Kerlikowske Confirmed as U.S. Drug Czar
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Kerlikowske Confirmed as U.S. Drug Czar
Posted by CN Staff on May 07, 2009 at 13:27:59 PT
By Seattle Times Staff and The Associated Press
Source: Seattle Times 
Washington, D.C. -- Former Seattle police Chief Gil Kerlikowske was confirmed today by the U.S. Senate to become head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position commonly known as "drug czar."Kerlikowske's official last day as police chief was last Friday. Seattle deputy Chief John Diaz has been named the city's interim chief and said he will seek the job. Kerlikowske, 59, led the Seattle Police Department for more than eight years.
The Senate approved Kerlikowske's nomination 91-1.Kerlikowske, a 36-year law enforcement veteran, has said he will take a balanced, science-based approach to the job of director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.Kerlikowske has pledged to develop a strategy to address drug-related violence along the Mexican border. While he and other officials would work to reduce the international drug supply, the biggest contribution the United States can make is to reduce demand for illicit drugs, Kerlikowske said.Kerlikowske's confirmation comes at a crucial time. In addition to the problems posed by Mexican drug cartels, the war in Afghanistan is complicated by the illegal drug trade there.President Barack Obama's choice of Kerlikowske and an increased emphasis on alternative drug courts signal a sharp departure from Bush-administration policies on cutting the foreign supply and curbing U.S. drug use.Appearing before a Senate committee last month, Kerlikowske said that as national drug czar, he would take a balanced, science-based approach to the job. He also told the Senate Judiciary Committee he would help develop a strategy addressing drug-related violence along the Mexican border.Kerlikowske, who was appointed Seattle chief in 2000 by then-Mayor Paul Schell, had worked the previous two years as deputy director of the Justice Department's community-oriented policing division during the Clinton administration.Kerlikowske began his career as a street cop in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1972 and went on to serve as chief in two Florida cities, Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie.He led the Buffalo, N.Y., department in the 1990s, and left there for the deputy-director position in the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.In Seattle, Kerlikowske won credit for stabilizing the Police Department after the stormy departure of Norm Stamper as chief in the wake of the 1999 World Trade Organization riots, as well as the department's initial failure to unearth a detective's alleged theft of money at a crime scene.Crime rates dipped during his time as chief, reaching historic lows in recent years.But his tenure has at times been rocky, marked by controversy over allegations that he was too soft when it came to disciplining officers in misconduct cases.Along with Kerlikowske, the Obama administration has tapped King County Executive Ron Sims for deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former Gov. Gary Locke for Commerce secretary.Information from Times archives is included in this report.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Seattle Times Staff and The Associated PressPublished:  Thursday, May 7, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Articles:Drug War: Just Be Thankful It's Almost Over Picks The Right Man for Drug Czar
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on May 08, 2009 at 10:05:31 PT
This song is how I feel about our new direction by Leonard Cohen called Democracy.Leonard Cohen "Democracy"
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 08, 2009 at 09:59:45 PT
I believe we already have seen a turn around from what it was. Change has been a long time coming and has a long way to go but at least we are on the right track now in my opinion.
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Comment #13 posted by AdaptBones on May 08, 2009 at 09:45:10 PT:
Let's Hope
The prohibs are SO sneaky that I really hope this is all on the up and up. I am holding out hope that their actions will match their words and the will of the people but it's been so seldom and so long since anything like that has happened with the politics we have now that I worry. But I can certainly hold hope that all this movement will amount to something. Blessed be everyone.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 07, 2009 at 20:02:43 PT
Thank you. What I am doing now is fine. We are getting so much news that people are running in overdrive. I want to make sure that the news articles that I post are very important to know. I have studied the stats over the years and I know what people want to read by how many times an article is viewed. Why waste bandwidth and time posting something that doesn't barely get read? Being efficient can be a good thing. The articles are talking points and give people something to share with someone else when trying to explain why you feel the way you feel if that makes sense? The quality comments we have on CNews are what makes us such a good forum. We just keep on growing. It still amazes me.
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Comment #11 posted by josephlacerenza on May 07, 2009 at 19:54:53 PT
We all feel
What is happening all around us. My family is pretty conservative, but they believe in this!!!! Energy spent on fighting this movement is futile!! This is not some thing to win, like a race, this is our LIVES, OUR FREEDOM!
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Comment #10 posted by josephlacerenza on May 07, 2009 at 19:50:20 PT
When Hope and I, some time back, asked you about the norml weekly stuff, I did not know how taxing it was!!!! I want to know how I can help with the place I love so much, C-News!!!! I do not want to hear that OUR cause is so hard to bear!!! I want to help!! I am not saying this because I do not believe in you, just to make the lode less. We want you to be here to see this to the end!!! Please let me help!!!  
