Q&A With The New Drug Czar

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  Q&A With The New Drug Czar

Posted by CN Staff on May 14, 2009 at 15:02:09 PT
Wall Street Journal Interview 
Source: Wall Street Journal 

Washington, D.C. -- Gil Kerlikowske, the new director of the White House Office of Drug Control Policy sat down with The Wall Street Journal for his first interview since his confirmation last week.What are your priorities?The priorities for me and the direction from the vice president is clear, to have ONDCP be back front and center on the coordination issues and the policy issues for the federal government. Being talked to for the job by the man that authored the legislation goes a long way.
What do you mean when you talk about how our drug efforts have been in a silo with either/or chocies? The either/or to me has been you either support law enforcement and money and funds and resources, that includes international, border protection and domestic, or you support treatment and whose going to pay the cost of treatment. What I'd like to do is break down those barriers that kind of exist. It really isn't an either/or. The other part of breaking down the barrier is to completely and forever end the war analogy, the war on drugs.Since I used to stand in front of the helicopter for President Nixon who brought the term in vogue, it's fitting that I'm almost back in the same spot and trying to put an end to the war analogy.Why is it important to you to stop using the analogy?Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a war on drugs, or a war on a product, people see a war as a war on them, a war on individuals and we're not at war with people in this country so I think we need to be more comprehensive.If we're not successful in improving on the addiction rate we have in this country and how we get people treated for drugs and return them back to the streets, it paints a very dark picture in the future, especially with the economy where it is.What's the number one drug problem? Well [illegal] prescription drug use is rising and one problem I want to shout about. At the federal level it's easy to look at things nationally but drug issues are different depending on the geography. In some places meth may be far more serious, even though on a national scale it doesn't appear that way. In Appalachia Oxycotin may be far more serious. I want to look at things regionally and in a narrower focus than in a national focus.What steps should the administration be taking?In some ways the administration has already taken some steps. There was a recognition of bringing in somebody that has a background in law enforcement and at the local level. All the good ideas aren't teed up from inside the Beltway. There's also the recognition that resources in the future are going to be needed and also the recognition that there needs to be a broader base view of our drug problem.How will your policy be different?It has to be more than just being visible. I'm not a charismatic speaker going across the country. There has to be a plan. We need to make this office more visible while we're doing the coordination and we have to do a strategic plan. People aren't going to just rally around the flag over 'well we need to reduce the demand.'Others in this post, notably Gen. Barry McCaffrey, have said we can't arrest our way out of the problem, but little changed. What makes you think you can do it?One reason frankly is the economic crisis. It is forcing us to think about other things. I look at a couple projects I wouldn't put my stamp on right now but I think are worth watching. One is the High Point North Carolina model and the other is the model out of Hawaii. And the third thing is that when you team people up like we did in Seattle. Our arrests in Seattle for drugs are down to levels of the early '90s and our crime is down to 1967 level. We teamed up police officers and department of corrections personnel and targeted the most problematic population.What would you do instead?Seattle had one of the highest per capita auto theft rates. You only have finite resources so changed the way we thought about auto theft. We had the top 10 auto thieves, and as one got knocked off another one took their place. Now auto theft is down probably 60%. What about doing that with the most problematic drug-abusing folks who are in need of some kind of intervention? They're the ones causing the most harm to themselves, the most harm to society. I would look at using finite resources on those folks who are the most problematic population.What is law enforcement's role in treatment?The research tells me if you walk in for drug treatment and either knock on the door or go in with handcuffs on the level of effectiveness is the same. The biggest funnel to treatment is the criminal-justice system. That's part of that silo—treatment not talking to criminal justice as well as they should.Are there any incidents in your past in law enforcement that helped you evolve?I had a great fellowship with the Justice Department. One of my field trips was to go to Oakland and go out with the narcotics