Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama Set to Nominate Seattle Police Chief as Drug Czar


I would much prefer that the White House Drug Czar position and most of the DEA be completely eliminated. Let's face it folks, the so-called "War on Drugs" is an absolute and very expensive failure. We need to be working on how to regulate and tax a free market in drugs, while providing free access to drug rehabilitation and increasing funds to educate the public not to use drugs. All that being said, Obama's apparent choice of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske for the Drug Czar position could be much worse:

In 2003, Kerlikowske opposed a city ballot measure, approved by voters, to make marijuana possession the lowest law-enforcement priority, saying it would create confusion. But in doing so, he noted that arresting people for possessing marijuana for personal use was already not a priority.

"Oh God bless us," said Joanna McKee, co-founder and director of Green Cross Patient Co-Op, a medical-marijuana patient-advocacy group. "What a blessing — the karma gods are smiling on the whole country, man." McKee said Kerlikowske knows the difference between cracking down on the illegal abuse of drugs and allowing the responsible use of marijuana.

Douglas Hiatt, a Seattle attorney and advocate for medical-marijuana patients, said his first preference would be for a physician to oversee national drug policy. But Kerlikowske would be a vast improvement over past drug czars, who have used the office to carry out the so-called "war on drugs," Hiatt said. Kerlikowske is a "very reasonable guy" who would likely bring more liberal policies to the job, Hiatt said. [Seattle Times]

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