Marijuana: Obama administration has done poor job of talking about drug policy, czar says


Thumbnail image for tom angell.jpg
Tom Angell.
Via e-mail, Angell writes, "This is what I've been saying for a long time: The administration has no clue what it wants to do on drug policy despite its many vague pronouncements that we need a 'balanced approach.' No wonder their medical marijuana enforcement policy, for example, seems so damn confused."

Of late, Angell has become something of a Kerlikowske translator, or at least interpreter. Last month, as we reported, he saw positives in the drug czar saying that following the recent election, "it is clear that we're in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana."

Does he think Kerlikowske's latest comment suggests he's moderating his position on marijuana?

"While I know that the drug czar and I differ on whether we should replace the 'war on drugs' with legalization," Angell responds, "I get the sense that he is frustrated that folks higher up in the White House aren't giving drug policy reform the attention it deserves."

Angell also highlights Kerlikowske's frequent references to marijuana as being a public-health problem as opposed to a criminal dilemma -- the same line taken by Project SAM, an anti-marijuana legalization organization fronted by former Representative Patrick Kennedy that launched in Denver last month.

Indeed, one of Kerlikowske's quotes echoes a statement made to us by Project SAM principal Kevin Sabet, from the University of Florida. Kerlikowske tells MacLean's, "The 'war on drugs' is a good bumper sticker, but we know that the drug problem is unbelievably complex," while Sabet said, "We don't want our ideas to be able to fit on a bumper sticker. 'Legalize Pot' and 'Lock 'Em Up' both fit on a bumper sticker, but what we're doing doesn't."

For his part, Angell focuses on the contradiction between the drug czar's words and administration policies.

"Kerlikowske may well be sincere in his desire to see us move toward a more health-focused approach," he allows, "but the President keeps submitting drug-control budgets to Congress that continue the emphasis on funding punishment and interdiction programs over treatment and prevention programs."

Angell's conclusion: "It's about time someone at ONDCP [Office of National Drug Control Policy] started publicly agitating for the administration to match its policies to its rhetoric about the need to have a 'balanced approach' to drug control.'"

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Project SAM touts public-health approach to pot in fighting legalization."


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18 comments
stuka1
stuka1

You can match everything Kerlikmearse, Sabet and Kennedy say (Thurstone too) word for word if you only cross reference their statements. The tools at Project SHAM are simply government shills pretending to speak as private citizens. Liars an scoundrels to the last man.

Blunt
Blunt

Obama just sent in 200 marines into Guatamala.   How does that now look like a war?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

With all the shit going on around the world,  I'm sure Amd64 is far down his 

'To Do', list . Making sure the residents of Colorado & Washington are stoned is  nowhere in the vicinity of getting his attention . Til one of his daughters decides to assign one of the countless white-house rooms as her 'Home-Work / Do Not Disturb' domain, we could be waiting a while til we hear anything . Perhaps he'll decriminalize it on his way out . 

I can truly envision something along that nature . Meanwhile, why would one be carrying more than an OZ anyway?  The less we hear about the subject the better . Use your heads and not raise ANY negative attention . I know a gal who lets her 16 yr old toke just so long as he does it at home . It was the ONLY way she could get him to do his school work . One of the MANY problems I have w/ this is 'HIS' friends partaking under her roof & w/ her knowledge . She foolishly believes she's okay just as long as she NEVER supplies it & will deny it all IF, ( I say WHEN ) one of the other parents learns what's going at her house . Yes, women can play 'stupid' in an instant & DO !  

It comes down to Karma vs stupidity . I think we have all witnessed it's result & much of the time it's almost always a shame . She really is a sweetheart w/ the right intentions . A single mom who feels if her son doesn't get a diploma,  it = &100 FAILURE as a mother on her part . 

This legalization is comparing MJ to alcohol in arguments to a parent . I'm NOT a parent but I would be saying ," No ! ", to both til they were no longer under my roof or relying on me financially . I'm fully aware its' easier said than done . I've been toking NON-STOP since I was 15 but I NEVER admit it to a minor . I'm far too impressionable to broach the subject w/ ANYONE under 18 . I disagree w/ the it being legal at 21 & not 18 . If I had a kid I'd much rather them being honest, but if NOT the case , MJ over alcohol 100 out of 100 times ! The legal age should be 18 nationwide SINCE they INSIST on making a wild growing 'weed' ILLEGAL !!!

