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May 22, 2012

"The Kinder, Gentler Drug Czar Still Wants to Lock You Up for Pot"

The title of this post is the headline of this amusing new piece by Russ Belville at The Huffingon Post.  Here are excerpts:

Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has a new article on The Huffington Post where he once again attempts to fulfill his statutory duty to scare the bejeezus out of Americans who might be considering the legalization of marijuana in three states and the medicalization of marijuana in a dozen others.  This time he cites stats from something called ADAM, warning that over half of arrestees in ten surveyed metro areas tested positive for drugs! You need to be afraid, very afraid, of the crime-seeking drug junkies!

He opens by setting the "Kinder Gentler Drug Warrior" frame established by his former adviser, Kevin Sabet, Ph.D. -- the idea that both legalization and prohibition are ideological extremes.  Gateway Gil has even begun using our terminology ("we can't arrest our way out of this problem") to pretend that the Obama Administration presents a rational, compassionate third approach...

How does that "third way" work? Well, instead of busting you for smoking pot and putting you in a cage, the kinder gentler drug warrior will bust you for smoking pot and put you before a judge in a drug court who lets you "choose" between rehab and a cage.  Then in rehab, they'll force you to swallow and regurgitate lies about your "problem" marijuana use, require you to pee in a cup and, should that turn up positive, put you in a cage for smoking pot for a longer time than if you'd just chosen the cage in the first place.  See, in the old "War on Drugs" paradigm, we only created jobs and revenue for cops, judges, lawyers, and prison guards.  With the "Kinder Gentler War on Drugs," we add jobs for rehabs, pee testers, and probation officers, too.

They say if you want to understand an organization's priorities, don't look at their mission statement, look at their budgets.... The Obama Administration has, indeed, increased funding for treatment and prevention over the Bush Administration's budgets.  But Obama has increased funding for law enforcement, interdiction, and international funding, too. In overall terms, Obama has devoted $102 billion in his first term to the War on Drugs, while in Bush's last four years, the figure is $91 billion.  The percentage of the War on Drugs that is still dedicated to the "war" side averages at 59.3 percent throughout the first four years of Obama, when it averaged 59.0 percent in the last four years of Bush.

Some recent and older related posts on drug courts and drug politics: 

May 22, 2012 at 07:24 AM | Permalink


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Funny and all, but Congress isn't going to legalize drugs. So, yes, it's going to be a matter of degree. Not great, but better than a cage.

Posted by: Joe | May 22, 2012 10:14:06 AM

OK -- So Obama doesn't sound as stupid as Bush when he speaks, and he "evolved" in the correct direction on equality for homosexuals. But, he's spent more than Bush on the war on drugs, he's been more militaristic than Bush in many respects, and he's deported more people than Bush. Why are some liberals fond of this guy?

And, by the way, why is it ok for the Obama Administration to look forward rather than back when it comes to the flagrant, lethal crimes committed by Bush Admin. officials, but not ok for them to do the same when it comes to the non-violent, harmless drug use of individuals?

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | May 22, 2012 11:29:49 AM

CCDC, because Obama is a hypocrite of the highest order.

Kerlikowske shouldn't be a dog catcher. He got a kid killed in Seattle due to political correctness. Obama sure can pick 'em.

Posted by: federalist | May 22, 2012 1:44:08 PM

"The Kinder, Gentler Drug Czar Still Wants to Lock You Up for Pot"

I think I have devised a plan to frustrate the nefarious drug czar from locking you up for pot: Don't do pot.

There. Was that so hard?

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 22, 2012 3:57:07 PM

Ah, the dangers of a les majeste' offense, eh?

Posted by: tim rudisill | May 24, 2012 11:38:13 AM

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