Update: Drug Czar Visits Seattle Times

The Seattle Times published their account of Friday’s meeting with Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske here.

Excerpt from ‘An Hour with the Drug Czar‘:
The Editorial Board’s meeting with Gil Kerlikowske turned into a big deal. Kerlikowske, the former police chief here in Seattle, is now director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. In other words, he’s the “Drug Czar” — a title he made fun of in our meeting when he responded to a question by saying, “If I knew the answer, I’d be more than a czar. I’d be king.”
In the paper of Sunday, Feb 20, The Times published an editorial arguing that marijuana be legalized, regulated, taxed and sold by the state of Washington. Two days later we received a request from Kerlikowske’s office that he wanted to talk to us; he could pay a visit March 4 at 2:45 p.m. Sure, we said.
Clearly this was because of our editorial. I recalled a year ago, when I wrote a column saying that legalization was coming, and that I favored it, that I received a call from Kerlikowske’s office for the first (and only) time. The Director would like to talk with me, the woman said. Would I be available at 3:00 the following afternoon? Yes, I said, I would. I wondered if he was going to chew on my ear, but in the event he missed the call, and instead sent me a copy of a speech he had given to police chiefs in San Jose.
This time around, the word got out, probably through me, that he had asked to speak to the Times Editorial Board. Dominic Holden of The Stranger called me and asked me about it and put out a report on their blog, The Slog. Holden quoted me accurately, but his headline framed Kerlikowske’s visit as an attempt to “bully” The Seattle Times. It was a stretch to call it that. Holden wrote that it was “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.”
NORML, The National Organization to Reform the Marijuana Laws, picked up the story from The Slog. Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, portrayed Kerlikowske’s visit as an effort to “squelch” our mainstream-media voice.

Later on Friday, Mr. Kerlikowske was interviewed on KCTS…

105 thoughts

  1. #
    we should do a newspaper clipping campaign: print thousands of copies of his quote saying “the drug war is over” and then staple it to police reports announcing any arrests for possession. Mail them all to Gil/Obama
    # Anonymous
    That’s a great idea. Show examples of the recent collateral damage of the Drug War and have that quote over it.
    If the Drug War was over, I’d at least feel safe in my oun country again.

  2. I check this site every day and it never seems to fail that I get some new piece of info daily that pisses me the F off!
    Today’s was this shit about scientific integrity memo for our government (FINALLY!) but they put in a line to keep the drug czar from having to tell the truth? WTF?
    How can you put that in a document about INTEGRITY?

  3. I like the way the Federal government stuck their big nose into the state of California’s business when they were getting ready to vote on legalization. I’m sure it changed a few votes. I also don’t trust the electronic voting machines. I wouldn’t put it past them to switch votes, delete votes, not count votes to fit their purposes. I always vote by paper ballot. At least they have to destroy the evidence. Marijuana….the only thing wrong with marijuana is the law. Change the Law!

  4. The truth will come out Gil, and when it does you better start running because the masses will make you pay for all the lives you helped ruin.

  5. Why are they even talking about any other substance than marijuana? The debate is not about pain medication problems, alcohol abuse or anything else. It is about marijuana. He spends half of the video talking about things not even relative to marijuana. The only purpose he served by doing so was to prove how wrong prohibition is. His lack of desire to even ‘tier’ all of these substances show the flaws within the system. Not everything is black and white, especially in the chemistry that is involved in all of these substances. THC obviously does not kill. Cocaine, meth and many harmful opiates on the market do. That is a difference in traits and therefor IT IS FOOLISH not to tier them. That is the same idea as saying that it is safe for infants to take adult doses of Tylenol. THE CHEMISTRY IS DIFFERENT (even with the same substance)!
    The bottom line is this; whether or not cannabis is good or bad for human consumption does not even matter. What matters is that the people want it and the people are not getting it. Democracy is NOT functioning properly in our government.

  6. Does he not understand, no one but the radical right belives his lies…
    To the Capital like Egypt demanding our freedom…

  7. I would feel better if I wake up tomorrow and read that some DEA office building was bombed.
    I say hang the bastards and hang them high, if you make your living as a drug cop you are nothing even less than dust in the wind.
    Free Cannabis

  8. The hour of our redemption is here. Your patriots have demonstrated an unswerving and resolute devotion to the principles of freedom that challenges the best that is written on the pages of human history. We the People now call upon your supreme effort that the government may know from the temper of an aroused and outraged united people within that they are forced to contend with.
    Rally to US. Let the indomitable spirit of California, Oregon, and Washington lead on. As the lines of this battle roll forward to bring you within the zone of opportunity, rise up and strike down this injustice. Strike this injustice at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike this injustice! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike at this injustice! In the name of your sacred dead, strike at this injustice! Let no heart be faint. The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His Name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory over this injustice!
    Sign the petition and put the government on notice.

