"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. Why am I the ONLY 1 SEEING THE lie, wake up ppl, NO law should BE made up on a LIE only THINK WAKE UP ALL THE TRUTH is out there has been all the TIME open your EYES

  2. Cannabis prohibition is doomed to failure, as it is based on a series of total “un-realities”, which no amount of repression can make “real”. Cannabis is NOT physically addictive as it lacks a documented physical withdrawal syndrome, the so-called “gateway drug theory discredited as invalid, much touted by the DEA drug Marinol is not at all the same as medicinal cannabis, smoking Cannabis does not increase the risk of lung cancer, and cannabis use suppresses violent behavior. These are REALITIES! To further say say that Cannabis plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional and is a complete “break” with “reality”. If anti-Cannabis repression by the DEA and its allies were to be intensified, the rate of alcohol, cocaine, opiates, other hard drugs, alcohol, and dangerous prescription drugs would increase sharply. Neither the DEA, not its minions can make people perceive Cannabis as “unsafe”, where is in reality it is quite safe, much safer than alcohol and other alternatives. With the rise of the use of alcohol/hard drugs, the amount of violence and mayhem in this society will also rise, something that every mother and wife should consider. In these hard economic times our so-called “representatives” do not even dare talking about cutting the bloated DEA budget, especially its so-called “marijuana” enforcement, while they are willing to discuss cutting everything else. This is because the DEA and its minions are very good with attaching labels, and no one wants to risk being “labeled” as “soft on drugs”! The employment drug tests have a potential of “screening out” “Picassos”, and Lady GaGa’s, and Willie Nelsons, but letting people like Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson slip through (if the employers are “lucky”). And to say that Cannabis Plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional! Cannabis prohibition, as based on total scientific and philosophical “un-realities” can never succeed in the long run, it has a potential to do a great deal of damage to society, to exacerbate the Nation’s hard drug, alcohol and violence problems, and it should be abolished ASAP!

  3. We need to organise global protest, non violent civil disobedience, every city has a park somewhere, how about we have a global smoking day when we all go to our local park and have smoke, if we can get enough people to come out, they can’t ignore us.
    I for one am sick of being branded a criminal because I like to unwind of an evening with a spliff or two.
    I’m sick of taking my life in my hands going to the rough end of town to score an under weight bag of badly produced crap from some non tax paying scumbag.
    I suggest we all go out and protest in our city and town parks on Sunday May 1st as it’s a holiday in many countries.
    For my own city, Nottingham, UK. Wollaton park could be a good venue, easily accessable and plenty of space.
    Please forward to your friends on face book/twitter etc. if you agree, lets see if the internet can do for us what it has for our friends fighting for freedom in North africa at the moment.

  4. I believe Mr Gil was the one that was on the boat for lowest priority (Cannabis) why all of a sudden change Mr.Gil? i could sure help u pull ur head outta ur ass if u’d like

  5. The DEA must believe they are right keeping marijuana illegal. So why are they afraid of a debate? And why are they so worried about what the Times has to say? Maybe because America is starting to see through all their lies they have been telling for the past 70 years.

  6. Mr Kerlikowske I think can expect an interesting welcome to Seattle.If the DEA thinks they are going to pull this end around and squeeze us with one hand and stroke pharma with the other they are very wrong.Like I said once it is only fitting it start in Washington. After all the man was a hemp farmer. The state should lead it’s re-legalization.

  7. I’m tired of high percentage of people in America who are simply ignorant. They don’t care enough to research Marijuana and form their own opinions. Instead they believe what the government wants them to believe because simply believing takes much less effort than researching the topic for yourself and finding the REAL facts. How can they not see what the government is really doing?? ISN’T IT OBVIOUS THAT IF MARIJUANA WAS LEGALIZED, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES WOULD LOSE MUCH OF THEIR MONEY? THE GOVERNMENT WOULDN’T LET THAT HAPPEN! People would be taking one drug: Marijuana, Instead of the 50 (incredibly over priced) pills they are currently on! And the fucking pills have 500000 side effects anyways!!
    Anyone with some common sense, logic, and an open mind wouldn’t throw such a useful plant down the drain.
    GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT IGNORANT ANTI-CANNABIS AMERICANS AND HAVE THE DESIRE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PLANT!!

