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.
Among the group’s proposals ahead of a special United Nations ministerial meeting in Vienna to evaluate global drug policy is a call to decriminalize the possession of cannabis for personal use.
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.
Which American political leader has the guts and foresight to become “the William Wilberforce” of the great campaign to end marijuana prohibition?? Your place in history is waiting.
Nearly three-quarters of the American public agrees with this position. According to a new national poll of 1,053 likely voters by Zogby International and commissioned by the NORML Foundation, seventy-two percent of voters say that President Obama should “stop federal raids against medical marijuana providers in the 13 states where medical marijuana has become legal.”
Okay, it is only February 1st, and more people this year have already died from peanut butter than pot.
Seriously, when you think about what has crossed the pages of our nation’s conscience in the past month, you have to wonder why we are all not getting high.
With thanks to Michael Phelps, I have ten good reasons to believe drug law reform will ‘take’ this year. Here is why.
Today, noted San Francisco Chronicle commentator Debra Saunders weighs in on the issue, reminding readers that the DEA’s raids are precisely the sort of things that President Obama — when he was a candidate — pledged to end.
My latest essay, published today on the Alternet.org website, expands upon some of the themes touched upon by NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre yesterday, as well as many of the ideas I previously articulated on The Hill.com — primarily the notion that marijuana law reform should be viewed on Capitol Hill as a political opportunity, not as a political liability.
Unfortunately, it does not yet appear that either President Obama or the new Democrat-led Congress has gotten the message.