seattletimes Current U.S. drug czar and former Seattle police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said he returned to the rainy Emerald City to talk about prescription-drug abuse, but he found that marijuana was on the mind of Seattleites.
In an afternoon meeting with The Seattle Times editorial board, which last month called for the legalization of marijuana, Kerlikowske said he doesn’t “think legalization arguments hold up” to scrutiny.
Kerlikowske said proposals to legalize and tax marijuana are misguided. “If legalization is a way to fund the country and states and cities, I think we’re making a significant mistake when we think it’s just a benign drug.”
But he also said President Obama has shifted the focus on drug policy by describing it as a public-health problem. The administration has asked for increased drug-treatment funding, while money for interdiction is stagnant, Kerlikowske said.
He noted he officially called an end to the “war on drugs” after taking office two years ago. “I don’t know how you missed that,” he joked.
[Russ adds: Gee, I don't know, Gil. Maybe arresting 1.7 million of us since you "ended" the war on drugs has us confused. Maybe locking up a young mother of four for ten years for selling $31 worth of marijuana made the wrong impression.
Maybe that budget of $10 billion to continue raiding, arresting, and imprisoning us makes us believe the only thing that has ended is the use of the phrase "war on drugs" while the tactics continue.]