  8. I’m sure many of us know that this debate has already been going on in numerous blogs and the side for legalizing pot has been winning for years! Out Govt is just being incredibly stubborn on this for some reason… Most of us probably know what that reason is too; I don’t need to say it…

  9. We are trying to help spread the word to our latino community by way of MEDICAL CANNABIS BILINGUAL RADIO SHOW SUNDAYS 4-6 PM ON RSPRADIO.COM TUNE IN LIVE STREAMING

  10. wow to be honest i smiled when i read this do you realise how close we seem to legalization ? the public is finally waking up to see the truth how safe marijuana really is i mean its to the point anymore smokign pot s more acceptable than smokign a cigarette (theres almost illgal to have unless its in your home and now the shoe is on the other foot cigarette smokers are the one getting descriminated against) i myself dont smoke cigarettes but i do smoke the earth grown plant that brings peace and love (but its still beyond me as to why jamacia one of the biggest pot countries also has the highest murder rate in the world)

  11. Jason had an amazing idea. They should broadcast the meeting, if the government wants to have it should not be behind closed doors. Its the press for gods sake, this is not China.

  12. the reason they don’t make alcohol illegal is because it is a huge giant money maker for lawyers, judges, etc. it is obvious they do not care about the human condition, it’s screw us, and bit dollars for them. tax it my arse, i can grow my own just like any other houeplant! sell me the seeds, tax those, and then leave me alone. Like Montel Williams I have chronic pain, and this is A LOT better for me and my pain than addictive big pharma co oxycodone/oxycotin. Legalize personal growth, not to be sold at Wal-Mart so it’s too expensive and taxed, and in your grocery cart for the world to see and know. heck with that! I wanna grow my own!

  13. Other than speculation,I have seen nothing to indicate Gil is coming to town as the Sheriff A good P.R. move would be to show up as the Parson.He could smile, spew some 90’s anti-pot rhetoric to the editorial staff,tell the chief executive he needs to modify the paper’s editorial stance or various Federal snoops might take notice(like the I.R.S.).He waves,flies home, point made.

  14. The country as a whole tends to be moderate yet federal and state governments are trending ultra conservative. If we’re getting this much flak from a liberal white house just wait until we get a tea party ultra conservative backed administration. I still see the next Prop 19 in California or something in Washington state passing but it’s going to be a war against the fed. Just like Obama,if your a pro pot conservative be careful for what you wish for!

  15. Remember how everyone said Gil was a step in the right direction? I suppose he is, if only for the fact that they’ve taken out anyone with any real zealotry and replaced them with somebody who KNOWS the laws are crooked and is only politicking for his own personal ambitions at this point (namely to keep his position).
    Gil is not a true drug warrior. He’s the closest thing to a “lame duck” we’ve ever had– and exactly the kind of Czar who will be in place when this phony war finally ends.

  16. In the end, it is alwaya about the money.
    A lot of money is being made from keeping cannabis illegal. Start with salaries paid to people like Kerlikowske, police officers, and prison guards. Then we move on to the Big 3-the Alcohol, Tobacco and Pharmaceutical industries. God forbid, imagine what could happen to their billion dollar profits if free American citizens had legal access to a substance that has medicinal and recreational properties and that was demonstrably less harmful than alcohol, tobacco and many prescription drugs. And last but not least are the criminal gangs, thugs and corrupt politicians who are reaping the enourmous profits from the government sponsored black market.
    Kerlikowkse and people like him are nothing more than tools of those who profit from prohibition. These people are anathema to the fundamental American concepts of personal freedom and liberty. Cannabis prohibition is a national disgrace, and it is only a matter of time before the American people are freed from its yoke of oppression.