officers on search warrants. Here's a mother and two or three kids and two or three people dealing cocaine and these terrified, crying kids are there. It does make you recognize the breadth and depth of the problem versus somebody's whose dealing X amount of drugs.Do you support legalization?No. I've never advocated legalization and certainly the president has made it clear that's his position.Where did the perception come from that you are permissive in drug enforcement?The perception is that Seattle is this very tolerant city, but when I talk to my colleagues around the country and they look at what are your resources for law enforcement, targeting adults for small, personal amounts of marijuana, it isn't high on the radar screen when you have X amount of bodies. You can look at most prosecutors across the country and they have filing standards. Police departments aren't going to say no, don't arrest, but are you going to take an officer off the street for four hours or are they going to choose to take themselves off the street for four hours to book somebody for a small amount of marijuana? It's less about tolerance.How you did police Seattle's Hempfest gathering?Hempfest started 10 years before I became chief and it's been policed the same way every year. I don't think the way they police Hempfest with a small amount of police resources is much different than policing a rock concert. They don't go charging off into the middle of a rock concert because there is use of marijuana. Hempfest hasn't been an issue about violence, which is our first priority and precinct captains and lieutenants have policed it consistently the same way.One of the programs you support strongly is "Fight Crime: Invest in Kids." How would you take those crime-prevention efforts and use them at ONDCP? It's the unexpected messenger. No one expected police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, to show up in state legislatures and show up here on Capital Hill and advocate for money for early-childhood programs. In Olympia they thought at first we were there to ask for more police cars. I would take that model, which I believe has been unbelievably successful and tell my colleagues they should advocate strongly for treatment and rehabilitation.Why do you see the drug problem as a public-health issue?THE ONDCP under President Bush also saw this as a public-health issue. I think we moved, not as much from an administrative standpoint but a collective-wisdom standpoint. We moved from 'it's a police problem' or 'a criminal justice problem' to 'it's a criminal justice, public health and social policy problem' to 'it's a public-health problem.' I think that's what I've seen in past ONDCP writings.How do you feel about needle exchanges? I think needle exchange programs are part of a complete public-health model for dealing with addiction. Some people get the impression folks just walk in and exchange needles or get clean needles and you do want to reduce HIV and Hepatitis C and other transmittable diseases but you also would like to see, which those in Buffalo and Seattle do, access to treatment, access to counseling.On the campaign trail, the president supported lifting the ban on federal funds for needle-exchange programs. The ban lift hasn't happened yet. Will it? I don't know. It is definitely one of the things I'll be finding out and looking at.How will you work with Homeland Security on the drug problem on the southwestern border?[Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano] asked me prior to my confirmation that ONDCP become more involved in our role for coordination so after I find my way around, after a couple days, I'll meet with her.I don't want to lose sight of the fact that drug issues are all over the country.Is there a personal connection to your world view?I think I can talk to just about any adult in any social, economic or race setting in this country and they can tell me about a friend, a relative, a next door neighbor with a problem. Between my work and my life experience I think being a lot older now I look at things with a little bit different perspective than I did as a young narcotics detective whose job was make seizures and make arrests. I think that's true with so many people I've worked with.Do you support the administration's stance on ending the crack-cocaine disparity?Nobody wants a drug dealer in front of the house but they also don't want to call and say we're going to report this person and this person goes away 25 years and those folks are going to have to raise his kids. They're going to have to take care of that house, etc., they want the problem stopped. Police departments need people to trust them. They need people to give them information and if they think the perception is it's a biased or unfair system this takes away from that. I know the folks on capital hill and in the administration are looking to change that.Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Published: May 14, 2009Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: Articles:White House Czar Calls for End To War on Drugs Confirmed as U.S. Drug Czar

