Gil Kerlikowske to leave drug czar gig: What's it mean for Colorado marijuana law?

Categories: Marijuana, News

Big photo, video below.
Gil Kerlikowske has been nominated by the Obama administration to become the new U.S. Commissioner of Customs -- meaning that he'll be giving up his job as the nation's drug czar.

This development will likely lead to an even longer delay in the federal government announcing its approach to marijuana laws in Colorado, where Amendment 64 passed last November, and Washington state. But could it also mean a moderation of policy? One cannabis advocate isn't ready to bet the pot farm on it.

In the first few months after A64 was approved by Colorado voters, parsing the remarks of Kerlikowske, formerly Seattle's chief of police, became something of a national sport among marijuana activists eager to learn how the Obama administration would respond to actions in Colorado and Washington.

barack obama and barbara walters large-thumb-565x376.jpg
Pete Souza
A White House photo of Obama's sit-down with Barbara Walters.
Take a January letter Kerlikowske wrote in response to a petition on the White House's We The People website calling for the feds to let the states move forward with their measures. The missive (read it below) quotes from a then-contemporary interview between Barack Obama and Barbara Walters, in which the President 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 wrote, "Coming out of the recent election, it is clear that we're in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana."

At the time, Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority and a close follower of events in Colorado, interpreted the remarks in a positive manner.

"I guess it makes a difference when marijuana legalization gets more votes than your boss does in an important swing state, as happened in Colorado this last election," he replied via e-mail. "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," he added. "But I sure do like hearing the U.S. drug czar acknowledge the fact that marijuana legalization is a mainstream discussion that is happening whether he likes it or not."

Nonetheless, the Obama administration remained quiet about A64 in the days and weeks that followed -- and this silence has continued until the present day.

Continue for more about the impending departure of drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, including a document and video.

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RobertChase topcommenter

Obama has already shown that he is on the side of the fascists by expanding the Bush Administration's subversion of the Bill of Rights.  His Injustice Department has persecuted patients who use medical cannabis and their caregivers to a far greater extent than his predecessor -- patients and caregivers are serving combined Federal sentences of 485 years!  It now transpires that the NSA has been funneling the data it has been illegally seizing from Americans on to the Special Operations Division of the DEA (SOD), which has in turn provided it to local law enforcement.  The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution have all been suspended as police are instructed to invent pretexts to stop and search people fingered by the SOD and engage in "parallel construction" to "recreate" probable cause that never existed and to hide the truth from State courts.  The operation of the Federal Courts (at least with regard to the prosecution of drug offenses) needs to be shut down completely until the Rule of Law can be re-established.

davebarnes topcommenter

I hope he dies a horrible death on the way to his next job.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Colorado Marijuana "Activists" and the Pot Pimp McLawyer-Lobbyists for the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels are so self-destructive to the Rights of INDIVIDUAL Marijuana Users, Growers and Sellers that the Government no longer needs a prohibitionist drug czar ... the pot clowns will gleefully insert the un-lubricated FIST of GOVERNMENT Regulation up their own collective asses ... and beg for more.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "His Injustice Department has persecuted patients who use medical cannabis and their caregivers to a far greater extent than his predecessor"

Complete nonsense.

You just can't stop lying, can you?

fognl7 that the way it is, DonkeyHotay?

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


"I oppose the recreational use of cannabis by minors" -- Robert Chase, prohibitionist

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase = pathetic pathological liar

Gerald Duval –- who has a prior conviction for a federal cocaine conspiracy –- and his son, Jeremy Duval, tried to use the Michigan Medical Marijuana law as a front to cover their lucrative narcotics business. Defendants’ real purpose was not giving marijuana to patients; they were selling it for profit to non-patients. The jury even saw defendants’ drug ledger showing defendants had sold about $300,000 worth of marijuana to non-patients in the months before the search warrant.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... you continue to LIE -- so typical for a pathological liar like you -- when you conflate Individual Patients and their Private Caregivers with the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels.

Private Patients / Caregivers have NOT been the target of Federal Prosecution -- per the Ogden and Cole memos the Large Scale COMMERCIAL PROFITEERS are the ones who were given FAIR WARNING in ADVANCE.

You got caught LYING about this before, and like the ZERO CREDIBILITY LYING LIAR that you are, you've been outed again.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


"Granting the DOR regulatory authority ... is not bad at all"

"Granting the DOR regulatory authority ... is not bad at all"

"Granting the DOR regulatory authority ... is not bad at all" -- Robert dumbfuck Chase

RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay -- recreational cannabis -- but the regulations need to be made far less burdensome.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


"Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all" -- Robert Chase

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