I am becoming a huge fan of Gus Kerlikowske.
But, you say, how can that be? Kerlikowske opposes marijuana legalization.
Of course he does. He’s the drug czar and required to by law.
It’s the way he does it — so deliciously ridiculous.
“Legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary, and it’s not in mine,” he said. […]
“Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit,” Kerlikowske said in downtown Fresno …
This is pure gold. He said this in California! “Marijuana has no medicinal benefit.” In California where everybody knows somebody who is benefitting medicinally from marijuana.
You see, our old drug czar would have attacked this with subterfuge. He would have said something like “The FDA and other legitimate medical organizations will never accept smoked drugs as medicine. We have to turn to medical professionals for the proper development of drugs from cannabis, with properly controlled doses, not the false and damaging hope of a dangerous smoked drug just because it makes people feel good. What message are we sending to the children?” And some people would have nodded and thought that sounded reasonable.
Not Kerlikowske. He goes into California and says that marijuana has no medicinal benefit. Well nobody really believes that anymore — even the hard core drug warriors out there are trying to convince people that other existing drugs provide the same or better benefit as marijuana. By claiming no medicinal value, Kerlikowske looks like a doofus, and by extension, so does the entire U.S. marijuana policy.
And that ‘legalization not in his vocabulary’ business, over and over again — more fabulous stuff. It sounds stupid and totally childish. And not just to us.
Of course, we need to ridicule him for this and take advantage of it. Point out the Emperor’s New Clothes. But this is easy stuff. And we can make it work for us.
When it comes to marijuana, I love Gus.
However, that does not mean that I’m sold on him as drug czar in all areas. Not in the least. I’m very concerned with the damage that he may cause in the area of prescription drugs — he’s really big on pushing the abuse/overdose messages there (it seems to be a personal agenda for him) and I worry that the government may go even further overboard in terms of making it hard for doctors to prescribe what is necessary for pain management.
But today, he’s making me smile.