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Comment #45 posted by Hope on May 19, 2009 at 08:48:56 PT
Mr. Natural
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Comment #44 posted by FoM on May 19, 2009 at 07:52:41 PT
Thank you.
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Comment #43 posted by afterburner on May 19, 2009 at 07:44:35 PT
FoM #22 & Hope #23
Here are some links that are related to the "war" being waged by prohibitionists around the world to protect their turf and turn back the clock of reform progress:Addiction: Could it be a big lie? 
Daniel Dale. May 16, 2009. A Harvard psychologist's new book argues that addiction isn't really an illness, infuriating the medical establishment. We examine his incendiary hypothesis. Stickup (comic). 
Saturday, May 16, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor.
Key concepts: Chemotherapy, Cancer and Medicine police are at your door.
Jim Smith.
Published Friday, May 15, 2009 Natural, just passing through.
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Comment #42 posted by FoM on May 18, 2009 at 11:06:16 PT
That's so funny.
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Comment #41 posted by Hope on May 18, 2009 at 10:59:14 PT
I liked the song, too. I liked Randy Newman.
This is off topic of even the off topic... but I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. It requires rewatching several times, it did for me, to get the full effect. It's a very short video, though. It's not funny at all if you think the snake has bitten the announcer. What is happening though, is that a lizard from amongst other reptiles they were looking at, I guess, has jumped from the table on his jacket.I'm afraid I would have hurt myself or the lizard... but it made me laugh so much... since it wasn't me.
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Comment #40 posted by FoM on May 18, 2009 at 10:34:48 PT
I always liked the song Short People. Being short has many benefits. It's easy to get lost in a crowd!
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Comment #39 posted by Hope on May 18, 2009 at 10:21:21 PT
Sadly nodding my head in agreement as I read.
"I don't miss the drama and there always was drama with horses. Big animals that are basically creature that run for survival can vex your very soul."I liked the "Tall" part, too. I'm tallish, 5' 7", but there are so many more taller young women, it seems, now, that I don't feel as "Big" as I did when I was a teenager. I liked the "Tall" in skating and thick soled shoes, too.I'm sure that people like short people better than they do tall people. Randy was wrong.Being blessed with pretty much untamable and unrestrainable bushy, fuzzy, curly hair... I already felt like I was bizarre somehow by the time I was nine or ten years old ... and add to that, when I started outgrowing my friends, I then felt bizarre and big... not tall... big. I got over it and learned to enjoy the view, and I can restrain my wandering hair a bit better than in those days, what with the better hair maintenance products available today. 
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on May 18, 2009 at 09:28:40 PT
I don't miss the drama and there always was drama with horses. Big animals that are basically creature that run for survival can vex your very soul. I always felt tall when I was on a horse since I am so darn short it was a good feeling. Short people got nobody! LOL!Randy Newman - Short People
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Comment #37 posted by Hope on May 18, 2009 at 09:09:59 PT
Was feeling stressed just remembering these incidents. When I read that about the little girl and horse getting hit... I almost instantly got a migraine aura. That's so strange how that happens.Nope. Don't miss the drama at all.
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Comment #36 posted by Hope on May 18, 2009 at 09:05:32 PT
Comment 33 Lol! I can imagine that.
I tied that mare to a chain link fence once to just run into the house for a minute. I looked out the window and there was nothing but reins and a bent fence there. She went over it, apparently, because she was in the pasture on the other side, having a rip snorting, stampeding, free for all, all over the pasture with the neighbors horses, except of course, she was saddled.I had a friend that probably was guilty of one of the worst horse tying incidents I ever saw. She brought her horse to her house in town. She had a ski boat on a trailer in the garage. The trailer tongue was propped up on two garbage cans. I think she tied the horse to the trailer tongue. It wasn't a well trained horse either. She had her five year old sitting on the horse. The horse moved against the tie a bit. The tongue moved, the garbage cans scraped on the concrete, the boat started falling and all hell broke loose. Her five year old came out of it alive, thankfully, but with two, not one, but two, broken arms. That was heartbreaking, but, once again, it could have been worse. A wrecked boat, wrecked trailer, demolished garbage cans, and a terrified animal were all part of the equation.I don't miss the drama that can come with horse owning.
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Comment #35 posted by FoM on May 18, 2009 at 09:00:11 PT
A horse that was part of a stable I went to ran away with a girl and ran out in front of a car and was hit. The horse was thrown up on the car. The girl was thrown clear but the horse had to be destroyed. The car was totaled. Proper fencing prevents many serious injuries. We have talked a lot about horse stories in e-mail over the years and I bet we haven't even grazed the surface of our experiences. It was a good and challenging life and kept me out of trouble.
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Comment #34 posted by Hope on May 18, 2009 at 08:53:22 PT
Just recalled...
