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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

National Drug Czar Steps Down

The war on drugs in America has been called a failure by a number of experts over the years. Battles may be considered victories, but the war itself never seems to achieve the goal that President Nixon hoped to achieve when he declared war in the 1970’s. Ever since its conception there has been a National Drug Czar at the forefront of the conflict.

The most recent front-man, of the war on drugs, Gil Kerlikowske, will step down as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Before ONDCP, Kerlikowske served nine years as Seattle’s Chief of Police.

Last Friday, President Obama nominated Kerlikowske to become the new U.S. Commissioner of Customs. 

Kerlikowske, at the National Press Club in April, said legalizing marijuana will not solve the country’s drug problem, calling marijuana legalization an “extreme approach,” according to the newspaper. Kerlikowske believes that state laws in Colorado and Washington, which have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana present complex questions. 

The popularity of medical marijuana sends the wrong message to young people, Kerlikowske said in June. 

Fortunately, Kerlikowske believes that addiction is a brain disease; he said that addiction should be treated as a public health issue - not a moral failure. Hopefully, the next Czar will have the same enlightened view on addiction.

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