Chief Kerlikowske’s former colleagues on the police force, cannabis law reform activists, medical patients, civil rights lawyers and public health officials all seem to recognize that science and ‘smart on crime’ (as compared to ‘tough on crime’ and ineffective platitudes like ‘just say no’ or ‘drug-free America’) drive his policing—not ideology and a twisted sense of personal morality.
NORML, like most drug law reform organizations, waited with bated breath to learn who President Obama would nominate as the nation’s next Drug Czar. We now know that Obama has named former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske for this position, and that he has accepted the President’s nomination.
On the positive side, Kerlikowske hails from Seattle — a city that has elected to make the enforcement marijuana crimes cops’ lowest priority. And although the police chief spoke out against the initiative effort — which passed with 58 percent of the vote in 2003 — he’s abided by the will of the people since then.