You couldn't tie that horse anywhere for very long... even with a halter and lead. I remember my husband having her staked out to graze once and she decided she wanted to visit the horses across the highway. I was out there near her... but when she decided to make a break for it , I wasn't close enough to her to stop her. She took off suddenly, dragging the rope and stake and flying across the highway. Nearly got hit by a sixteen wheeler. Aaargh. I can still see it happening in my mind. Very scary. The truck was so close and so fast, going about seventy miles per hour, that it nearly ran over the rope even after she got clear of it's path. I remember holding my breath in horror and watching her and that rope barely get missed by the truck. So barely. That was a bad experience... that could have been hideously worse, including and foremost, what might have happened to the truck and driver. It was bad judgment to stake her, or any horse, anywhere within a mile of a busy highway. He never did it again.Hobbles might have prevented that incident, I don't know. But it was a bad idea from the get go. That happened about forty years ago, and I've not staked a horse anywhere in the open since then.There's an old man down the road that I've noticed, occasionally, stakes his horse to take advantage of ditch grass... but it's an old horse that never looks to be challenging his stake. Still I always watch out for him.
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on May 18, 2009 at 08:41:28 PT
When a horse is 17 hands and I'm 5'2" I needed to twitch for clipping the head stall area and inside the ears. I tied a little half Arab mare to my front porch one time to go in and get a drink of water and she flipped out and pull the house support out from under the porch. When I was a kid and rode up to our home in a residential area I brought the horse into the garage and tied him to the railing going up to the kitchen. He pulled the whole railing down. My Dad grumbled about it. LOL!
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Comment #32 posted by Hope on May 18, 2009 at 08:28:45 PT
The one time I saw anyone use one, it looked like a very bad idea. A new farrier we'd hired walked up to a gentle horse and put that thing on his upper lip and things changed dramatically. The horse shot backwards in a panic, dragging the guy. We decided we sure didn't need his services and asked him to leave before he or one of the horses got hurt. His using the twitch turned what had always been a simple procedure into a fiasco.My first horse was a retired racehorse, thoroughbred, quarter horse mix. You couldn't tie her anywhere or ground tie her, either, without a halter and lead. Over the years that I had her, I tied her reins to something twice. Once a chain link fence while I ran into the house for a minute and once in a trailer. Nothing but broken reins hanging there both times. I've never had a horse I had to use a twitch on, but if I did, I'm sure I would have hurt myself, too. Ow. Horsepower fling behind that heavy wooden handle would make it a club of some damage inducing ability, no doubt.
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Comment #31 posted by FoM on May 18, 2009 at 07:24:42 PT
Hope I have used a twitch on a horse's nose or ear when I had to and injury could occur to me if I didn't use it. Actually I have been hurt more by the twitch when the horse flipped out and the big wooden handle clunked me on the head. LOL!I know what you mean though.PS: Ground tying a thoroughbred would never work since all they want to do is run and run they would. LOL!
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Comment #30 posted by Hope on May 18, 2009 at 05:50:47 PT
By the way...
About hobbles. I never used hobbles, twitches, or harsh bits. Three horse control methods that were in my book of things I didn't like, wouldn't use, or approve of.Western riding, in my personal experience, means teaching a horse to "ground tie". Like teaching a dog to "Stay". Hobbles, even though a far more gentle device than the chains and shackles still used by "modern" law enforcement on people, always looked to me like a good way to get a horse seriously injured. I really think sometimes that they use shackles just to humiliate people... like in the case of Farah Fawcett's son in the hospital.
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Comment #29 posted by count on May 18, 2009 at 00:17:27 PT:
q&a czar-dna glaucoma-hb648-nh-ned.marijuana
new czar may help on changing drug language-focus on battle that worked in 13 states-new hampshire could the 14th state for medical marijuana-as nh bill about to legalize gay lesbian marriage- nh politicians meet this week to hash out changes and proposals in private backroom meetings that governor lynch approval to make the likelyhood to sign hb 648 medical marijuana bill which passed both the senate and house-personal brief by count francisco durante regarding glaucoma and medical marijuana-thread name
Dna of glaucoma & marijuana medicine
text body comment of my post
dna of glaucoma & marijuana medicine
glaucoma is a major cause of blindness. inocular pressure called vitrious humor fluid causes the optic nerve to degenerate and die causing blindness, blind sight,and total blindness and to have the eye surgically removed and a prostetic eye inserted. glaucoma causes severe inflamation to the eye, constant pain and migranes. any sun light and artificial light causes blindness meaning constantly flashes of light,distorted stimuli. basically unusable vision, loss of central vision and loss of peripheral acuity. one must wear dark glasses with uv filtered lensses to stay off the intense light that blinds you. that is glaucoma and there is no cure. the chronic eye disease from glaucoma can be combated by surguries and opthalmic eye drops are prescribed but there is no cure to stop the degenerative process from glaucoma. the smoking of marijuana causes the inocular pressure to be temporary lowered, migranes to be dulled and pain to be lowered.but the optic nerve still dies and after the thc from the marijuana wears out of the system the cycle of the inocular pressure is raised again by the fluid in the eye, more thc medicine is needed again for the treatment of glaucoma to lower the pressure again.and to slow down the dying of the optic nerve. the payoff of medical marijuana causes the process of total blindness to be slowed down. i have had glaucoma for over thirty years and are in the final stages of glaucoma and have known the benefits of eye surgeries thirty in all and eye drops and the use of marijuana to treat the glaucoma. I have retinitus pigmentosa a degenerative eye disease and uvitus an eye disease. Macular degeneration another degenerative eye disease. I have had cateracts and surguries to remove them. I have had detached retinas and surguries for detached retinas to have the retinas reattached. I also have chronic cornea eye disease and degeneration,
