Obama selects 'Drug Czar', are we a step closer to legalization?

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by nugglord_420, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/399760_kerlikowske12.html?source=mypi

    Kerlikowske seen as a progressive

    Advocates of reforms are 'cautiously optimistic' about him as 'drug czar'

    Gil Kerlikowske remained silent for a second day on his appointment as the nation's drug czar, but his track record in Seattle -- a city known for its progressive drug stances -- offered a hint at how the Obama administration might wage the drug war.
    · Jamieson: How will we look back on Kerlikowske?

    No official word came from the White House on Wednesday on Kerlikowske, who, if confirmed by the Senate, could become the new director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
    A source in Washington, D.C., confirmed that Kerlikowske had been chosen for the post, but that paperwork making the nomination official had not yet been filed.
    Many people, including those traditionally at odds with government policies, were "cautiously optimistic" about Kerlikowske, who became police chief in 2000.
    "He's likely to be the best drug czar we've seen, but that's not saying much," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a national nonprofit group focused on changing drug policies.
    Nadelmann called Kerlikowske, 59, a "blank slate" because of his notable absence in drug-policy debates. But he was encouraged by the chief's ability to thrive in a city famous for its drug courts, needle exchanges, methadone vans and annual Hempfest celebration.
    "At least we know that when we talk about needle exchanges and decriminalizing marijuana arrests, it's not going to be the first time he's heard about them," he said.
    Many local people expected that Kerlikowske would be chosen for a federal post, but were surprised by this appointment, saying he rarely speaks on drug enforcement, unlike his platforms on gun control and community policing.
    But last fall, they said, Kerlikowske began working on drug-policy reforms for street users in certain neighborhoods.
    He recently gave his blessing to a pilot program in drug-plagued Belltown for officers to send drug users to treatment or job centers instead of jail. He gave his support to similar programs already operating in Rainier Beach and Madison Valley.
    "I would imagine that being a chief law-enforcement officer makes it very difficult for someone to speak out in favor of more-progressive drug laws and drug policies," Alison Holcomb, the drug policy director for the ACLU of Washington, said.
    "I also think his actions speak louder than words."
    One of those actions is Kerlikowske's participation on an executive committee that oversees King County Drug Court, which dismisses charges against a defendant who completes treatment. The chief has also dedicated an officer full time to work on drug court cases.
    A 1998 state law allows debilitated and terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana, but gives police departments wide latitude in whether to make an arrest.
    Despite that, Holcomb said Kerlikowske's officers have "demonstrated compassion" in not arresting known growers and users in medical marijuana cases.
    She also said his officers are respectful and tolerant when they patrol Hempfest, the city's annual celebration of drug-law reforms.
    Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata, a former chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said Kerlikowske would be an ideal drug czar.
    "He is sort of a logical choice because he's someone who has been a police chief in a very progressive city, and he has seen how these approaches worked, and he's allowed them to mature," Licata said.
    He added: "He's not on a platform arguing for decriminalization of drugs or radical drug reform measures."
    Treatment advocates praised Kerlikowske for setting a respectful tone emulated by the rank and file toward the city's many innovative services for addicts, from needle exchanges to methadone vans to the 1811 Eastlake project, a home for chronic alcoholics that allows drinking in rooms.
    In 2003, the chief had initially opposed Initiative 75, a measure approved by Seattle voters that made enforcement of marijuana for adult personal use the lowest priority for police and city attorneys. But activists say he has since ordered his officers to implement the law.
    "If it's all accurate ... he will bring a reasoned, rational and very articulate voice to our nation's drug policy debate," said City Councilman Tim Burgess, chairman of the Public Safety Committee.
    "I think this is a good fit for him. It puts him squarely in the center of policy development and the analytics of law enforcement."
    Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, now an ardent advocate of drug-law reforms, said Kerlikowske was likely picked less for his record on drug enforcement than for his intellect and national reputation.
    "He's more inclined to support research-driven and evidence-based conclusions about public policy," Stamper said.
    A 36-year police veteran, Kerlikowske had previously served as a deputy director of the Justice Department in the Clinton administration.
    He has worked with two other Obama Cabinet picks, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
    Kerlikowske would assume a post held by John Walters in the Bush administration.
  2. I'm too high to read that... why did it say?
  3. it said weed will most likely be legalized by the end of the month

    you really should read it man!
  4. What are you talking about man?? It doesn't say anything like that at all.. It is good thing though because I think were gonna def see a change in how the fed approaches medical marijuana use. I bet it will end up being to the states and that means nothing for us in Orlando... (Red here: http://www.mpp.org/states/florida/). Also dont expect this to be thaat fast, its gonna take some time. It would be nice if states were forced to abide my the medical laws, but I dont think politics works like that? Im pretty sure some medications are still illegal in some states & not in others.

  5. hahah dude Im too sober to read all that!:D:D
  6. Cliff notes:

    The guy is not really outspoken about drugs, and seems to be against mass decriminalization and legalization and other radical drug policy changes. He is however level headed and will probably approach policy with a more scientific and rational process than previous drug czars. Pro weed people are becoming skepticaly optomistic since he was seattle of a progressive city, Seattle, whose home to hemp fest and reportedly are very "compassionate" dealing with medical marijuana growers.

    The basic notion is, he's not really cool for us, but he's definately better than what we've had so far.

  7. o rly?

    develop a sense of humor
  8. thx for the cliff notes madrid! lifesaver for my test tomorrow!:hello:
  9. You cant really do much worse than John Walters.
  10. Develop better jokes? Naw just kidding, I thought it was hilarious! :laughing:
  11. Yea actually I wasn't going to read it since I already read 2 diff articles about it until he said that and it made me read it.

    So it got some people to read it probably
  12. :D:smoke:
  13. Possession is mostly a state crime, not federal. While the Feds can do nasty things like try to bust big dealers and those that cross state lines - like how when Cali first did med marijuana they claimed they would go after people still (and have the DEA revoke doc's ability to write prescriptions (for pain killers, etc)).

    If you want legalization, unfortunately it is going to have to be state by state - unless the Fed Courts hold is a constitutional right is involved somehow. They could also do like the drinking age and speed limit, and not give $$$ unless they legalize it. Mass just decriminalized it.

    \t \t \t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\tOriginally Posted by Ballsofsteel420 \t\t\t\t\t[​IMG] \t\t\t\t
    \t\t\t\tI'm too high to read that... why did it say?
    \t\t\t \t\t \t \t

    hahah dude Im too sober to read all that!:D:D

    Both of these were funny as hell to me, and both so damn true...

  14. [​IMG]

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