Obama's Drug Czar - Change is Coming
by John in Chicago, Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:10:37 AM EST
Obama has selected his Drug Czar, and it looks to be a huge improvement over what we've had for the last 20+ years. Certainly not an advocate for decriminalization, but definitely not another gung-ho "drug warrior", either....
From an e-mail I received from Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP):
President Obama has finally selected a Drug Czar, and thanks to your advocacy, he may be the most reasonable person to ever fill that post. This is his story in a nutshell:
During a summer day in Seattle eight years ago, a feeling of uncertainty hung in the air over Myrtle Edwards Park. So did a lot of marijuana smoke.
More than 100,000 people had gathered for the city's 10th annual Hempfest. There was a new police chief in town, and nobody was sure what to expect. Nonetheless, the clock hit 4:20pm and the park filled with a haze.
How many marijuana arrests were made at Hempfest that year? Only one.
Thus began Gil Kerlikowske's career as Seattle's police chief. Under his watch, the city embraced more sensible drug policies: establishing needle exchange programs, openly discussing alternatives to prohibition, protecting the rights of medical marijuana patients, and making marijuana possession the lowest priority for law enforcement. While the chief didn't create these forward-thinking policies, he stood by them.
And now, if he is confirmed by the Senate, he'll be standing by President Obama.
While we would have preferred a public health specialist to someone in law enforcement, this new "Drug Czar" could very well pave the way to more sensible and humane drug policies. But to ensure that he does, we must "brief the chief"! http://www.ssdp.org/briefthechief
After signing the petition, you'll be directed to a page where you can purchase him a welcome gift from a wide selection of books and DVDs that question the wisdom of the Drug War.
Could this be the first Drug Czar to have a copy of How to Legalize Drugs on his book shelf? It may be a long shot, but as Louis Brandeis once said: "Most of the things worth doing... had been declared impossible before they were done."
Micah Daigle, Associate Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
P.S. Fun Fact: The police chief of Seattle who preceded Kerlikowske became an outspoken member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Maybe there's just something sensible in that Pacific Northwestern air...