"Legitimate Debate?" Not If The Drug Czar Has His Way

Several weeks ago, President Obama stated that he believed the subject of drug legalization and regulation was “an entirely legitimate topic for debate.” Yet recent actions by White House Office of National Drug Control Policy head Gil Kerlikowske imply that this administration has no interest in having this debate in the public arena — at least not in Seattle.
On Friday, February 18, the Seattle Times editorial board opined in favor of House Bill 1550, which legalizes and regulates the “production, distribution, and sale” of marijuana to adults. (You can contact your state elected officials in support of the measure here.) The editorial, titled “The Washington Legislature should legalize marijuana” did not mince words.

Marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed. The push to repeal federal prohibition should come from the states, and it should begin with the state of Washington.
… Some drugs have such horrible effects on the human body that the costs of prohibition may be worth it. Not marijuana. This state’s experience with medical marijuana and Seattle’s tolerance policy suggest that with cannabis, legalization will work — and surprisingly well.
Not only will it work, but it is coming.

According to Seattle Times editorial page editor Ryan Blethen, the public’s reaction to the paper’s pot-friendly position was overwhelming.
“It is rare we publish an editorial on a hot topic and receive near universal praise. But that is what happened last week when we came out in support of Washington state legalizing cannabis,” Bethen wrote in February 25 commentary. “When people take the time to e-mail or call me about an editorial, it is usually because they do not agree with the editorial page. This editorial was different. The compliments rolled in, the discussion in the comments section of the editorial is nearing 600 and is interesting and thoughtful — which is not always the case — and so far the editorial has been recommended by about 3,000 people on Facebook.”
Yet there was is one prominent, former Seattle resident who is clearly not amused by the Times call for “a sober discussion about marijuana.” That person is the Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske.
The Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger has the details — and they aren’t pretty.

White House Requests Meeting with Seattle Times to Bully Against Pro-Pot Editorials
via The Stranger
The Stranger has learned that immediately after the Seattle Times ran an editorial last week supporting a bill to tax and regulate marijuana, the newspaper got a phone call from Washington, D.C. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske wanted to fly to Seattle to speak personally with the paper’s full editorial board.
The meeting is scheduled for next Friday, an apparent attempt by the federal government to pressure the state’s largest newspaper to oppose marijuana legalization. Or at least turn down the volume on its new-found bullhorn to legalize pot.
Bruce Ramsey, the Seattle Times editorial writer who wrote the unbylined piece, says the White House called right “right after our editorial ran, so I drew the obvious conclusion… he didn’t like our editorial.”
… This isn’t the first time the Obama Administration has campaigned to keep pot illegal. Kerlikowske, who is also Seattle’s former police chief, also traveled to California last fall to campaign against Prop 19, a measure to decriminalize marijuana and authorize jurisdictions to tax and regulate it.

NORML Has long argued that pot prohibition can not withstand careful and consistent scrutiny from the mainstream media. The Drug Czar knows this to be true better than anyone; hence the White House’s need to try and squelch any media-led ‘legitimate debate.’ Fortunately, the genie is out of the bottle and isn’t going back — at least not in Seattle. In fact, just days after The Drug Czar’s phone call, the Seattle Times reiterated their editorial support for legalization, stating “the costs of prohibition in police, courts, jails, gang warfare, civil liberties and blighted lives are too high, especially for a product that lends itself so well to be handled like alcohol.”
Like it or not President Obama, you are going to get your debate. We’re ready; are you?

112 thoughts

  1. I used it for fun and then a broken neck at 18. Made it my medical treatment. Doctors did nothing, I was a Veteran 40 years later , I’m dieing. The medical does make make me happy and not depressed. Also takes away pain that morphine doesen’t, the morhpine has stoped me from breathing 2 times and i died last time 65 days in the hospital.
    Get over it President Nixon was my Comander and Chief. A great guy but wrong on marijuana.Its time to try something else.Brother Barry be the real deal the voters knew you were and are. And i would have a beer with you, if invited. Rick

  2. The situation with Gil reminds with the Jimmy Carter era and his guy Peter Bourne
    It was a promising time Jimmy Carter even spoke before Congress in 1977 about changing the penalty for cannabis
    In the modern era, during the 2008 campaign Barack Obama stood before a crowd in Iowa and informed them doctors should be able to prescribe cannabis
    Yet now WE are informed Barack and Gil dont even believe in medical cannabis

  3. Bar-t – Lake TN. Colony
    Rick Tennessee
    Tennessee Activist
    The Constitution says “PURSUIT” of happiness. It doesn’t “GUARANTEE” happiness. That’s entirely up to us. But – it does “GUARANTEE” the “PURSUIT” – “UNOBSTRUCTED.”
    Geneists declare that the religious liberty guaranteed us in the Constitution, as an unalienable right, endowed by our creator, supersedes all other authentic reasons for the abolishment of our sacrament’s prohibition. Therefore – we in the name, will, and authority of the good and free people of the Genesist Faith, solemnly publish and declare that our 3141 united Genesist Colonies are, and of right, ought to be recalcitrant to government’s discriminate acts against our Faith, Holy Sacrament, and our Constitution.
    Happy 420 Invasion
    4-20 @ 4:20