 the most eye disease is glaucoma and surpasses diabetic retinopy which is caused by diabeties and the disease can be stopped if caught early ,except juvenile diabetes and type one diabetes for those that were born with diabetes, diabetes in america is the most leading cause of blindness thou it is not severe to the eye as compared to the glaucoma and diabetes affects the blood vessels in the eye and the retinas and be stopped laser surgury and retina surgury to stop blindness and even restore eyesight. there is no restorative eye surguries for the optic to restore the optic. surgury can be donw to implant stints. tiny valves implanted in the eye to lower the innocular fluid and try and lower the pressure on the optic nerve. so have your eyes tested for innocular pressure done by an eye doctor and the test is painless and takes less time than a second. glaucoma is deadly to the eyes.
i was born in alaska.the state of alaska has medical marijuana where i was legal to grow and smoke marijuana. alaska was the first state in the union to decriminalize marijuana in the late nineteen seventies and recriminalizw the laws due the black mail of the united states government department of transportation to with hold federal monies for alaskan highway projects. thou alaska is real pioneer to decriminalize marijuana and marijuana as medicine for glaucoma so called medical marijuana. alaska again made its laws about medical marijuana and decriminal small of marijuana after prop 215 in california. california leads the way in dispensation of medical marijuana and its broad definition in how one qualifies for prescription. 
i also lived in california and legally used medical marijuana in that state,
I also have lived in oahua and maui hawaii. I also used marijuana there for the treatment of glaucoma with a doctors letter and that was before hawaii had medical marijuana as law there.but now has passed laws for the legal use of medical marijuana.
i moved to new hampshire over 11 years ago and i now look forward to legally grow and smoke marijuana in legal residence, for the treatment of glaucoma. live free or die, maybe the legislature and the governor lynch will pass the hb 648 bill for medical marijuana and sign the bill into law in the state of new hampshire.
hopefully the general public that does not have a chronic disease that qualifies for medical marijuana can understand the purpose for medical marijuana legislation in new hampshire.for 
those who favor or who are against decriminalization of marijuana do not blur the lines in the medical marijuana legislation and decriminalization of marijuana legislation, for these are two different aremas in political parties and social parties and religious parties. decriminalazation and legal marijuana are subjuects of law that be proposed as bills and amendments to the legal use of marijuana for those who do not have a chronic disease for medical marijuana for another day and time when it comes to the reality of hb 648 now in process to become law in the state of new hampshire. fight one battle at time and in due course marijuana may be legal for all in the united states of america.
so please see the light to the many beneficial uses for medical marijuana for many chronic diseases and the people who need the medicine and have the legal right to use and grow marijuana and be protected by hb 648 from criminal prosecution.
a pioneering spirit can change the hearts and minds to make hb 648 law for medical marijuana and how to frame words as arrows and knowledge and wisdom mixed with restraint in contacting legislatures and news media and the internet the bottom line do not get the cart before the horse and stop the thetoric - for medical marijuana legislation. stay focused and keep an open mind filtered with a conscience.
an alaskan native who lives free or dies in the state of new hamshire
count francisco durante gilford,nh. i have a boxer as a guide dog and frank the boxer does not have glaucoma and has no need for the medicine for he has good vision. 
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on May 16, 2009 at 07:45:16 PT
When he came on the screen he had handcuffs and shackes on. Ryan O'Neil kissed him on the lips. Ryan O'Neil asked the police if they would please take off the handcuffs and they did but said they wouldn't take off the shackles. I hope millions of people saw that documentary because it was so well done but the end was so heartbreaking. Anyone that has a heart will be upset about that.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on May 16, 2009 at 07:40:52 PT
About "Shackles". I wasn't correcting you. Leg cuffs works. As do leg irons or leg chains. How about "Hobbles"?Actually, hobbles are much gentler contraptions than shackles and chains.I can imagine the police in that situation, knowing it would be filmed and shown to the nation, probably decided that it would make a nice picture to show everyone what they, the police, the prohibitionists, the government could and would do to them over "illegal" drug matter what the circumstances. A "Message"... you know?
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on May 16, 2009 at 07:20:45 PT
Good article. When we pay our taxes I wish they would be used for good things not things that cause destruction. 
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Comment #25 posted by josephlacerenza on May 16, 2009 at 06:46:16 PT
O. T. Who are the happy ones? 
I found this article on Huff Po. It is interesting how happy some are paying 2/3 of their income to the government when it is not spent,50% of our current spending as a nation, on bombs , guns, tanks, and planes to kill!!! So, half of what we spend is to be the big bully on the playground, does this make sense?
The happiest taxes on earth
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on May 16, 2009 at 06:28:00 PT