  17. That’s great! All as we need is one state to lead the way on legalization, and others will follow. I hope it will be you Washington! Oh yeah, Our hike around the base of Mt. Saint Helens in 2010 was great! Plan a vacation to Washington State…

  18. Holy Smokes. Seattle, Washington, sensible policy reform and debate coming to the people. I hope the Seattle Times reports with full disclosure the conversation and shakedown that will be delivered by the heavy handed tactics of the Drug Czar. Let freedom of speech ring without the interference of a over-reaching government. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think I will go get happy.
    The Rev.sLeezy

  19. In the inner sanctums of our minds and souls, some of us known as citizens demand Justice.
    The Middle East is a Testament, The Beginning The Start, here in The USA prepare

  20. my god, i cant wait for this one…we have waited for a break all these years.how i crave to be there when this meeting occurs.. what would it take for wastington to quiet about the remedy. id say…not a damn thing. heh. its gonna open a big ole can of woop-ass on our governments credibility because nothing gil can say will sway the truth of the remedy.more then ever, non users are tired of the wrong. i figured id be dead before our freedom would be restored. im damn sure hopin im wrong…peace to you all….

  21. Maybe Gil thinks that what he did worked in California, and it will work again in Washington state. If he can divide the cannabis reformers, divide et impera (divide & conquer) will work again.
    Democratic reforms in North Africa and the Middle East ought to be orchestrated to lead to a regulated cannabis market in the region for when the U.S. does legalize and control the world cannabis market stock exchange by having cannabis traded in U.S. dollars.
    Gil cares only about himself. He’s a carpetbagger now. He’ll probably retire somewhere in the Sunshine Belt or Hawaii or something. I don’t believe for a second that he’ll ever settle down in Washington state. After wearing out his welcome back by doing the bidding of prohibitionists in D.C. he’ll have lost all credibility anyway.
    Did the editorial board sign a non disclosure agreement with Gil, or can they tell us what he wants?

  22. Hold the phone a minute and let the smoke clear the air. Now realize its 2011, how close to campaigning are we? of course Obama is going to start changing his voice from “I don’t know what this says about our online audience” to “an entirely legitimate topic for debate.” This jerk blindsided the voting public once, lts not forget his all smoke and mirrors and no real helpful action!
    His agenda has nothing to do with ours ignore the snake and keep our efforts and focus on getting him out. You can bank if Obama does open the doors to legalization it will come weighted in favor of big corporate and do all it can to keep mom n pop in the dark.

  23. What sort of threats do you think the Czar is packing to bring to The Seattle Times form the Obama administration.Free speech is still a constitutional freedom isn’t it.I mean we are trying to tell the Arab world Democracy is something to die for,yet here we are in America and free speech is still frowned upon.I think it’s High time the Government realized that as much as they dislike what the American people have to say on Legalization,the feeling is more than mutual.

  24. This attitude or double talk on this issue could very well cost him the 2012 election.we’re watching and listening Mr President. You had better have a better understanding of how we can sway voters now that we have the floor so to speak. You had better understnd it or it will be the end of your presidency. The republicans had better get on board too. Wait and see what happens if you dont..

  25. 54 Tony
    How about planting yourself on your representatives door step on 4-20 @ 4:20. Deliver our message. The 420 Invasion.
    56 Cat Cassie
    Any debate will expose their lies and deception. They will avoid it like the plague.

