name that further obscures the truth....but there will be death, looting, and pow's same as ever.