US Drug Czar Speaks Out About His Stance on Marijuana

 by lucy

US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, a former police chief,  is known for taking a hard stance against marijuana.  Recently, he was interviewed by Maclean’s, a Canadian news website, and the focus of the interview was American’s position on drugs, primarily marijuana.

During the interview, Kerlikowske made a number of statements that can be described as confusing, to say the least.

Kerlikowske spent a significant amount of time discussing the dangers of prescription drug abuse, stating, “More people are dying of prescription drug abuse than heroin and cocaine combined.”  However, he then continued to explain that prescription drug abuse is the United States’ biggest drug problem… after marijuana.  Even though no one has ever overdosed on marijuana, Kerlikowske saw it fit to label it as the country’s largest drug issue.

Another confusing claim that Kerlikowske made is essentially that marijuana should not be legalized because alcohol already presents so many issues for the country.  He explained, “We arrest about 2.4 million people in this country a year for alcohol. We arrest less than 700,000 people for marijuana—and for all drugs, only 1.3 million. Alcohol is perfectly legal. So making drugs available without any sanction would only lead to more abuse.”

When asked about legalization in Washington and Colorado, Kerlikowske explained that, “You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined. They will use their limited resources on those groups and not on going after individual users.”  This is the sentiment that the Obama Administration has continually expressed about both medical marijuana and legal recreational marijuana, but it is unclear how much they plan to step in in Washington and Colorado.

While many of Kerlikowske’s opinions expressed during the interview do not seem to be the most logical, the US Drug Czar is confident that the US is taking the right approach to controlling marijuana and other drugs.

You can read the entire interview at Maclean’s.



11 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. 3

    eddie273273 said on Feb 15, 2013

    How can some one this delusional be the head of anything much less be the US drug czar .
    I'm wondering what drugs he's using .
    Bet he's gobbling down antidepressants like candy .

  2. 2

    billdozer said on Feb 15, 2013

    wow, marijuana is the biggest problem ??? yet there is 2.4 million alcoholic related arrests, most probably involving violence, danger to others, DUI's. I'd love to see the breakdown of the reasons for the marijuana arrests.

  3. 1

    559airandtrees said on Feb 15, 2013

    oh god that doesn't sounds good for co and wa, oh well fear is how they keep you down so go big co and wa

  4. 0

    superjackstraw said on Feb 15, 2013


  5. 2

    dieselhaze said on Feb 15, 2013

    Gil Kerlikowske makes no damn sense at all.

  6. 1

    facebandNY said on Feb 15, 2013

    officials refuse to acknowledge even that marijuana is less dangerous than heroin. they know just how stupid they sound, but they need to uphold their stance for ulterior agendas (i.e. all that big pharma lobby cash!) let's not forget this:

  7. 1

    LordTHC said on Feb 15, 2013

    alcohol is soooo different then cannabis wow dumbass

  8. 2

    spkavyo said on Feb 16, 2013

    Gil Kerlikowske, Drug Czar, is not qualified to hold the position. He obviously has never observed someone using marijuana along side an alcohol abuser. They're so different, with alcohol you become braver or riskier the more impaired you are, with marijuana you become more aware and careful. Linking either with the opiate addiction problem caused by Big Pharma churning out tons of prescription meds and shady doctors looking to make the big bucks is crazy. Locking people up for the possession of a drug does nothing to stop the drug problem. Reclassify marijuana as a Schedule 3 and move methamphetamine up to Schedule 1 and start offering comprehensive residential treatment facilities to anyone addicted to heroin, speed or coke and you will start to curb our drug problem in the U.S. Portugal is in year 10 of total decriminalization, and the use of drugs is the lowest it has ever been.

  9. 2

    DrZhang said on Feb 28, 2013

    We have to remember that the position of 'Drug Csar' is purely political. The only prerequisite of the job is to be anti-marijuana. Now, that's not just hyperbole, that's written in the job description. The real job title is Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy. He cannot, by law, express any positive depiction of marijuana regardless of evidence to the contrary. Kerlikowske is a good little soldier. He values the position he's in and won't do anything, or say anything to jeopardize it. He's just a hack, a political goon. There's no reason to think anything that comes out of his mouth will be relevant to the debate. He's nothing more than a parrot.

    Now, Attorney General Holder is a different matter. What he says can (and does unfortunately) result in action. With the trend running very positive for cannabis nationwide, this has become a very sticky and frustrating issue for him and his boss. On one hand, they feel they have to continue the same old bullshit that's come out of the White House since Reagan or they take a BIG gamble and reschedule cannabis. The tide is turning so the choice becomes be a part of the past or of the future. Just look at the state of the Republican party if you want to see what happens when you start looking backward.

    Activists like us see the choice as painfully obvious but politics generates blinders. Good people, seduced by the power, will refuse to see what is right in front of them if it has any chance of jeopardizing their position.

    This has been the biggest obstacle to our goal of ending prohibition. How to get these people to see the truth. So, despite all the activism, all the protests, initiative drives, and all the money we've raised, it all comes down to finding someone in government to grow a pair and stand up to the status quo.

  10. 1

    eddie273273 said on Mar 15, 2013

    He looks constipated ..

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