  26. 82. Brethren of the genesis faith.
    I’m in Nottingham, UK. there’s far to many people who smoke here to use anything else put our city parks.
    Also if we went mob handed to the council house the police would make it into a riot, ours paid thugs make the Lybian secret police seem friendly.
    If we all just have a peaceful family picnic, they can’t come in heavy handed, civil disobedience.
    Read, Dictatorship to democracy by Gene Sharpe. He has some good tips on how to get our message across to stuborn ignorant politicians.
    We need to stand up and show our numbers, maybe then they’ll see how much tax they’re missing out on.
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002159434606&sk=wall

  27. Somehow, I doubt that Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske would even show up in Seattle to talk with the Times editorial board, at least not while being videotaped or live-streamed. Instead, no doubt, a sternly worded letter will be sent in his stead.
    That would be the only way the Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske and the Obama regime could not be shown to be raving mad idiots — by not showing up. How much bluster and stamina would one have to have to credibly present a totally indefensible government policy?
    Obama’s comment that an honest debate Should be held regarding marijuana’s current illicit status doesn’t mean that there Will be such a debate. It’s a talking point, nothing more. IIRC, Obama also promised much better “transparency in government” when he was campaigning, and now look at how his regime wants to prosecute WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
    Someone once told me that you need to whack a mule or a donkey over the head with a 2×4 to get it’s attention. Today’s Democratic Party needs a virtual 2×4 over the head regarding cannabis. The Obama regime can either pay attention to the stirrings in public and on the Internet now regarding re-legalizing cannabis, or experience an even larger political loss at the polls than the Democrats experienced in 2010.

  28. Cannabis prohibition is doomed to failure, as it is based on a series of total “un-realities”, which no amount of repression can make “real”. Cannabis is NOT physically addictive as it lacks a documented physical withdrawal syndrome, the so-called “gateway drug theory discredited as invalid, much touted by the DEA drug Marinol is not at all the same as medicinal cannabis, smoking Cannabis does not increase the risk of lung cancer, and cannabis use suppresses violent behavior. These are REALITIES! To further say that Cannabis plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional and is a complete “break” with “reality”. If anti-Cannabis repression by the DEA and its allies were to be intensified, the rate of alcohol, cocaine, opiates, other hard drugs, alcohol, and dangerous prescription drugs would increase sharply. Neither the DEA, not its minions can make people perceive Cannabis as “unsafe”, where is in reality it is quite safe, much safer than alcohol and other alternatives. With the rise of the use of alcohol/hard drugs, the amount of violence and mayhem in this society will also rise, something that every mother and wife should consider. In these hard economic times our so-called “representatives” do not even dare talking about cutting the bloated DEA budget, especially its so-called “marijuana” enforcement, while they are willing to discuss cutting everything else. This is because the DEA and its minions are very good with attaching labels, and no one wants to risk being “labeled” as “soft on drugs”! The employment drug tests have a potential of “screening out” “Picassos”, and Lady GaGa’s, and Willie Nelsons, but letting people like Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson slip through (if the employers are “lucky”). And to say that Cannabis Plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional! Cannabis prohibition, as based on glaring scientific and philosophical “un-realities” and can never succeed in the long run!

  29. Get UP, Get OUT, Stand up WE will OVERPOWER and WE will WIN!!!! ;} Obama, it’s time YOU get a back bone and shand up for what YOU say!!! ;{

  30. Cannabis is NOT a health issue, it is a credibility issue, what part of lying do you believe in? – Gil

  31. What do the three branches of our gov`t have in common with the three blind mice,concerning marijuana? They can`t see! The only difference is one can`t see and the other won`t. Guess which one is which.

  32. What do the three branches of our gov`t have in common with the three blind mice,concerning marijuana? They can`t see! The only difference is one can`t see and the other won`t. Guess which one is which. Are you serious?

  33. Its time we go to the streets demiding a puplic debat look what is happen in the mid east. it can work. once the peply have come to gearther and the press will be asking why dont Gil debate or have someonehat will.

