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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.