You can tell how much I watch any cop shows. I don't even know what to call them. I think I will never forget that scene between mother and son. It takes a lot to get me upset but even this morning when I was trying to tell my husband I was pushing back tears. Don't mess with a mother and child. That is immoral and cruel. We in general don't have a heart in our country. Now we are seeing a slow awakening and it is long overdue. People draw lines in the sand and fight about what political party is right and which one is wrong. The reality is they will continue to flip back and forth because if they don't we won't have a balance and the Utopia everyone is looking for will emplode. 
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on May 15, 2009 at 21:11:50 PT

I'm sorry, FoM. That is horrible. I am glad he got to see her. There was talk that he might not. He didn't kill anyone. He had contraband in his possession. Not a bomb... a drug. He's a drug addict, apparently. So would this behavior on the part of authorities be appropriate if the young man were an alcoholic? Where is wisdom, even sanity, and common human decency? It's so sad and scary what a government and prohibitionists can do.The Texas bill is unbelievable. The unanimous vote was unbelievable. Have you considered what such a law could do to such a huge number of people? We're not talking about using cannabis in front of people under eighteen. We're talking about possessing it... even in a locked box... in a place, any place, where anyone under eighteen is. That's astounding. It's a way of piling and stacking more charges on people. Another year in jail and four thousand dollars more in fines on top of jail time and the two thousand dollar fine already in place. They want to drag more people and families into the deep pit they've created. They want to destroy more young people's lives and hopes and chances.I just can't believe it. I'm devastated. And no one I know of knew anything about this bill. It was virtually secreted through, the best I can tell. What's the sneaking about? Why haven't we heard anything about this unjust bill? I don't know. All I know is that there are some really dangerous people in our legislature. A lot of them, apparently.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 15, 2009 at 20:05:25 PT

