Drug Czar Lies His Ass Off. Drug Czar Required by Law to Lie.
Drug Czar Lies His Ass Off; Claims '100 Groups' Studying Pot
By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in News
Friday, Feb. 11 2011 @ 3:20PM
U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske sat down for an interview with The Daily Caller's Mike Riggs earlier this week -- and managed to tell one hell of a whopper while he was at it.
When Riggs asked the Drug Czar, "You've said before that you don't see medical benefits to smoked marijuana and also that the jury is still out on medical marijuana. What sort of scientific consensus does the ONDCP [Office of National Drug Control Policy] require? How many studies have to come out arguing for medical benefits? What do you need to see?"
"You know there are over 100 groups doing marijuana research," the Czar replied, "and they're getting their marijuana from the University of Mississippi. There are several things in clinical trials right now. So we'll just have to wait for those."
Ah, yes, the "waiting for more research" position which seems so comforting and familiar to federal tools like Kerlikowske. Only problem is, it just ain't so.
As Paul Armentano of NORML writes at AlterNet, a review of the U.S. National Institutes of Health website shows that there are presently only six FDA-approved trials taking place -- anywhere in the world -- involving subjects' use of actual cannabis.
Of these, two are completed, one is testing the plant's pharmacokinetics (what the body does with it), and one is assessing the alleged dangers of marijuana.
That leaves just two ongoing clinical trials, not "over 100" as our truth-challenged Drug Czar would have us believe.
"You, sir, are a liar (but then again, I supposed we all knew that already)," Armentano wrote in the Hawai'i News Daily.
TheDC Interview: Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske on Mexico, pill mills, and the medical marijuana stalemate
By Mike Riggs - The Daily Caller | Published: 3:37 AM 02/11/2011 | Updated: 11:37 AM 02/11/2011
Gil Kerlikowske looks exhausted. The Seattle police chief-turned-drug czar is facing a litany of issues du jour (bath salts, pill mills) as well as more long-term challenges, like Mexico’s cartels and a tenacious and growing alliance of drug-law reformers in the U.S. Before the month is over, Kerlikowske will tour Appalachia to meet with state and city leaders about the prescription pill crisis and make his eighth trip to the Mexico border. The Daily Caller caught up with him this week to discuss drug policy. Our interview follows.
THE DAILY CALLER: I want to start with something you’ve said in past interviews, which is that you don’t like the term “drug war.” You don’t like this term because it’s hard to define who the enemy is, and sometimes the enemy is American citizens.
Do you think that what’s happening on the ground — the use of no-knock raids and SWAT teams, people’s pets being shot, their homes being trashed — do those things complicate your efforts at redefining this as something other than a war?
KERLIKOWSKE: Well, it might, but I guess the difference that I see is the level of violence in the United States and the training that law enforcement goes through. Whether they’re dealing with an armed robbery or taking down a drug house, and given the number of officers who are shot and killed anymore, and the type of weaponry that is out on the streets, I don’t think there’s any way to approach it from a safety standpoint that wouldn’t involve this.
So while it would be wonderful to be like the London Metropolitan Police and walk around unarmed, frankly, the United States was founded in violence, and we’re a pretty violent country. You can’t change that.
I do think we can change the angst that is caused by calling it a war on drugs, especially since to the minority community it feels like a war on them. Community policing and those kinds of things can help change it.
TheDC: You don’t want to take resources away from enforcement, but you do want to see more money going towards rehabilitation. What do you see as some good rehabilitation strategies? Tehran has a clean-needle exchange program, but D.C. doesn’t. So what should we have and where should the money come from?
KERLIKOWSKE: It’s not always about the money. Sometimes you have to look at how do you leverage some of the resources, especially in the prevention programs, which are labor intensive. Look at Drug Free Communities. It’s a small grant; $125,000. But if you look at the amount of work that these 720 or 730 communities do for a very small amount of money — it’s a lot of volunteers and a lot of enlisting other resources.
When it comes to treatment — and you wouldn’t want to call this a peace dividend — but treatment is half the cost of incarceration. When the president asked me not long after I took this job, “Gil do you really think we can make some progress on the drug front?” I naively said, “I think we can.”
And in a way, the wind’s at our backs in this recession. You have places like Texas talking about treatment instead of incarceration for low-level drug offenses. You have John Kasich newly elected governor of Ohio talking about how to keep low level drug offenders out of the prison and the criminal justice system.
There may be some benefit to dealing with the problem that way than with the high cost of incarceration.
Drug Czar Required by Law to Lie