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The Drug Czar’s Unbelievable Reply To US Mayors’ Marijuana Vote

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Gil Kerlikowske drug czar marijuanaRemember when the Drug Czar told us the Administration had ended the War on Drugs?

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.

“Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” he said. “We’re not at war with people in this country.”

I thought that would be the standard for outright bald-faced pants-on-fire lying from Gil Kerlikowske’s office.  Throughout the Obama Administration, there have been more federal attacks on medical marijuana in the states than in two terms of George W. Bush, despite his campaign promises and his Attorney General’s memos to the contrary.  Despite claiming to emphasize treatment over incarceration, Obama’s drug war budgets still maintain a 3:2 balance toward law enforcement over treatment.  Even though marijuana arrests declined from an estimated 853,838 in 2010 to 757,969 in 2011, almost half (49%) of that drop of 95,869 arrests owes to California’s drop from 54,900 arrests in 2010 to only 7,800 in 2011, which was a result of Richard Lee pushing Prop 19 and forcing then-Gov. Schwarzenegger to decriminalize marijuana possession.

I was wrong.  Today the Twitter account for the Drug Czar (the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or ONDCP) had this response to the recent unanimous vote by the US Conference of Mayors on a resolution calling for the end of federal interference in state marijuana laws:

I don’t know what intern runs their Twitter account or whether actually reading the resolution was necessary in forming this hack reply and link trolling to their “21st Century” drug policy propaganda.  Because I doubt that the Administration’s approach to drug policy reform includes these planks agreed to unanimously by the US Mayors:

BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors reaffirms its support of fair and effective criminal justice and drug policies and reiterates its previous call for the reclassification of marijuana under federal law…

…states and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana policies work best to improve the public safety and health of their communities…

…[and]federal laws, including the Controlled Substance Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference…

Wouldn’t it be swell if this tweet was accurate and President Obama announced tomorrow that his Administration will reschedule marijuana to allow for medical use and he will ask Congress to amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow states to legalize recreational pot?

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About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.

30 Comments

  1. Pitchman101 on

    I was just wondering. If the Federal government were to reclasify MJ, Could that open up pandora’s box in the form of lawsuits against the government pertaining to its blatant willfull ignorant irresposible handling of Marijuana over the past 70 years?

    Is there any legal presedence in that a government caused so much damage to so many people by its pathetic policy’s that they were held morally ethically and criminaly accountable?

    If Marijuana is found to offer all the releif that is being documented in this internet age, and it truely can be shown that U.S Policy blocked access to legitimate treatment that directly or potentaly led to so many false imprisonments and deaths, Then wouldn’t our government need to first document something that said in affect, We the U.S governemnt cannot be held responsible for our blatant ignorant irresponsible actions of the past 70 years as it pertains to Marijuana?. Make it legal?

    If so, Could that be a reason for the current administrations complete lack of willingness to right this Wrong?

    By doing so, the U.S government would be openly admiting its policy’s were flaud. Pandora’s box would then be open.

    Just Saying!

  2. Tha Jonster on

    This is America at War with itself. We the people are at war with our own people and our own government. It is a pathetic strategy for government to take. More costly than the middle east and allowing our government to kidnap and hold for ransom its own citizen’s who are harming nobody and in fact are self medicating numerous conditions. It is all about money and until we sue the federal government it is not likely to change. This will require a legal solution and the time is now. I am sending out a prayer for a good attorney who is willing to fight for our rights in this abomination of the laws of the land. Prohibition is criminal and those responsible for it should be the ones held accountable both in criminal and civil court. Time to let them know that kidnapping hard-working, peace-loving American’s is the crime and we will NOT stand for it any longer! They must be sued for damages and incarcerated.

  3. Tha Jonster on

    This is America at War with itself. We the people are at war with our own people and our own government. It is a pathetic strategy for government to take. More costly than the middle east and allowing our government to kidnap and hold for ransom its own citizen’s who are harming nobody and in fact are self medicating numerous conditions. It is all about money and until we sue the federal government it is not likely to change. This will require a legal solution and the time is now. I am sending out a prayer for a good attorney who is willing to fight for our rights in this abomination of the laws of the land. Prohibition is criminal and those responsible for it should be the ones held accountable both in criminal and civil court. Time to let them know that kidnapping hard-working, peace-loving American’s is the crime and we will NOT stand for it any longer! They must be sued for damages and incarcerated.

  4. Alex Laverick on

    It will do a lot of damage to drug control initiatives so don’t expect any decriminalizing to be going on. The money for the law is huge. They need it to justify their brutality against their own neighbours.

