Marijuana: Obama drug czar cites "serious national conversation" about legalization

Gil Kerlikowske.jpg
Gil Kerlikowske.
Since the passage and signing of Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, Coloradans and folks for and against policy reform nationwide have waited for word as to whether the federal government will block implementation of the law.

The latest clue to the feds' approach comes in a letter from Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, in which he acknowledges that the country is "in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana."

The letter was prompted by three marijuana-legalization-related petitions at the White House's We the People website. As we've reported, a slew of petitions calling for marijuana reform have cropped up since voters blessed A64.

Among them is a document submitted by syndicated columnist David Sirota, who was just disappeared from his KHOW talk-show gig, and Amendment 64 proponent Mason Tvert, whose petition asked vice president Joe Biden not to crack down on Colorado and Washington, both of which passed cannabis measures in November.

barack obama and barbara walters large-thumb-565x376.jpg
Pete Souza
A White House photo of Obama's sit-down with Barbara Walters.
The lion's share of Kerlikowske's letter -- prompted by the petitions reaching the 25,000 signature level quickly enough to trigger an automatic Obama administration response -- features quotes from the President's recent interview with Barbara Walters, in which he said individual users wouldn't be targeted while arguing against more universal legalization. But prior to citing the Justice Department's ongoing review of the Colorado and Washington measures, and alluding to the differences between federal law and those in the states in question, Kerlikowske writes, "Coming out of the recent election, it is clear that we're in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana."

This phrase strikes Tom Angell, chairman of the organization Marijuana Majority and a close follower of events in Colorado, as significant.

Continue for more about Kerlikowske's comments, including the entire letter and a video.

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Fuck the police fuck fuck the police!

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The Strongest Argument Against Marijuana = Puerile Pot Punks and their Obnoxious Public Behavior


Jerrod Jones
Jerrod Jones

Why don't these assholes stop Backtracking and move on to something useful!!! Take the tax money and shut the fuck up!!!

Robert Smith
Robert Smith

I have a suspicion they Will reverse the people's decision, before letting the floodgates open. Unfortunately.

Charlie Whiskey
Charlie Whiskey

Well, the interesting thing is that a growing number of citizens nationwide (might be the majority, depends on the poll) think that marijuana should be legalized. But you've got a lot of big money on the other side (from big pharma to prisons and enforcement) who stand to lose a lot of money and will need to create another bogeyman if it is indeed tolerated on a national scale. Of course lost in this is the benefit to the American taxpayer.


Not only PROPAGANDA but you re wrote some one else´s artical.  Link to the first propaganda at the bottom.

 We are, according to the White House drug czar as of Tuesday afternoon, “in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana.”

Whoa. That’s huge coming from the White House.

Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said that Tuesday in response to three online petitions asking the White House about marijuana legalization.

Using the words “serious national conversation” is major progress for the MJ legalization crowd. Yes, recreational marijuana use is now kosher in Colorado and Washington, but even users there are still in limbo until they have federal legitimacy.

As Tom Angell, an advocate with the Marijuana Majority said Tuesday:

“From ‘legalization is not in my vocabulary and it’s not in the president’s,’ as Gil Kerlikowske often used to say, to ‘it is clear that we’re in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana’ is a pretty stark shift. Of course, what really matters is to what extent the administration actually shifts enforcement priorities and budgets, but I sure do like hearing the US drug czar acknowledge the fact that marijuana legalization is a mainstream discussion that is happening whether he likes it or not.”

Here’s what Kerlikowske, whose real title is “Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy,” wrote Tuesday in the form of an auto-response to the tens of thousands of folks who signed legalization petitions:

Thank you for participating in We the People and speaking out on the legalization of marijuana. Coming out of the recent election, it is clear that we’re in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana.
At President Obama’s request, the Justice Department is reviewing the legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington, given differences between state and federal law. In the meantime, please see a recent interview with Barbara Walters in which President Obama addressed the legalization of marijuana:

Referring to a Barbara Walters interview? Uh, really? OK…here goes:

Barbara Walters:

Do you think that marijuana should be legalized?

President Obama:

Well, I wouldn’t go that far. But what I think is that, at this point, Washington and Colorado, you’ve seen the voters speak on this issue. And as it is, the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions. It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law that’s legal.

…this is a tough problem because Congress has not yet changed the law. I head up the executive branch; we’re supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we’re going to need to have is a conversation about how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it’s legal.

When you’re talking about drug kingpins, folks involved with violence, people are who are peddling hard drugs to our kids in our neighborhoods that are devastated, there is no doubt that we need to go after those folks hard… it makes sense for us to look at how we can make sure that our kids are discouraged from using drugs and engaging in substance abuse generally. There is more work we can do on the public health side and the treatment side.


Look a government press release let´s print it and write about it, we can put on our big peoples shoes and pretend we are reporters and not, PROPAGANDISTS.



" A national conversation ... "

WTF does that mean ? It sounds as if marijuana was just discovered & our president is facing a country wide new epidemic . This HAS been a 'National Conversation' topic since the 60's ! A subject met by deaf, government ears until recently receiving voter approval . 

If Bush were still in office, he'd order a few commercial flights crashed into Disney Land to create a distraction from the 'Legalization' issue at hand .

Why has our Gov's ignorance quadrupled regarding marijuana ? Do they each slam a fifth when the topic is broached ? We are continuously reminded how broke our country has become, while intentionally ignoring a 'zillion' dollar resource, which is currently used to fund criminal organizations .

Megan Haenny
Megan Haenny

Jeeze. Just wipe the slate of all of them. New congress please! And stop lying Mr. President. It pisses us off.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Am I confused? I am pretty sure the executive branch is NOT charged with carrying out the law but creating it instead. From the petition response on page 2, " I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws."

John Lambert
John Lambert

just goose step into retirement and resign

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