I am crying. I am angry. The story of Farrah Fawcett was beautifully done but when her son was taken to her bedside because he is in prison for drugs and they didn't even have the decency to take his leg cuffs off I lost it. How dare they treat him and her like that. She didn't know he was in prison at that point so that was good but it really upset me. He has a drug problem but he needed his mother! If I ever swore publically I sure would now but I won't.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on May 15, 2009 at 19:27:20 PT

I think most people have a little Maverick in them. I know I do but when other people are dependent on me I always consider them. Our political leaders should do that too. They are elected to care or at least that is why I vote for them. I am watching Farrah's Story and it's very good. She is still a beautiful lady. I'm glad she did this documentary.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on May 15, 2009 at 18:07:59 PT

"What would cause them to go totally away from the direction our country is going?" 
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on May 15, 2009 at 16:41:50 PT

What would cause them to go totally away from the direction our country is going? 
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on May 15, 2009 at 15:36:32 PT

Leave it to the Texas Legislature
to think of new ways to make a bad thing worse. A lot worse."On Wednesday, the House passed a bill (unanimously) that would subject those who possess any amount of marijuana in the same place as someone under 18 years of age to a year in jail and $4,000 in fines. HB 3680 now moves to the Senate for debate, which has until June 1 to consider this ill-advised legislation." Marijuana Policy Project, Legislative Alert.
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Comment #17 posted by yoshi on May 15, 2009 at 13:12:47 PT:

Don't Bet Against A Trend
 Too much at stake here, legalizing drugs could cause peace to break out
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Comment #16 posted by The GCW on May 15, 2009 at 13:02:48 PT

Good and bad.
A war by any other name...The politician / police man did not list cannabis as the biggest drug problem...The guy also made a clear and honest distinction between hard drugs and cannabis.It does seem like a baby step, but it is in the right direction. -and it's in addition to all the other baby steps.-0-"""Only Congress can change the law not the Drug Czar."""Yes and no. If the Czar says legalize, and the Obama administration agrees, it can happen right now. Quick enough to pull neck muscles in a Republican.We are close enough, with a dam having breeches big enough to stick a fist in, that once someone with Obama's stature comes out of the closet and slams the door shut, it will bring the house down. Very very quickly.It may not happen that quick, but We are sitting in a position where things could change far quicker than people imagine.Every body around knows what's going on and just waiting for someone else to make the move so they don't have to do it first... but once it happens...Think of the wall in Germany. All the sudden I was reading the paper and it was already down and gone.Everybody should gear up their activism and push some additional opposing atoms.It's teetering.
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Comment #15 posted by George Servantes on May 15, 2009 at 06:25:57 PT

Baby steps..
...they are all politicians so they can't and won't admit they lost the war on drugs and they'll outright legalize marijuana. It's not that simple cause these people are politicians. But I can read between lines and this is so much better talk then last drug czar and past republican government with their zero tolerance policy. 
He didn't say nothing yet against marijuana and I more then welcome their change of course from criminal to public health issue.
Stay positive folks, we are moving into right direction. Rome wasn't built in one day. It will take some time but we are getting closer every day.

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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 15, 2009 at 06:15:40 PT

Just a Comment
I didn't know what the drug czar was talking about when he mentioned North Carolina and Hawaii Models so I did a search and found this which I thought was very interesting. These are some of the organizations that are mentioned in the Hawaii model.***American Civil Liberties Union Civil liberties news and resources related to drug policy Common Sense For Drug Policy Organization advocating for "common sense" rather than drug war approach, numerous links to harm reduction organizations and resources about various drugs Drug Policy Foundation Independent, nonprofit organization favoring alternatives to the "drug war," including public health strategies Drug Reform Coordination Network Drug reform organization seeking reasoned alternatives to current policies, including harm reduction, reform of sentencing laws, and consideration of legalization; also links to enormous drug policy library Drug Peace Campaign Organization that encourages Internet-based activism to bring about change in current drug policies, includes updated news archive Harm Reduction Coalition Fosters harm reduction solutions to drug problems, site includes Straight Dope Education Series International Harm Reduction Association UK-based organization with message board, links, and chat room 
Lindesmith Center The most comprehensive harm reduction site around, includes extensive library, research briefs, e-mail newsletter, news items, and searchable database National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws Principal national organization advocating for legalization of marijuana; site includes information about marijuana and current legislation being considered at state and national level
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on May 14, 2009 at 19:53:03 PT

