Monday, February 23, 2009

New drug czar possibly not an idiot

Obama has signaled that he will appoint Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) -- the "drug czar" (amazing how a putatively democratic society is so fond of having "czars" -- absolute, unaccountable rulers -- in charge of so many aspects of our lives). As we noted in this Register editorial, there's just a chance that he will bring a modicum of common sense rather than a strictly prohibitionist attitude complete with an eagerness to lie to defend that attitude. This is based less on what he has said than on what he has cooperated with -- a number of initiatives in Seattle, including a state medical marijuana law, a needle-exchange program, and a mandate from voters to make marijuana enforcement the police department's very lowest priority. He hasn't been an advocate but he has gone along.

We'll have a hint that he's open to a policy based more on science than superstition when he recommends that we take marijuana off Schedule I so it can be prescribed. (Full decriminalization would be better, of course, but I'll take things one miracle at a time.)

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