  9. Most of the perscription drug problem can be solved by the legalization of Cannabis and letting people use other NATURAL non addictive remedies, but then how would BIG PHARMA make their billions.QUITE THE QUANDRY!

  10. Job opening. Annual pay 200k +, plus excellent lifetime retirement program, and lavish benefits.
    Duties: all you need to do is lie about the dangers of marijuana, keep a lid on things, and keep marijuana illegal. All applicants considered.
    Would you take the job?

  11. #2: LG: “‘I’m not going to make a hierarchy or differentiate between different substances.’”
    Because 99.98% of drug users start on breast milk.
    But seriously though, he seems pretty resigned to the fact that he’s just spouting lines for Uncle Sam (and making a pretty penny in the process).
    I don’t think he’s worried about pot smokers being dangerous, but he does have quotas he has to fill.

  12. I thought he came here to talk about legalizing MARIJUANA. WTF was all that other stuff about drugs? Man, change that guys name to Bob Loblaw. He needs a sidekick like Regis Philbin does, to keep him on topic.

  13. This guy looks like he’s in pain. I wonder if he still likes his job. This guy don’t look right. If he truly is an honest man – he must be severely kicking his own ass for telling such great lies. Oh well! And another one bites the dust.

  14. of course he doesn’t want to compare alcohol and marijuana… he takes a lot of money from the alcohol companies… why not let people sue them for a drunk driver using their drug when he maims or kills or a fetal alcohol syndrome child should be able to sue the alcohol companies for selling the drugs to his mother when she was pregnant…. what a bunch of dumb hypocrites.

  15. The drug war ended when Obama took office?
    I only wish someone would call Obama on this lie during a national broadcast.
    The only difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama is lying about the drug war.
    By the way, I could beat this Drug Tzar in a debate any day. For example, he states that cannabis legalization would result in a increase in use. True. HOWEVER, the results would be a net benefit to society because alcohol use would plummet as people switched to cannabis.
    If Bayer discovered a new drug that was far safer than Aspirin, had few side effects and no LD-50, do you think they would market it? Of course they would, and it would be a net benefit to society because, while every drug has some adverse effects, we always replace drugs when a safer alternative is discovered…oh, except in the case of cannabis!

  16. I’m surprised that Drug Czar Gil “jack-booted fascist” Kerlikowske actually showed up to speak with the Seattle Times editorial staff. OTOH, I;m not surprised that this “persuasive conversation” wasn’t live-video streamed or a full length video made available on YouTube.
    I note that he continues to spew the very same bullshit propaganda about (1) medical marijuana, (2) re-legalization of cannabis & hemp, (3) cannabis as the “gateway” drug, (4) keeping cannabis out of the hands of youngsters, and (5) the end of the war on people/war on drugs.
    Hey, Gil, if smoked cannabis is not medically effective, why can it be used to treat Asthma, Bronchitis, Nausea, Pain Relief and Depression?
    Hey, Gil, if cannabis is so dangerous, how did the Big Pharma get a Schedule 3 free pass on creating natural cannabis extract medicines?
    Hey, Gil, if cannabis is The “gateway” drug of choice, how is it that the abuse of prescription medicines by youngsters become such a hot button issue?
    Hey, Gil, if the government really wanted to keep cannabis out of the hands of youngsters, wouldn’t re-legalization, regulation, and taxing cannabis like tobacco or alcohol make more sense?
    Hey, Gil, if the war on people/war on drugs had actually ended 2 years ago, then why are people in every state of the union still being arrested and prosecuted by the Federal law enforcement infrastructure?
    Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is a lying sack of shite. The lies that he continues to spew supports the legalistic position most favorable to the justification for the continued existence of the DEA, and of the greatest financial benefit to those crony corporate interests that have always had a hand in Prohibition 2.0 and the War on Drugs.
    Question authority. Especially question the rationale of authority. Follow the money. Our Federal government has become the enemy of We The People. Our Federal government is owned and operated by the crony corporate kleptocrats. It is time, past time for We The People to “hit the streets” …
    War is peace. Slavery is freedom. Ignorance is strength. George Orwell’s nightmare social fiction “1984” has become the operations manual for “our” government.