  34. Wasnt Gil the chief of Police in Seattle before taking the drug Czar job? So he knows the truth and has seen decriminalization work right? Then its simply true that our government is in bed with the Duponts and Big Pharma till the end. Wouldnt the have done better if after stepping into the Drug Czar office he just announced the end of this failed policy? If anything Seattle show him what he has forgotten about, and how well it worked while he was here. Just maybe he may grow a pair and return to DC enlightened, OK thats not going to happen, but it should! You know this think this drug war or prohibition we all are awaiting the day it blows up and crashes down, woot, but I think its going to fade away, secretly in the night and one day we will wake an pot will be legal. Its seems to be going that way anyhow.

  35. 85 Tony “The Earl of Nottingham.”
    Of course our purpose, a Genesist’s objective, is the protection of Religious Freedom.
    Our thugs here are much the same as your thugs there. “A thug is a thug” – anywhere on earth. You are absolutely right “Earl” – we need to stand up in unity and show our brethren’s number in defense of Religious Freedom [Individual Freedom].
    It only takes one messenger to deliver “the message of the many” – the many Genesist brethren in the 3141 Genesist Colonies in America, the Nottingham, UK Colony, and Genesist Colonies around the world. We don’t need to be “mob-handed” – but – like my godfather said – “We can make them an offer they can’t refuse.” Then too, we know the value of sit-ins – but – only if they don’t get the message.
    Happy 4-20 @ 4:20
    Manny – Genesis – San Diego Colony

  36. We the People say yes to change, the DEA employee says no we can’t have it or a debate about it. The DEA would like to keep it’s Constructive Fraud intact and around our necks. You could comply or you could sign on with the rest of us to say real clear to the Government, NO WAY EMPLOYEE! Sing this demand for a debate and let him know that bullying will get him no where.
    http://www.change.org/petitions/citizens-demand-national-debate-for-the-legalization-of-cannabis#?opt_new=t&opt_fb=t
    ..

  37. With Facebook and other social media networks a newspaper is the least of the czar’s(lol supreme ruler of drugs) problems, it’s just more time and recognized effort to control the uncontrollable. “Mr. President! Mr. President! They’re talking about how marijuana should be legal!” Boo-hoo. It’s been debated for years, now that whole poor newspaper staff has to be harped at about censoring what they’re legally allowed to express (which were all valid points). What about TMZ or MTV? Full of the extraordinary and the elite of society setting a wonderful example for future generations right? When you start seeing ‘beer pong’ type children’s game you know that marketing has gone astray. ‘You’ve got a hangnail? WE’VE got a prescription for that!’ But don’t smoke weed cause it’s what the bad people do.. Yeah, well what about getting severely injured or have a diagnosis that cannabis use benefits or even trying it for that matter? Consider those two things then we can start having intelligent not ignorant opposition. If an ill person smoking some marijuana is ‘bad’ then YOU being able to have the power to limit what a human being is allowed to use for themselves makes YOU evil (not just for cannabis). With the turbulence in Egypt sourcing out to other countries it’s only a matter of time before we start to see protest for all sorts of reform, including cannabis. We are people and with that comes individuality and freedom to do what we please. Time and again the human being will always do what it pleases, even with rules and regulations. Gil, expect more opposition and at the end of the day even if you think you’ve won. It’s just a battle not the war.
    Basically what should be is the next marijuana reform comes up for debate, it should be President Obama joking about him and Bidden re-rolling a bad joint.
    -Yours Humbly, Ian

  38. Demand reduction, means that if you are afraid to go pee-pee Michelle Obama will come and hold your hand.
    Decriminalization, means that maybe if you leave some seeds under your pillow tonight the 420 fairy will come and there will be a nice fat bag of buds for you when you wake up.
    Harm reduction? legalize marijuana!

  39. Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. Hopefully Mr. Kerlikowske will give that some thought, now that he’s in a position to help put an end to the jailing of Americans for something as mild as marijuana. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators for using a little marijuana. None of us would want to see our parent’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants to ease the aches and pains of growing older. It’s time to stop putting our own families in jail. It’s time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, and it’s nice to see our culture coming to terms with this in a more wholesome fashion. This will go a long way toward putting the criminal drug gangs out of business for good!

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