Barack Obama’s new Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske just spoke in a way never heard in any of his zealous predecessors. In an interview, WSJ reporter Gary Field elicited some eye-popping comments from the new head of the White House Office of National Drug Control in his provocatively titled, White House Czar Calls for End to ‘War on Drugs’ . These include:
- “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.
- We’re not at war with people in this country.
These are the sweetest, most sensible words issuing from American anti-drug apparatus in decades! What a great patriotic sentiment, recognizing that hard line drug enforcement is war against our own people.
Sadly they are among the few sensible statements ever issued from the Office of National Drug Policy Control, ONDCP, and its head, the drug czar.
Such sensible, harm-reduction oriented comments are hugely welcome after the last 8 years of scorched earth drug war zealotry of John Walters. In fact, every drug czar had clung to, even relished, the hard line drug war metaphor.
But actually, Gil, you saying we are not at war with people in the country does not make it so.
- Simply flip your TV remote and find a broadcasta of “COPS” running. Quickly you will find a drug war on the people in this country. Highly trained cops routinely search cars and find marijuana, each new arrest adding to over 800,00 each year for cannabis alone. I bet these 800,000 people feel a war is being made upon them by their country.
- Better yet, turn on SPIKE TV. There you will quickly find the DEA making war on the people of this country, in the gize of ridding “bad guys.” Squads of 4 or 5 vehicles, including a loaded van disgorge over 20 screaming, cursing thugs shod in 40 jack boots. They descend on a couple of guys with a little cannabis. Great job team! Oh, of course air cover is being provided by $1,000/hr. helicopter. What a pathetic waste of money and lives!
Gil Kerlikowske, you could take 2 actions to jump start your new way of business:
- Help get in a great DEA head. Norm Stamper would be the best.
- Make all effort to reschedule cannabis from draconian Schedule I to more reasonable Schedule V. Much of the mandatory evil associated with cannabis prosecution would quickly cease.