  17. Hopefully you’ve all realized that there is a much darker side to all of this. Politics aside, Cannabis has numerous positive affects on health. There is so much data out there on these positive health benefits that I think it should be reclassified from a drug to a vitamin. Have you all seen “Run from the Cure: The Risk Simpson Story”? This man had proof that hash oil cured Cancer, so of course he’s in jail now. I believe that if Cannabis wasn’t so good for you, it would be legal.

  18. The most interesting part of this debate is that local officials and law enforcement as well as federal politicians work for us. Even though I occasionally enjoy breaking our drug laws I have a job and pay taxes so that someone can arrest me for willingly smokin weed instead of drinking beer. I pay your salary either as a law officer or state representative I pay you to arrest me for doing something I enjoy doing. Do I have a right to tell the officer that he is fired if he arrests me for doing something to my body that I choose to do?
    We can make a difference if we vote for pro-pot representatives. Should be legalized.

  19. Oddly missing from this “blog” as well comments is the name/word “Obambi” as the main reason for this reasoning. Why: who is in charge here?

  20. The American Drug War is a total failure! It is high time to end the insanity. It’s all about greed, power and control… The government and law enforcement lose more credibility every day that they maintain their irrational, greedy, narrow minded stance against legalization. We The People need to stand up and speak out for full legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp… Marijuana should be legalized for several different, good reasons. We need cannabis hemp for medicine, food, fuel and fiber. Marijuana really is good medicine for many different ailments and lately has been shown effective against cancer. We should stand up for our rights. We should be allowed to light up a joint for relaxation and recreation. What we do in privacy is our own business, not Big Brother’s… No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose; it is not toxic to the human body. Alcohol and tobacco ARE bad for you, and addictive too… but still they are legal. Think about how many people die each year due to alcohol and tobacco use. Cannabis is no more addictive than coffee! Ever wonder why marijuana is illegal? Greed, yellow journalism, racism, outright lies and vicious, misleading propaganda were used by W.R. Hearst, the DuPonts, the Rockefellers and our government to get hemp banned in the first place. They were afraid of the competition then and they still are! The Drug Czar at the time The Marihuana Tax Act was passed, Harry Anslinger, used outright lies, racism and underhanded politics to further the agenda of the Rich and Powerful. Every Drug Czar since then has followed in Anslinger’s footsteps. Nowadays, 18 billion dollars is wasted each year on the American Drug War. Our government forces marijuana prohibition on other nations, causing hardship and increased crime. Want to talk about addiction? Our government is addicted to the profits from the Drug War. It is a sad fact that our own government no longer has the best interests of the American People at heart. The federal government’s insistence that we must not grow hemp because there is no way to discern industrial hemp from marijuana is absurd; they have different growth habits and appearance. Inspectors in other nations which do grow industrial hemp have no problem figuring out the difference. The federal government is admitting to ignorance if they pretend otherwise. Stand up for your rights. The Powers That Be who are pulling the strings that control our federal government are doing everything they can to keep knowledge about the benefits of marijuana and industrial hemp from you because Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Lumber, Big Law Enforcement, Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol realize their cash cow (the lost Drug War) is at stake. Big Pharma knows marijuana is good medicine but they don”t want you to have it unless they can control it; they’re after the MONEY. But they can’t patent a natural plant. Many medical organizations agree that marijuana is good medicine for a wide variety of ailments. Big Brother knows that legalization would put the power and the money back in the hands of the people and they hate the very thought of that happening. They are quite willing to be heavy handed, to use blackmail and to lie to the American public in order to keep marijuana from being legalized. All those hundreds of thousands of men and women (many of them very young) who have been incarcerated for cannabis should be released so that they can resume their productive lives. Within three or four years, we can be making enough alcohol from hemp to allow us to almost completely quit using gasoline. Fuel prices will go way down. Hemp oil is an excellent lubricant. Big Oil fears cannabis hemp mightily. It will cause them to lose their stranglehold on us and nations of the world. Hemp will grow anywhere, from deserts to mountains to rain forests… It is much better for our environment than other crops, such as cotton and makes much better products. Small farmers will have a way to make a better living. We can stop cutting down our old growth forests. The huge amount of money being made by organized criminals will suddenly be cut off, crime will decrease, Mexico can finally be allowed to legalize. The drug cartels in Mexico will lose 80% of their business overnight. Crime down there will decrease dramatically. Mexico DID LEGALIZE IT a few years back but backed off quickly from that after much pressure was applied by the U.S. government… I could go on and on. If you still are not sure whether cannabis should be legalized, do the right thing, inform yourself; study everything you can find out about it, then you will be convinced that legalization is The Right Thing To Do… God put this herb on the earth for us to use. Let’s use it wisely. Legalize it, regulate it, tax it at a reasonable rate. Keep it illegal for minors, just like alcohol. This new income would provide a much needed boost to our economy. Be wise. Pray about this. Listen to your heart. Then support legalization. Your country needs this. The world needs this. Our damaged environment needs this desperately. Support NORML, The Marijuana Policy Project and other organizations working for legalization. Contact your representatives in the legislature (state and federal) and let them know how you feel. The time to stand up is now. It is no longer a question of IF cannabis will be legalized but when…Big Brother is scared and getting desperate! Thank you for listening.