I understand. It's one of those problems I have had a couple of times over the years. I try to edit fast or wait since I know that happens. I'm not going to try to fix the spelling problems in this article. It's a little hard to do because it is all in html.
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Comment #12 posted by Cheebs1 on May 14, 2009 at 19:39:37 PT:

Thanks :)
Thanks for the update I was worried that I had either offended someone or broken the posting guidlines :). No biggie on losing it and sorry if I sounded confrontational on wondering what happened to it. It is very difficult to read words and understand how a person means them without body languange and inflection of voice. Peace, Love, and Pot

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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on May 14, 2009 at 18:11:34 PT

I'm guessing this is the first time any reference to Seattle Hempfest has appeared in the WSJ.What a great coincidence, the new drug czar is the from the city with the biggest cannabis smoke-in on Earth! Certainly this is the first time we've heard this kind of talk coming out of the White House or Cabinet about marijuana and tolerating it since the 1970s and Jimmy Carter.Now the question is how far can we go while this moment lasts? In Canada the Conservatives got back into power before the actually made any changes.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 14, 2009 at 16:15:55 PT

Please read comment 4. I was trying to edit some spelling errors in the article and you and HempWorld must have posted while I was working in the web form and when I hit the edit buttom it wiped out a comment. I tried to fix it but I couldn't. I'm sorry.
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Comment #9 posted by AdaptBones on May 14, 2009 at 16:09:11 PT:

Yeah that figures. This is not going to go good for our cause. Hell I'm even less hopeful that the feds will move out of the way and not try to automatically block any state moves to bring reform. You know for a bit there I actually believed the feds would be helpful because they had a change of heart and saw the issue for what it is. I would be curious to know if old Gil would admit they have been waging prohibition against cannabis. The only thing this article told me is that this guy wants to change the words a bit to try a new bit of wool over everyones eyes because the old one is wearing thin and people are starting to see the truth. *Sigh* Well even though it doesn't look like we will have any help from the feds we still have momentum and we still have the science. So lets make this administration live up to their words about science dictating policy. We need to be challenging the schedule 1 catigory and asking the tough questions any chance we get. This is a personal rights fight and we need to get government out of our homes and personal lives. Let's try to be positive because this certainly is a set back but it changes nothing, we are still in the fight we have always been in and we have been making leaps and bounds in that fight. Blessed be everyone and let's keep the pressure up on the prohib dam, we WILL have our freedom back because we will not stop until we do. Blessed be everyone and try not to be too bummed (I'm not surprised).
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Comment #8 posted by Cheebs1 on May 14, 2009 at 16:07:09 PT:

Why would you have removed my comment? It was a simple sentence with no vulgarity or vehemence? 

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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 14, 2009 at 15:47:24 PT

Just a Comment
There isn't anything in this interview about medical marijuana. That seems like a good thing to me.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 14, 2009 at 15:30:26 PT

Only Congress can change the law not the Drug Czar.
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Comment #5 posted by NikoKun on May 14, 2009 at 15:27:26 PT

If he wants to do what is right...
He should end this CLEARLY counterproductive prohibition policy on Marijuana. Legalize it and regulate it, for better results than Prohibition could ever provide, and cheaper too.Then move onto dealing with other more important, and more serious issues.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 14, 2009 at 15:22:22 PT

I lost a comment because I found an error in the article and was trying to fix it. I will wait to try to fix it and I hope I see a repost. Sorry about that.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on May 14, 2009 at 15:22:14 PT

You are absolutely correct!And FoM, I don't know why you removed my comment.Things are not looking good!
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on May 14, 2009 at 15:18:45 PT

I was hopeful, now I'm really disappointed ... 
Now, I know that the worse it yet to come and our prohibition will not go away, certainly not in my lifetime.I wish you all the very best!For me, it is time to move back to my own country of reason, respect and freedom!
On a mission from God!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 14, 2009 at 15:17:18 PT

I Like This
Excerpt: Hempfest started 10 years before I became chief and it's been policed the same way every year. I don't think the way they police Hempfest with a small amount of police resources is much different than policing a rock concert. They don't go charging off into the middle of a rock concert because there is use of marijuana. Hempfest hasn't been an issue about violence, which is our first priority and precinct captains and lieutenants have policed it consistently the same way.

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