  4. Of course the Czar is against legalization. He is prohibited (there’s that word fascists love so much) by law to support legalization…look at his job description online! What we need is a Tahrir square. It’s amazing that hundreds, maybe by this time thousands are harmed by the Ghaddaffi, the Hague issues a statement that the leader will be held responsible for attacking his own people. WHERE IS THE HAGUE when the US GOV attacks its own people to the tune of one arrest every 37 seconds, over 20 million arrested since 1965??? It is a human rights violation unprecedented in the history of the world. We attack China for jailing thousands of dissidents yet the US imprisons 10% of it’s population, many for their pursuit of happiness which should be an inalienable right (the endo-cannabinoid system produces anandamide which gives us happiness :p) The attack on peaceful hemp enthusiasts continues to be A KINDER, GENTLER HOLOCAUST!!!! Let’s dedicate 4/20/11 to be America’s Tahrir Square where we as a people throw off the chains of this fascist govenrmental entity. Remember, DEATH begins with DEA!!!!

  5. for a country that has no problem electing a drunk driver coke head to the presidency to exhort locking up people for pot is hypocrisy at its worst… tens of thousands of people die every year because of arrogant drunk drivers like bush. way more than terrorists or 911… yet drunk driving is a misdemeanor and a few ounces of pot is a felony… when I asked my state senator to address this issues\ she quipped :” well it’s legal”. well duh…it’s your job as a legislature to change laws that are unjust or unfair. I would support making drunk driving a felony because I believe it would save thousand of lives… many drink and drive knowing if they get caught it’s a slap on the wrist. if they really thought they’d go to jail I think many would refrain. Bush might have refrained if he really thought he’d get his arrogant ass locked up.

  6. Seattle Times Cannabis Reform Protests send US Drug Czar down the rabbit hole!!!
    4 March, 2011, Seattle, WA
    US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske sneaks around to the back door, flees from a couple of protesters after emptying his empty bag of old rhetoric on the news and meeting with Times Editors all morning!!!!!!http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/03/05/the-drug-czar-comes-to-town-and-nothing-much-happens&cb=ee11d8f3af3fe94e8a04b72cc19daed3&layoutId=PostComment&view=comments#comment-7046851
    After seeing the drug Czar’s bizarre bipolar behavior Friday, its clear that the Feds Kool-Aid has run out! A Defeated man, looking more like a paranoid drug dealer than the Nations top Drug Cop, Gil exited out of an auxillary entrance after trying to put a juke move on protesters altogether. It was more embarrassing than frustrating as a peaceful OIF Veteran protester. I has trained never to never surrender, and after Gil’s acquiescent talks with The Seattle Times (The whole hubub and the “coincidence” that really riled people up in the first place) he was in full retreat mode during a perceived show of force; see The Stranger @http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/02/25/white-house-requested-meeting-with-seattle-times-editorial-board-to-bully-against-pro-pot-articles
    In summation, I’ll quote what Brendan Kiley of The Seattle Times said after Friday’s activities.”The White House’s drug czar is making the case in such an empty and specious way, he might as well be arguing for legalization.”
    PS: Kiro 7’s Online Poll shows a whopping 86% chunk of the public for Legalizing Cannabis
    PSS I think when Washington legalizes cannabis across the board, we will become the wealthiest state in the USA”-Jeanne Black-Ferguson, Grammas forganja.org.
    Thomas Studley
    OIF Veteran
    US Army Recon (Ret.)

  7. 108 Tom
    Kiro 7’s Online Post shows a whopping 86% chunk of the public for legalizing cannabis. Yup! 86% – that’s the number I had in my scope. Don’t forget to discount the 10% trash vote. 86 million is also “the number of X’ers [born between 1960 – 1980] there are in this society. In fact, they are the largest voting block in the U.S. X’ers need to vote. 86 is also an eviction notice. There ya go! a T-shirt with a big 86 on it. 86 the prohibitionists.

  8. clearly any president is converted into the main when he raises his hand and says I DO
    the demand for cannibis is under reported and the lack of negative consequences for the public clearly predicts good times and tax revenue for the states and the country.
    MADD and blood alcohol limits, DWI, and mny more show alcohol in a much worse position from alcoholism to DWIs!
    Yet there is no similar news about cannabis! in fact, the lack of such news should be a strong signal to our Government.
    I have a mm cert and I grow my own.. i also buy sometimes from a local collective. i am also amazed by the various reasons given to get a MM certificate.
    California could receive millions in tax revenue from cannabis.
    Washington could too.
    Keep the faith!

  9. 110 a washington mm dude
    Once upon a time in America – I raised my right hand and swore and oath of allegiance to protect my Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I’m still alive – and – I still honor that oath – as much today as I did then. My right hand has not withered on the arm that I raised. I wonder – “Did anyone in Washington take the same oath?” It sure doesn’t seem like it! Honor is a gift one gives one’s self. My beloved country needs patriots – not paid off politicians. God Bless America.

  10. #54 Tony
    Yes man, you are absolutely right in your thinking…
    The Non-Tax paying SCUMBAGS that are selling the crap to us is really the not so distant kin of the sheriff, police and other Government Scumbags who are running the show. If you go figure…about 99.9% of those Scumbags have never been busted and are probably being protected by the other Government Scumbags who are hoarding all the cash and victimizing us law abiding citizens of our rights and liberties.
    What are we going to do on 4/20 at 4:20. Yes We Can!!!

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