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February 2009
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New drug czar?

A picture named Kerlikowske2.jpgWhat do we know about Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske?
Update: Lots of good stuff in comments. The early consensus seems to be that he won’t be a friend to drug policy reform, but he’s less likely to be the kind of sadomoralist that we’ve had (he’s certainly no John Walters). The Seattle experience is certainly a plus — home of hempfest and Norm Stamper, and just a little bit down the road from Vancouver. I know a number of people from Seattle and it seems to have a good vibe — maybe some of that rubbed off on him.
The fact of the matter is that the Drug Czar can’t be a reformer as currently constituted. He’s required by law to lie, remember?
But what I’m most interested in is what the new drug czar might not do. It would be nice if he didn’t show up at state legislatures trying to prevent them from passing state laws regarding medical marijuana or decriminalization. It would be nice if he didn’t go out of his way to lie to the press all the time about marijuana. It would be nice if he didn’t travel around the country acting as an advance salesman for drug testing companies.
These are things that a new drug czar could legitimately fail to do. And that would be a good thing.

[Thanks, itsMeDave]

Further Update: NORML’s Daily Stash interviewed former Seattle Police Chief (and LEAP member) Norm Stamper today about Gil Kerlikowske as drug czar. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet.

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