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Trump Should Abolish the Drug Czar’s Office

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director April 14, 2017

    Trump_signing_Executive_Order_13780
    The Trump Administration is widely expected to pick Representative Tom Marino for Drug Czar.

    Representative Marino is a longtime, rabid drug warrior who has a consistent record of voting against marijuana law reform legislation — a position that runs counter to that of the majority of voters and his own constituents. His appointment to this office highlights the fact that this administration remains committed to the failed 1980s ‘war on drugs’ playbook.

    The Trump administration promised to eliminate bureaucratic waste. It should start by eliminating the office of the Drug Czar.

    The White House Drug Czar is required, by statute, “to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance that is listed in Schedule I” and to “ensure that no Federal funds … shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in Schedule I.” This narrow-minded, Flat Earth mentality refuses to acknowledge the reality that the majority of the country is now authorized to engage in the use of medical cannabis and it mandates that US drug policy be dictated by rhetoric and ideology rather than by science and evidence.

    NORML opposes Marino’s appointment to the position of Drug Czar and we further call for this anti-science agency to be abolished entirely.

    Click here to send a message to President Trump – End the charade of the Drug Czar by abolishing the position.

    The Drug Czar’s office is a remnant of a bygone era when US drug policy was framed as a ‘war’ fueled largely by rhetoric and ideology. In 2017 we can do better and we must. The majority of Americans view drug abuse as a public health issue, they favor regulating cannabis as opposed to criminalizing it, and they are demanding policy changes based on facts.

    Tell President Trump: There is no place for ‘Czars’ in today’s American government, particularly those like Marino who still cling to outdated and failed drug war policies that embody misplaced ideologies of the past.

    17 Responses to “Trump Should Abolish the Drug Czar’s Office”

    1. mexweed says:

      1916: bygone war era when a “Czar”‘s policy was fueled by rasputinoid rhetoric and ideology, we know how that ended.
      .
      Concerning name rhetoric– ask also of Drug Enforcement Administration just what Drugs they are mandated to enforce– Insys neo-opiates? Hot-burning overdose nicotine monoxide?

    2. Julian says:

      Most people I speak with about marijuana legalization, even activists, are still unaware that the Drug Czar of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 is required by law to use our tax dollars to deny the medical efficacy of marijuana. When we tell powerful people that it gets them active to reform marijuana law and contact their Congre$$man.

      So here’s a solution: we want Trump’s attention to abolish the ONDCP? All he does is watch TV and tweet shit at 2am. Just call Loren Michaels over at SNL and have Alec Baldwin do a skit with someone playing Dan Marino telling Trump, “No Mr. President; you cant legalize medical marijuana because it has no medical value because I said so by the Congressional authority of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.” Then show Baldwin as Trump screw up his face, pout, then get distracted by a red button, say “whats this?” and he blows up Finland and Australia.

    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      @ Trump supporters,
      Can we PLEASE now cut the crap that Trump is supportive of legal marijuana? Now you’re just lying like Trump does. So fuck you!

    4. jimmy says:

      I have long visited the NORML website and contributed in discussions over topics that I am able to view in email newsletters.

      This topic really caught my attention.

      The idea that there is an office in the US government, established AS IF it were Constitutionally mandated, but is nevertheless illegitimate, is actually commonplace.

      Considering the essentially limitless and unchallenged power held by the two dozen or so agencies that make up the federal drug war bureacracy, the title of “Czar” which derives from the Latin “Caesar” is appropriate. The meaning comes from the usage of “despot” or “dictator.”

      Bureacracy snow-balling, for example, the agencies controlling the “war on drugs,” could have only been allowed for by the lack of foresight by the founding fathers to prevent simple “acts” of Congress to basically subvert the rights afforded by actual “amendments.”

      The Tax Stamp Act was ruled unconstitutional and unenforceable by the Supreme Court, about the same time the Controlled Substances Act came into effect. From 1937 until 1970, people were expected to disclose the amount of cannabis they had in possession or would attempt to grow, in order to get a stamp. It took decades to realize that simply trying to acquire a tax stamp, in order to comply with the law, was itself an act of self-incrimination. Today, the stupidity of the Tax Stamp Act is obvious, but the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 is a bit more elusive.

      Despite a general consensus around the world that drug war is first ineffective, and second is gigantic waste of money that continues for no good reason. The drug war causes more problems than it would ever solve–if “solving problems” were the actual reason that it persists. Just like alcohol prohibition, some so-called good intentions do more harm than good, do nothing to change demand, waste exorbitant amounts of money when the annual budget cannot cover the interest alone on the national debt.

    5. jimmy says:

      Another bureaucracy, also started by an act of Congress, has as much power if not more, as any of the three branches of government, arguably more power.

      The Federal Reserve is the 4th central bank of the United States. The passage of the Federal Reserve act created the Fed, whose primary purpose for existence was (is) to:

      1) create an unused surplus or reserve of value (gold) to be used during times of financial crisis

      2) guarantee 100% employment

      Arguably, the Fed does neither of these things. Any person on the street could tell you that. In fact, the Fed testified before Congress that “the reserve” is unaccounted for and no one can explain where it went. No one can enter Fort Knox, period, not Senators, perhaps not even the President if he so desired.

      The Fed appears in the White Pages business section, not the blue government section of the phone book. They are not a part of the Treasury, as most people assume, they are not govermentment.

      Yet they have never been audited, even after the admission that there “is no reserve,” their primary mission.