Brad Aerts
Brad Aerts

I can't believe people still thinks he cares

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

So, we are left to read tealeaves? Not, if we had real reporters that demand the conversation between Gov, Nixonlooper and the Department of Justice regarding the implementation of A64. Seems like that would give us a clearer idea of what the feds are thinking. But hell, it´s Michael Roberts, just re-write someoneeles´story and pretend you are a reporter.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

 So, we are left to read tealeaves?


Not, if we had real reporters that demand the conversation between Gov, Nixonlooper and the Department of Justice regarding the implementation of A64. Seems like that would give us a clearer idea of what the feds are thinking.

But hell, it´s Michael Roberts, just re-write someoneeles´story and pretend you are a reporter.

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

So, we are left to read tealeaves?


Not, if we had real reporters that demand the conversation between Gov, Nixonlooper and the Department of Justice regarding the implementation of A64. Seems like that would give us a clearer idea of what the feds are thinking.

But hell, it´s Michael Roberts, just re-write someoneeles´story and pretend you are a reporter.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Someone who hasn't seen a map lately thinks Seattle is a "border city."

Jeff Williams
Jeff Williams

these people are drunks what do they care about the will of the people

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@CoreyDonahue  <---  I read the blogs for info along w/ entertainment . I appreciate those who supply sites to support any & all they have written . It's opinion backed w/o fact which pollutes and takes away opportunity to share, add or even sometimes correct .

I think we have all at times taken this a bit too serious & personal . I learn WAY more than I share & that's okay . Perhaps you feel Roberts 'borrows' info simply for the readers .  Is it's source really that important ? He provides sites just as you do backing your comments . There are far more deserving to fuck w/,  like that 'ask a mex' , hypocrite,  for starters . It's column lacks true point, except at an extremely poor attempt at trying to be funny . It's mere presence is degrading to the Westword and I'm surprised Patricia CONTINUES to waste 'choice' space on beneath G.E.D. rated material that has yet to spark a smirk on the face of anyone possessing an above two digit I.Q. !

Perhaps I'm alone in not minding Roberts . He does have a boss, let us not forget . If there IS a blame, maybe it should be shared .....

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident  <---   Off the topic, thanks for all your help getting my hydro setup going . I took your advice & purchased both books and found a neighbor providing me w/ all the clones and extra help needed . I'm burned out on all the 'Purples' so I'll will be beginning w/ Lemon Hash Plant & I forget the other . I'm staying w/i legal limit, giving me 12 plants between the roomie and I .

Again, I truly appreciate all your advice !

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Jeff Williams    No  shit ......

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

@Juan_LegI don´t mind Robert either or Patti Calhoun they are not to blame.  The Westword and everyone there is just property of Village Voice Media and as all for profit media is not in the business of truthfully reporting on the issues, they are in the business of making a profit.  As such the Westword´s interest is to keep ad-revenue up, only Village Voice Media holding in the black, that means to accept a great deal of stories and ad-money from..let´s say, The Campagin to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol or the Denver Police Department. Patricia Calhoun is a great business woman, atrocious editor, so the stories will reflect the people who pay the bills whims. Thus the entire conversation regarding our fundmental rights with cannabis has been bought. Sure they give us a cute little free speach zone below the blogs but everything else is sole property of Village Voice Media. These people, who bough our conversation, through Westword, and our rights through amending our constitution have intrests contra to ours.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Juan_Leg Cool! Glad to be of help. I think growing at home is going to be the best way around the feds in the long-term. We're to little to fool with.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@CoreyDonahue     There's like maybe a cpl more than1/2 a dozen contributors I 'follow' regularly, w/ 1/2 of those NOT employed by ANY media source . Counting yourself, there are two others I'd like to see have their own columns . Replacing, "Ask a Mexican ", would be a fine start .

I read who I have designated as 'following' . The rest is by chance . I don't see any point spending my days arguing w/ someone I don't even know ..

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