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Marijuana Activist Scott Morgan Asks Drug Czar About Forced Rehab For Marijuana Consumers

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Gil Kerlikowske

Gil Kerlikowske

Marijuana Activists Ask Drug Czar Questions At Event

I was on Reddit earlier today, and came across the following message from one of the best reform activist/bloggers working to end prohibition, Scott Morgan. If you haven’t checked him out at Stop The Dug War or Flex Your Rights, I highly suggest you do so:

I asked the Drug Czar a question today

“Audience members were offered notecards to submit questions, and one of mine was selected. What fun.

Since he talked a lot about the importance of making drug treatment more available, my question was whether it makes since to arrest marijuana users and force them into treatment against their will. He said it was a “myth” that marijuana users are being forced into treatment, but then refuted himself by arguing about how getting arrested is the first step towards recovery.

You can watch the video here (my question is at 37:25, see video below)

There are also good questions from other activists including Neill Franklin of LEAP, Steve Fox of MPP, and Irina Alexander of CJPF, so it’s worth checking out other parts of the video too.”

Below is some background about the event:

Forty years after President Richard Nixon first declared that drug abuse was “public enemy number one,” the Obama administration has announced an end to the so-called “war on drugs” approach to drug policy. Recognizing that America will never be able to arrest its way out of the drug problem, the administration’s newly announced drug policy strategy shifts away from a law enforcement only approach to a drug policy recognizing that America’s drug problem is a public health issue–not just a criminal one. It outlines significant reforms aimed at treating drug addiction as a chronic disease instead of a “moral” failure.

Even though overall drug use is down, and the U.S. prison population declined for the first time in 40 years, more than 7 million people remain under the supervision of the criminal justice system. Of these, more than 2 million are behind bars. Making matters worse, drug-induced deaths now claim more lives than gun violence, and prescription drug abuse has been declared an epidemic. Will these reforms really break the vicious cycle of drug use, crime, incarceration, and rearrest in America?

Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion with Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as he lays out the Obama administration’s new national drug control strategy.

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2 Comments

  1. As a drug and alcohol detox nurse, I see this all too often! I can honestly tell you that the ONLY way that MJ users stay in rehab is by being forced to, unless it is a tertiary drug, meaning only used when their primary substance of choice is not available or it is used to help come down off their substance of choice. In otherwords, opioid users, alcoholics, methamphetamine users, etc…
    On a detox/inpatient level, there is NO treatment for detoxing from MJ alone except sleep. Insurance will not let patients stay at that level of care for more than a day and that is only to get a baseline reading of chemical levels in the blood to confirm that MJ is the only substance in the system and to make sure they are healthy. The only way rehabs can get MJ users to stay in detox is by lying to the insurance companies (or families is paying cash) about their symptoms and their medications and let me tell you, THEY DO!
    On an outpatient level, they go to meetings and have their cards signed off to report back to their PO’s or whomever.
    Being a supporter of cannabis, it is hard for me to admit these clients without laughing at the situation with them as well as being disgusted by the whole thing too!
    The worse thing that I see working in this field is clients still wanting to get high without it being detected on drug tests, so they’ll go buy that fake crap “Spice” and smoke that. What people don’t know is that “Spice” is nothing like MJ and can kill you, if not give you a stroke or something else! So by forcing our MJ users into rehab, we are forcing them to find other alternatives and uneducated people pick “Spice”… Thank goodness “Spice” testing is becoming more readily available and far more affordable to test so hopefully this “Spice” use will be limited.
    These a-holes think they know, but they don’t know shit!

  2. eating_sunshine on

    What a dumb ass.  He didn’t answer the question, but wandered off into meth addiction.  It seems morons are in charge of our lives. 

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