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Comment #9 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 07, 2009 at 19:38:34 PT
good sense
George,I've been sensing it too. I believe my timing was affected, I came back to cannabisnews, perhaps we're at a real turning point. Lets hope so.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 07, 2009 at 18:00:53 PT
Seattle Police Chief Gets Senate Nod as Drug Czar
May 7, 2009WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday approved the nomination of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske as the nation's drug czar, signaling a change in U.S. drug policy.URL:
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Comment #7 posted by George Servantes on May 07, 2009 at 17:37:03 PT
I told you guys
Trust my intuition, marijuana will be free soon. Obama si very smart guy, he's not perfect since we don't live in perfect world but I like the fact that he is neutral and not openly supporting or cause. He's smart and before we know it marijuana we'll be legal.
No one can stop us now. Our train is moving faster and faster and is unstoppable. 
Think positive and weed will be legal. We create our own karma and destiny, we just need to keep positive and work on spreading the truth. Internet is helping us a lot and it's invented by marijuana and LSD users.
Thanks to internet our herb will be free because nobody can control the truth. Now is the time, we are witnessing historic change, we have black man for president, movie star for governor and we'll have our herb.
Free cannabis, end harmful, insane and inhumane prohibition of our precious medicine. God gave us this plant and we must except this gift from our creator. We are part of the God, we are all ONE. Sixties are coming back and this time we will prevail. You bet I am smoking something euphoric, right? ;-)Peace and Jah bless.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 07, 2009 at 15:48:01 PT
Barney Frank on Lou Dobbs
Rep. Barney Frank discusses legislation introduced to legalize online gambling and proposals to legalize marijuana.Source: CNN  May 6, 2009URL:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 07, 2009 at 15:24:44 PT
Obama's Drug Czar Sails
By Chris GoodMay 7 2009The U.S. government officially has a new drug czar: Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske sailed through his Senate confirmation process today on a 91-1 vote Thursday after passing un-contentiously through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved him without a recorded vote in a business meeting off the Senate floor in late April.At first glance, one might expect Kerlikowske to draw at least a little bit of fire. He's the top local law enforcer for a city where marijuana has been essentially decriminalized--the home of an annual Hempfest that sees a hazy cloud of weed smoke, general cannabis revelry, and few arrests.But Kerlikowske, as it has been noted, is just following orders: the city's voters passed an initiative making marijuana the city's "lowest law enforcement priority," and Kerlikowske has implemented the policy faithfully, despite the fact that he did not support it. It's tough to argue against a law enforcement official who faithfully implements the law, whether or not he agrees with it--and perhaps that's why few in the Senate did.Kerlikowske comes into his new position at an interesting time for U.S. drug policy. The country faces a Mexican drug war whose violence threatens to brim over into the U.S.; President Obama promised on the campaign trail to ease up on federal medical marijuana raids, though some raids were conducted shortly after he took office; marijuana is now a hot topic--with polls showing more support of legalization (see Nate Silver's breakdown here) -- -- with the drug war fueling some arguments to legalize in California, and with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger saying this week that it's time to debate the regulation and taxation of marijuana to ease government debt.Marijuana groups, consequently, were optimistic today that Kerlikowske would help usher in a new era of national drug policy, one they have hoped will accompany Obama's presidency. It is precisely his pragmatism that they admire in Kerlikowske, whom they contrast starkly to the nation's previous drug czar and their arch nemesis, John Walters.URL:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 07, 2009 at 14:25:16 PT
Obama's Drug Czar Nominee Approved
Obama's Drug Czar Nominee Approved a Potential Break From the PastBy Kevin Zeese May 7, 2009 Today, Obama’s drug czar nominee was approved by the senate. Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, has the potential to be the best drug czar ever appointed to that position. We may finally get a pragmatic solutions-oriented approach to drug control rather than drug war rhetoric that prevents real solutions.While drug policy reformers were advocating for a public health professional as drug czar, President Obama went with a police chief. He made a potentially ground-breaking pick as the former police chief of Seattle has been good on needle exchange, medical marijuana, treatment and health services for addicts and he ushered in a new law to make marijuana the lowest prosecution priority in Seattle.  He is a pragmatist who could shift the United States away from continuing to make the same mistakes over and over when it comes to drug policy. URL:
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Comment #3 posted by rchandar on May 07, 2009 at 14:21:59 PT:
Gil's Mock Speech
This should be something we'd want to hear, and if he says this I say he's a good guy:"My fellow Americans. We undertook the War on Drugs to deter drug use and punish members of organized crime. We have come to several conclusions: one, that drugs are a part of any society, and that no such war can be won without trampling upon the civil and citizen rights that we Americans cherish most. Second, that marijuana is a less harmful drug than opiates, barbituates, and pharmaceutical drugs obtained without doctor supervision. And third, that the time has come to consider lessening penalties on petty drug offenders, because we need them in our communities and homes."Our goal is, then, to: 1) reduce the number of arrests for drug possession: 2) to provide fair and safe opportunities for offenders to keep them out of the correctional system: and 3) to decriminalize and perhaps even legalize marijuana as it poses no serious threat to our communities and families."If he says something like this, many of us will heave a sigh of relief.--rchandar
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 07, 2009 at 14:02:11 PT
He'll be back
If you haven't seen this video, check it out.
He will terminate prohibition!!!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 07, 2009 at 13:34:20 PT
 Let's See How It Goes Now
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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