  21. the late Senator Robert Byrd said it best, just before he died, ” they are following THEIR OWN AGENDA’S. Big Pharma, Big alcohol, Big tobacco, Big oil, Bigger THIEVES and LIARS!

  22. Its obvious that there are still too many people with political power making money with the marijuana prohabition. Id say we take a look at the heads of our government and find out WHO is making the most and beat the crap out of them publicly..just a thought.

  23. At least we will get a handle on doctors who are overprescribing prediction drugs. I knew we would nip this problem in the bud.

  24. The ACLU is calling on the DEA to let the Massachusetts University grow marijuana for strictly research purposes, which they’ve been attempting to do for 10 YEARS. The University has since decided to withdraw since the DEA never cooperates. Let’s keep the DEA in the spotlight just like we did Drug Czar Kerlikowske!
    ACLU Request to DEA: http://bit.ly/iaHjIM

  25. The Genesist Faith hereby issues an arbitrary order.
    FIAT: It is hereby ordered, by a majority of We the People, that government stay, cease, and desist in any further action taken against the use of cannabis as a Sacrament. If such further incessant action occurs, government will bear the full consequences of their disobedience [governmental insubordination]. That is our arrogance – “LET IT BE DONE.”

  26. 420 Invasion – 4-20 @ 4:20
    If posting is the “best that you can do” – thank you – your effort is well appreciated – and – sometimes the choir needs preaching too. But – if you can “do more” – your job is only half done. If you can “do more” – but – you don’t know “what to do” – April 20, 2011 @4:20 p.m. is your answer.
    ON APRIL 20, 2001 AT 4:20 P.M.
    You can take yourself – just you – [be the messenger] to your Senator’s or Representative’s office and ask one (1), only one (1) question – then be totally silent until you get it:
    Then bring their answer to the Genesist Faith so that we can post it. Their answer will determine whether or not they get our vote in 2012. This is not a poll – it will be a definitive factor in the next election.
    They [prohibs] can look down their noses at a million protesters, from their windows in Washington D.C. and “laugh” – but – one (1) in their office can be a greater impact – more so than a letter, fax, e-mail or phone call. Physical presence always does the trick – and – if done simultaneously [4-20 @ 4:20] to every Senator or Representative – well – have you ever been chased by a swarm of hornets?

  27. I am angry. Angry about how long legalization is taking and angry at how well our enemies are always able to spread their lies. Anybody who watched the Prop 19 debate knows that the press on both sides of the aisle will look for anything to keep Marijuana from being made legal.
    I think we need to change the tone of the conversation, and that’s what I’ve been doing with the letters I’ve written to my state reps here in Connecticut. It’s time to change the way we look at this issue.
    Talking about kids, about “more people” using etc etc– this all plays right into their hands. The point of view I feel we need to take is this:
    We ARE the responsible adult pot smokers. We’re ALREADY pot smokers. Yes, we are breaking the law– but we have gone to great lengths to show we are not a danger. So the direct question to ask is: WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO STOP BEING PERSECUTED? Shy of saying “everyone must stop smoking pot”, there is no answer because they don’t UNDERSTAND that this is persecution. They’re more concerned with stopping people from starting than easing off the people who already used. It doesn’t matter– we all need to admit to our love of cannabis and put it to them in those terms:

  28. What a liar. The only thing he got right was that prescription drugs kill. Yeah they kill, thats the whole point of medical marijuana. Its not harmful at all, and actually does work, might i add without side-effects.

  29. Its pretty ridiculous where were @ now, everytime i see laws that criminalize ppl for weed, i lol nd think that one day when kids are learning about a time when ppl got persecuted for weed theyre gonna laugh and say wow they were stupid back then.

  30. Thanks Gil. Because you chose to lie to the American public and spread negative falsehoods about cannabis, I lost my career in the United States Marine Corps for 2 nanograms of THC in my body. My G.I. Bill, retirement, and pride were all stripped, I lost everything. If this is how we treat those who defend us, what do you think the government will do to peace loving civilians?

  31. 1979 was 32 years ago, the year I was born, funny to see this drug czar make statements so full of holes and to top it off he cant apply simple arithmatic to his statements.

