Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama Drug Czar Comes Out Swinging Against Legalization

Fox Business News scored an exclusive interview with Obama "drug czar" Gil Kerlikowske on Thursday, in which the ONDCP director came out as strongly as ever against legalization.

The Fox hosts did a remarkable job asking Kerlikowske tough questions, making sure to remind him repeatedly that an increasing number of voters say we should legalize marijuana right now.

At one point, one of the Fox hosts asked Kerlikowske if he really wanted to be "fighting an uphill public relations battle with the voters" who increasingly support legalization. The drug czar, though, dismissed the notion that more and more people realize that prohibition isn't working, saying there's "no pressure on me" to seriously consider legalization.

Take a gander at the embedded clip:



Well, what do you think of the "drug czar's" anti-legalization arguments and how we can proactively or reactively counteract them? Let's get a discussion going in the comments.

At least Mr. Kerlikowske took the time to mention that the legalization community is "very strategic."

Why, thank you, sir.

6 comments:

  1. No pressure on him for legalization? Yeah no kidding. The pressure is in the exact opposite direction, no matter what the voters say.

    The man is required by law to actively oppose attempts to legalize. That should disqualify him as any sort of authoritative voice on the matter. Even if he didn't personally feel this way, he'd be required to spew this stuff.

    And the FDA thing -- man they love this talking point. Anybody who has done even a minimal amount of research into the matter should clearly see that the lack of FDA approval (or, indeed, even an attempt at FDA approval) is due entirely to political reasons, not scientific ones. Classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug prevents the mere possibility of launching an FDA approval process. Medical MJ activists would love nothing more than a legitimate, above-board official scientific inquiry. Unfortunately the politicians won't allow that to happen, and then use that as ammunition against legalization. Circular logic at its best (or worst, really).

    Also, Fox's video player is just terrible. I can watch YouTube videos without an issue on this connection, but this thing freezes every few seconds to re-buffer. From what I could tell though, the anchors did a great job with their questions.

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  2. I agree with the points Rhayader raises. Do the FOX people realize it's part of this man's job description to oppose legalization at all costs?

    Trying to associate dangers of pharma concoctions with the "raw" plant marijuana. Ha! I don't know the specific #s, but we've all heard about how many people pot's killed vs. man-made pills.

    Also again associating tobacco and alcohol as similar in effects to cannabis. That the taxes raised on them do not compared to damage caused, however, no numbers given.

    Dear Gil, marijuana is not tobacco or alcohol. I might like to pour a little white wine in a recipe I'm making, but I sure would not substitute that by dropping in minced tobacco leaves!


    He overlooks that marijuana has proven health advantages, and that it's already in widespread use. I bet the longer they stonewall us, the more numerous the stories of marijuana's healing properties will become, thus the greater clamor for access to it, just to see if it works!

    Budget Cure
    So far most of the talk is about collecting tax revenue. I am no expert in spouting numbers in this regard, but it seems to me that letting people out of prison who don't belong there, not re-incarcerating people on parole with THC in their pee, and stopping the arrest, prosecution, etc… or marijuana users is a much much larger amount of money than what taxes could bring in. Perhaps this tack is avoided because of the issue of appearing "weak on crime" or cutting jobs?

    Speaking for myself I have to laugh "very well funded." I say take him up on his concern then! Let's get rid of our current disastrous method of allowing lobbying groups to buy elections, loopholes in laws, and politicians, and let's create a publicly funded election system!

    Let's take another look at his argument. Us Drug Policy Reformers are entirely privately funded, am I wrong? I pay all my web hosting costs and the food that goes in my mouth. No one's giving me a dime! In fact since I have blue eyes, whitish skin, am male, and speak half-way decently people think I must be rich and always seem to charge me higher prices. But who is paying their bills? It's the public till, they are WAY BETTER funded than us.

    When was the last time us abolitionists launched a multi-country, multi-billion dollar campaign with tens of thousands of people who were completely at our disposal 24 hours a day? How many countries have us abolitionists toppled in order to end prohibition? Have us abolitionists ever flown in military cargo planes of cocaine to sell in order to fund our operations?

    Well, if he's talking about being well funded by God's truth, then I don't have an argument with him. ;-)

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  3. Finally, some obligatory religious comments.
    Dear Prohibitionists, you are all in my way. You block the entrance and you are not going in yourselves! Do you really think God is going to be pleased that you blocked us from access to God's plants?

    You should probably also read the last bullet point of this essay: The Evil Lie Purporting That Marijuana is "Devil's Weed." You'll see in the last point there what happens to people who burry God's gifts (including Truth) and what happens to them because of it. You really should read what Jesus said!

    And he says he only listens to the prohibitionists at the end. Why doesn't he ever talk with people who have used marijuana as a healing agent? Or talk to people who use marijuana to increase their creative juices? Or talk to people who use it as part of worshipping God? Or talk to the families of people shot dead by over-zealous enforcement agents or shot dead by gang violence?

    Yes, prohibitionists, all this blood is on YOUR hands. You are destroying respect for law and government! It is your policies that cause billions of dollars to be funneled to your foes! Repent now! Or else continue to slice yourselves to bits with the lies from your mouths; continue to wrap yourselves in a cloak of deceit and shame; continue to sit in the place of God and issue decrees to us, decrees God did not give us; continue to try to force us to worship the Idol of the Drug War Tree.

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  4. Rhayader - good point about the FDA approval process... I did not know that!

    CAP - I also laughed at the comment about being well funded... I'm not sure who he is referring to.. LEAP is certainly not drowning in money!

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  5. Anybody who has ever been in congress will tell you that in the long run (sometimes the very, very long run) the majority wins no matter how long and arduous the journey.

    Marijuana will one day be legalized for both medical and recreational use at least in some (very smart) states. The dinosaurs in congress on this issue simply cannot withstand the majority will forever.

    You can bank on it.

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