News Feb 19, 2009 at 4:00 am

Four Reactions to Obama's Choice for Drug Czar: Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske


As a needle exchange coordinator I am very very excited about this nomination. However I vow to shut up from here on out so as not to give the GOP ammo in the nomination fight.

see also: " The Drug Czar is required by law to lie," Pete Guither, October 9, 2007

Guither writes:

Now, let's take as a simple example, the issue of medical marijuana. If the government finds that marijuana Has "currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States" or "accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision," then by law, marijuana cannot remain in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which would immediately legalize it for medical purposes.

But by law, the drug czar must oppose any attempt to legalize the use (in any form).

Therefore, despite the fact that there is extensive evidence of medical marijuana's safety and effectiveness (including the fact that even the federal government supplies it to patients), and clearly the drug czar would know about all this information, he is required by law to lie about it.

The job description also means that since he must oppose any attempt to legalize, he has no choice but declare that the drug war is working, that legalization would fail, etc., regardless of any... facts.

On April 2, 2003, Congressman Ron Paul wrote a letter to the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) asking for an investigation into ONDCP lobbying activities and their dissemination of "misleading information" (a polite euphemism for "lying")

The GAO responded (pdf):

Finally, apart from considerations of whether any particular law has been violated, you have asked whether the Deputy Director's letter disseminated misleading information in connection with statements relating to the debate over legalization of marijuana. [...]

ONDCP is specifically charged with the responsibility for "taking such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use" of certain controlled substances such as marijuana --- a responsibility which logically could include the making of advocacy statements in opposition to legalization efforts. The Deputy Director's statements about marijuana are thus within the statutory role assigned to ONDCP. Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director's individual statements in detail.

Translation: Since lying is in the job description of the ONDCP, there's no point in bothering to see whether they're telling the truth.

Keep in mind that this requirement to avoid the truth if it interferes with the mission of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is not limited to the current drug czar, John Walters.

The next drug czar, even if appointed by a President who tepidly supports certain reform measures, will be constrained by the same job description defined by Congress.

Clearly, but said congress seems possibly positioned to overturn the ban on federal funding of needle exchanges.

We may not be living in Ron Paul's libertarian America, but we're not living in George W Bush's fascist America anymore either.

And I'm living in Massachusetts so weed has already been decriminalized for us and the state gov, so far, is standing strong behind our Needle Exchanges. Did I mention anyone can come to our needle exchange and get free nasally administered Narcan?
Jonah, I love you.
The crime rise in South East and Central is more than real, and Kerlikowski has been more than asleep at the wheel. I don't think that the best person for this office is someone who can't handle the really racially diverse and economically challenged areas of our city.
We could pull ourselves out of recession if the Feds would legalize MJ + a small tax. No govt bailouts, just free the transfer of MJ and we're out of debt, out of mortgage crisis, bank crisis, etc.
hmmm... So how does the SPD's over the top and aggressive bust of the NORML office in the U-District fit with this narrative of Kerlikowski being some sort of friend to pot decriminalization/legalization advocates? The SPD confiscated WA State approved prescribed medical marijuana from at least one patient, and busted down a wall to try to find a grow room that didn't even exist.
Seattle needs to start thinking about a new Chief. I would give strong consideration to William P. McManus, the current Police Chief in San Antonio, Texas.
Im stuck in and english class right now researching the economy for a paper and I agree with you guys I believe pot should be legal with a small tax, I think if the government was to do this we would be able to end this recession and perhaps even being to end the national debt. If we do legalize pot we would also cut back on some of the gang violence not much because most of those gangs deal with hard drugs like coke and heroine. But just think for a moment how many people in this great nation of ours smoke pot and how many high school students make extra money with out ever having a job through selling pot, So my question is why not just make it legal so we can gain more revenue in are economy and to create new jobs for people who dont have that many skill and just like to smoke pot. I mean hell if they were to legalize it I would go and take some classes to learn how to grow and the biology of the cannabis plant, but till that day im just going to study psychology and be the hippie I am.
Interesting that your story mentions 'young black men' supposedly mistreated at the hands of Seattle police, and mentions the Kime case, but neglects to mention that it was young black men that killed the young white Kime.
Great it

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