      And the chair, even if he’s an anti-regulatory, neo-classical trickle-down economics (mind-numbingly stupid) sort of over-inflated ego, he can serve for life.

    6. jimmy says:

      The President himself, in two terms, cannot change the makeup of the board of governors. The President of the US is not the most powerful person in the “free world” if he has no say against a banking cartel that people assume is legitimate. People rarely know about the War of 1812, fewer people know that it was fought against Britain to prevent the rechartering of another central bank. Jefferson eliminated the first one. Jackson eliminated the second one. Wilson however, signed the Federal Reserve Act, out of stupidity as he claimed, but is doubtful.

      That institution determines our interest rates, and controls the contraction and expansion of money, essentially creating inflation and deflation at whim. They control everything. Everything. They originated from a single stupid act of Congress that handed over the power of government to anonymous people who may not even be citizens. They are not a “shadow” government, they are simply the most powerful branch of government, by an inane Act of Congress.

    7. jimmy says:

      The fourth branch of government is the Fed.

      The fifth branch of government is drug war derived: NIDA, DEA, ODCP….another monstrous bureaucracy created by a simple act.

      This appointment to Drug Czar is unlike the opposition to the nomination of Jeff Sessions to Attorney General. His views have tended toward the radical extremist side. He made inane statements under oath, that “no good people smoke marijuana,” an example demonstrating how closed-minded and inflammatory those types of generalizations tend to be, as well as the people who casually make fallacious and hasty generalizations without second-thought.

      There will never be a legitimate Drug Czar, because the office itself is illegitimate. So the particular individual selected is irrelevant. No matter who is it is, the job description itself demonstrates the intent of the CSA of 1970. Parasitic factions can develop within government that the three branches then leave alone, seemingly never question, even at the greatest expense.

      Considering what a disastrous moneysink of a failure it has been, and all the senseless death and organized crime that it has created, it’s not too late to end the madness. Transfer people to different govt positions.

    8. jimmy says:

      The scheduling of cannabis into the worst category is transparent corruption. The psychoactive compounds in the plant are some of the most non-toxic, if not the most non-toxic substances known to humans. Consider that there has not been a single documented case in the medical literature of a person dying from Cannabis “overdose.”

      Cannabis used to be given to soothe teething and restless babies.

      Regardless of arbitrary designations of “illegality,” it’s not a crime.

      What is more criminal is maintaining the scheduling designation of Cannabis into the worst category, i.e., has the worst prison sentences.

      It doesn’t matter who fills the seat, it’s a figurehead job that seems to represent the huge bureacracy that has gotten out of control to the point where dissolution of ineffective, useless (useless to the citizenry but not special interests), is too “difficult.”

      The plain and simple fact that there has never been offered, a truly good or valid reason why Cannabis is still scheduled as it is, only fallacious arguments that are rhetorical in nature or “because we think so” pat answers.

      There is an epidemic of fatal overdoses from “legal” pharma painkillers (schedule III or IV?), about one death every 39 seconds. Tylenol, sold OTC, kills hundreds and hopitalizes thousands every year.

      The inconsistencies in policy are just too difficult to believe at times. The inability to learn from past mistakes is even more absurd. It’s as if certain people learned the cause-effect relationship between prohibition and social strife and tried to re-create it, sadly.

      The drug war is not about safety or concern, period. It is transparent corruption.

      • Miles says:

        Well written Jimmy!!!

        The way our Government has treated cannabis is about as Un-American as anything I can imagine! The people responsible are disgusting parasites that should be eliminated.

        That’s my opinion and it’s why I am an advocate of legalization for adults. Anything else is an insult to those of us that cling to the ideal of “The Land of the Free” and “The Will of the People”.

        The Feds are not my parents and I am not their child!!!

      • Julian says:

        Thank you Jimmy;
        Your posts over the Federal Reserve might seem off topic to some, but the Congressionally initiated illusion and trickery of a false government bureocracy to the ONDCP has its allusional merits.
        And you make an outstanding, valid point that the architects of these treasonous “Acts” like the CSAct or the FRAct may not even be US Citizens. You describe an economic war built on ownership of Central Banks. To that I would add that most people dont know the War of 1812 was also largely based on Brittain maintaining their trade routes of hemp with Russia which was a crucial supply to maintain naval superiority for western nations at that time. The US had to grow our own hemp, and we did. How ironic that as prohibitionist cartels looked to the mariuana Stamp Act of 1937 to replace lost profits from alcohol prohibition and as the beurocracy of the Bureau of Narcotics began with racist rhetoric against Mexicans by Harry Anslinger, most small farmers had no idea they were outlawing the hemp that sustained their farms.
        Questions: Doesnt Congress (we) have to clean this mess up and abolish the ONDCP?
        If any President abolishes this treasonous bureocracy, wouldnt Congress bring it back or wouldnt it end up in Federal Court where “Congress doesn’t have to be right?”

    9. TheOracle says:

      Like I said in an earlier post, Marino, if you’re going to move to DC and be another asshole prohibitionist drug czar continuing the witch hunt on the cannabis community don’t bother coming back to Pennsylvania because we’re better off without you. Pennsylvania has medical marijuana, and the law is about as shitty as they get thanks to Republican prohibitionists like you. Nevertheless, that in and of itself requires you to remove it from the CSA Schedule I, so just remove it altogether and let the states decide if they want to keep it in their respective prohibitive state schedules or just legalize like Colorado et al.

    10. Too bad says:

      We got president George Dubya Trump.

      A guy who became what he preached so much about Obama : promises of hope and change, then he lies, and delivers the opposite.

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