  5. Read the CSA’s fine print, it clearly states that the action of rescheduling of any listed substance starts w/ petitions to the Attorney General, who then directs the DEA to reschedule said-substance. Now Drug Czars are in place to obstruct (by any means called for), in the alteration of any listed substance’s scheduling. We don’t need anymore “CLEAR SKIES INITIATIVES” claiming one thing publicly, and mirror-opposite in actions. To make criminal, things that are not criminal, is criminal!!! http://www.change.org/petitions/change-the-schedule-of-cannabis-cannabis-laws-and-drug-czar-laws This man had the right idea, but Senate was not the right group to petition. Simply put, he sent it to the wrong office.

  6. Stand up for your rights

    Demand that marijuana is decriminalized, and people with marijuana convictions are pardoned, sign the whitehouse petition and make President Obama respond.

    Decriminalize marijuana, and pardon all marijuana convictions. Over 100,000,000 U.S. Citizens have used marijuana.

    With over 500,000 marijuana arrests costing over $10 billion annually, and with more than half of U.S. Citizens favoring legalization the time is here to end marijuana prohibition.

    Marijuana prohibition is very costly to society, wasting billions of dollars and billions of hours in law enforcement, justice system and penal system time, it also destroys families and personal lives and futures.

    The effects of marijuana both physically and socially are less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and adults should be entitled to make the decision whether or not to consume marijuana.

    It’s time to finally put an end to the criminalization of marijuana, This would not only allow our government to save billions of dollars, but could be a source of income and bring in billions of dollars in revenue.

    We have to keep the pressure on our government to decriminalize marijuana, it’s no worse than tobacco or alcohol yet the police are ruining peoples lives over a little weed that people have smoked for thousands of years.Many cities like NYC, practice illegal stop and frisks because a legal pat down for a weapon also usually entails a 4th Amendment violating pocket search which is then aggravated even more by charges of open display a misdemeanor, rather than the much lighter violation which is like a traffic ticket as far as performing a criminal act.

    Police corruption not only allows but encourages massive searches of 500,000-700,000 thousand people per year predominantly Blacks, who are then run through the criminal justice system. I am myself a victim of allegations brought upon me by a blitzkrieg handcuff abduction, and , though I’m not Black but live in a black neighborhood, it wasn’t the first time I was stop and frisked either.

    Maybe the policy should be that when stopped by the police and frisked for a suspected weapon there would be immunity against further charges. If they actually were targeting concealed weapons, a pat down would reveal this, no weapon then no further infringement may be employed. (except for the issue of 2nd Amendment rights which is another issue), anyhow the police would be more judicious about actually seeing, bulges, gun sized objects or actual weapons exposed.

    By having the police concentrate their efforts on guns which are illegal in NYC,( except for individuals with carry permits which are difficult and expensive to obtain). The results should be significantly improved considering the current success rate of finding illegal weapons is below 2%

    Legalization or decriminalization if achievable would correct a historic injustice inflicted on generations off United States Citizens.

    Please sign the petition and spread the word with twitter and Facebook

    http://wh.gov/lOmFK

    we have 1 month to get 100,000 signatures and we need 150 signatures to make the petition searchable on the website.
    Please sign the latest petition on petition.whitehouse.(gov)

    Please spread the word around, we have 1 month to get 100,000 signatures and then the whitehouse must respond again, it will also show how easily the proponents of marijuana legalization can mobilize.

    I don’t have twitter or Facebook if anyone does and wants to put the link up or just to sign here it is

    We can do it

    si se puede!

    RonM

  7. “that his Administration will reschedule marijuana to allow for medical
    use and he will ask Congress to amend the Controlled Substances Act to
    allow states to legalize recreational pot?”

    ??? Obama to get those who REPRESENT us to ALLOW us to use Marijuana either medically or recreationally?

    I am no Serf, NO ONE, let me repeat, NO ONE has the authority to restrict me from non violent or non right infringing behavior(s).

    High Testosterone levels have been tied to Aggression and Rape, however I do not see Testosterone on the Gov’t Schedules. Why? Because aggression and rape are the Right Infringing behaviors, not producing or consuming testosterone.

    Let us not ask another, especially Gov’t, to behave in a manner that does not infringe upon another. We will forget who has the Power and mistakenly ask for permission when none is warranted.

  8. The Punisher on

    We’ve ropes enough and trees enough to hang the whole damned clan… to quote my Scottish ancestors…

  9. I think that the Conference of Mayors has now clearly distinguished between the war on drugs in general, whether Mr. K has the balls to call it a war or not, and marijuana as regulated by the states. However, many more “victories” and “support” like that and it’s really all over for the DEADenders when it comes to enforcing a very non-enforceable law.