  32. The history of Marijuana prohibition parallels almost to the “T” with what’s wrong with America. Solve the riddle of why Marijuana is illegal and you may save America from the scrap heap of history.

  33. I confess!!!
    If I keep talking – I’ll talk myself into a hole – one I won’t be able to crawl out of. I’ve often been told that my mouth is going to get me in a whole lot of trouble. The only thing is – in the case of cannabis – it’s not idle chatter – it’s as serious as a heart attack. The obvious thing to do – would be to simply shut up. But then – what’s “more important,” the message or the mighty mouth. As I see it – both are equally important to convey “the message.” So! I guess I’ll just stay on the band wagon and bear the consequences [the results of my actions] – whatever they may be – and – from whomever they may come from. I’ve got nothing better to do than to “defend our freedom.”
    We talk about recreational use – which is – well! – where it’s at. We talk about medicinal use – which is widely accepted – but – on thin ice with “The Pill.” What we don’t talk enough about is religious use – and – the prohibition of our Sacrament. If anyone seriously wants to protect our Constitution – which is more important than cannabis – religious use is the place to take a stand. Religious use is the most authentic reason to defend the Constitution. Prohibs have attacked, and violated our Constitution. For that they must pay the “most severe penalty provided by law” – and – if they think for a New York minute that they can hide behind the governments skirt – well! – they will soon find out that “prohibiting religious use” is more than they bargained for – “nowhere to run to – nowhere to hide.” I hope these prohibs have enjoyed their stay in D.C. – because – it’s a short stay from here on out. Start packing your bags!

  34. Matt Post #87. Great Post. Warrior #90. Thank you for your service. Every time the government loses a soldier due to throwing him out or making him quit it is our loss. I was a great soldier, 135 GT Score, honest, loyal, patriotic, but chose to use marijuana instead of getting drunk. I could see the writing on the wall and got out. There are millions of marijuana users out in the USA. It’s more than stupidity to exclude them for breaking a bogus law on the use of marijuana. I also had some great buddies that smoked marijuana in the Army. Unfortunately some of them were snitches to win the favor of those higher up the chain of command. The snitches are worse than the marijuana smokers. They have no honor and are hypocrites. The government lied to my father about medical benefits for life. He was a highly decorated hero of WWII and Korea. They lied to me at the recruitment office. They lied to Vietnam Vets about agent orange. They lie about marijuana. I love the USA. I hate those that lie, steal, cheat, and are hypocrites. Good day to all that read or post here.

  35. just because you test positive for thc in your system when driving does not directly mean you are driving high. every drug czar says the same damn thing. and with him visiting the seattle times to talk to their people about the pro pot editorials is rediculous. he has the gall to do so when supreme court allows westboro church to protest soldiers funerals.

    If Manny 93 – can speak for and of himself [so then] will I. He is my brethren and I will stand with him continually.
    Every place has its bully. This does not exclude Washington D.C. So then – it’s my personal opinion that “it’s time’ to throw the bully off the block. Enough said!

  37. What is more beautiful that living on the cusp of legalization? Living during the advent of the internet and being able to watch and read comments from people who are not only getting informed of the truth, but are brave enough to stand up for their belief that a 70 year old prohibition of a plant is unconstitutional and the enforcement of such racially and otherwise biased. It’s even more refreshing to see that people can now hear arguments from Gil and mainstream media and pick out the bits that are true and identify the mass of lies, bias, spin, and bullshit that accompany those bits of truth.
    We are truly lucky to live in this time and place. Make the most of it! Share your knowledge and love for marijuana without fear! 😀

  38. Blah, Blah, Blah…..
    More fed B.S.
    MJ, in the near future, will over come this B.S. and there is no stopping it!

  39. I have to say that Gil Kerlikowske’s arguments were pretty good. There was hardly any reefer madness in them. He does have some misunderstandings about the presence of marijuan-oids (I just made that up) in the system, and some other small things, but overall that makes me very scared of this guy. He’s the rational cool-headed politician that knows how to convince people. Definitely a worthy adversary for this movement and he shouldn’t be ignored or called fanatical, but should be taken very seriously.

  40. at 97 we are truly lucky
    Obama inhaled and the rest of us go to prison.
    I might imagine that ‘we are at the tip of change, yet, Cannabis is the gateway, that mark in the sand which all the drug warriors fear, when Cannabis become Legal, the door opens, and Prohibitionist finally come to reality.
    The War On Drugs is a failed costly experiment, that has destroyed so many good human beings.
    Thank You People Of NORML
    Free Cannabis

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