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March 2009
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Drug Czar news

“bullet” I found this article fascinating. I’m pretty sure I’m reading it right, but check it out yourself. I believe that the author is referring to drug policy reform groups as anti-crime groups. Which is absolutely correct, of course, since legalization will dramatically reduce crime, but I didn’t expect to see it in a newspaper.
Anti-Crime Groups Cautiously Optimistic About New Drug Czar

Washington, D.C. (AHN) – Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement of the choice of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske as the nation’s drug czar on Wednesday elicited praise from Washington lawmakers, but cautious optimism from non-profit anti-crime groups.

And then it goes on to get quotes of cautious optimism from Ethan Nadelmann and Norm Stamper.
“bullet” The big news, of course (and this has been brought up in comments) is that the position of Drug Czar will go back to not being a cabinet-level position.

The agency will no longer have Cabinet-level status, but the official said that Kerlikowske “will have a seat at the table when important decisions are being made … and full access and a direct line to the president and vice president.” […]
Colleagues expect him to ramp up efforts to stem demand for illegal narcotics by emphasizing prevention and treatment.

It’s good to see at least, if nothing else, a shift of perceived emphasis by taking it out of cabinet-level position.
I also found this interesting:

John Carnevale, an official in the drug office from its inception in 1989 until 2000, met Kerlikowske while working on ways to measure the agency’s effectiveness. “He’s big on accountability,” said Carnevale.

Carnevale has been a very outspoken critic of the ONDCP and its lack of accountability.
More at the Washington Post
“bullet” Now if you want to see a blatant attempt at ass-kissing, check out this press release: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America Lauds Kerlikowske as New Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy. They even snuck in an opportunity to kiss Joe Biden’s ass. This is a group that, of course, depends on the government to supply them with grant money to spread propaganda.
Note how PDFA is even reading the tea leaves and getting the picture that marijuana demonization will be of less interest to this administration…

“The Partnership looks forward to working with Chief Kerlikowske and his team in a renewed effort to address the most pressing threats to our nation’s youth, including the intentional abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and to continue the outstanding progress made on illicit drugs like methamphetamine.”

Marijuana isn’t even mentioned once.

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