    Don’t forget that middle of the road-ish liberals know it’s better to call a war something else, because people are tired of war. But as in lots of places where the US insists its involvement is not really a war, people are suffering and dying every day. Makes no difference to them what it’s called — they’re just as dead.

  10. Politics is the art of the possible. Many politicians resist reform of these laws because they don’t think reform IS possible, that any support they give to reform would be used by their opponents as a club to beat them with (ala Willy Horton). Others resist reform because they think the support of specific constituencies (law enforcement, prison guards, etc) will get them further than backing reform. To make any difference, voters are going to have to COMMUNICATE with their legislators (state and federal), and convince them otherwise. Write your Congressman. Call your Congressman. HOUND your Congressman.

  11. Basically he’s saying “we wont call it the war on drugs, we’ll just wage the war and call it something else.”

  12. As much as I loathe Gil K. and love Russ B., it is obvious that Gil K was ignoring the “leave states alone resolution” and instead referring to resolution #1 from the conference. “In support of the president’s 2013 national drug control strategy.”

    “Now, therefore, be it resolved, that The United States Conference of Mayors recognizes the threat that drug use poses to our society and supports the President’s National Drug Control Strategy as a part of his larger effort to build an America built to last.”

  13. That is what should happen , just pass the darn thing and get it over with, it was a mistake that it was ever put in a class of drugs to begin with, but you can admit to the mistake and remove it off the books and crime will decrease, people will have better health, taxing it will help our country, I don’t see what the whole problem is other than BIG EGOS, who don’t want to just GIVE IN!!!!!!

  14. Raymond Tokareff on

    The A-holes are liars, they have always been liars and they will always be liars; they don’t know how to do anything else!

  15. yea there is no war on pot then throw the people in prison/jails out for possessing pot if there is no war on pot. oh you can’t because it would put to many good Americans out of work and pay for school programs telling everyone that pot is bad. That’s the problem it’s all about money. Then tax pot 25% and that will supplement the monies lost by the prisoners and give people that where in jail/prison a job when they got out and make them good working Americans. :) Have A Great day!!!

  16. Alan Burnham on

    Law enforcement, private prisons, Big Pharma are all that matter to our federal justice system. The fact that Medical marijuana is helping people doesn’t even get discussed. In fact US Attorneys are saying Medical Marijuana has NO benefit for mankind. This is an OUTRAGE by the Obama administration.

  17. When you look at the ratio of monies allotted to the so called “war on drugs”, and where this money go’s, you’ll see the answer. I won’t even say anything about the law enforcement 3/5’s, because anyone with enough sense to even be on this site knows the reason for that. The treatment part is a joke, and only necessary because of the very people hampering the movement, big pharma. I’ve lived through some crazy times and been a few places, but in my 61 years I’ve never seen so many people addicted to the poison that’s forced upon us. I guess if I had the money pharma pays to lobby against anything that’ll get in their pockets, I could get any response I wanted. Hell, I could probably write up any officials response and send it to them.
    Sorry about the rant.
    Peace

  18. The Adminstration claims the US mayors are supporting them. Nowhere does the twitter message (nor the next) claim that they support all of the mayors statements.

  19. Well, that does sort of demonstrate the war on marijuana is run by idiots. The only question is were they that stupid before they got the job or is simple exposure to so much stupidity at the office infectious.

    Does kind of remind me that the fried egg “This is you brain on drugs…” commercial may have actually been referring to what happens when you can’t help obsessing about other people’s drug use.

  20. Daniel Stuart Hoffman on

    It would only be delusional if he believed his own crap. Do you think he actually does? I think they know 75% of the people listening to them are stark idiots.

  21. Daniel Stuart Hoffman on

    You can see this throughout those who still support Obama. They categorically refuse to analyze action, and believe only his, and his lackey’s, empty words. The numbers are clear as day, and yet if you ask anyone who still supports the man, he’s been the kindest President on marijuana of all time. Those people simply refuse to look at the numbers because doing so would shatter their delusionary vision of this man. Then when you point out the numbers they will call you a teabagger, and probably also a racist too.

  22. I wish congress and the senate would finally put some real legislation on the President’s desk. He won’t do anything until he is forced to make a decision to sign a cannabis reform bill that is passed on to him.

    The semantics is laughable, it’s kind of like Ol’ Bill Clinton saying “It depends on your definition of sex” It’s not a joke though, to many people are getting hurt and killed from this war on drugs, or whatever you want to call it this week…

  23. I guess being delusional is a prerequisite for holding the post of Drug Czar. Harry J. Anslinger would be proud.

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