Update: Drug Czar Visits Seattle Times

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director March 6, 2011

    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 responses to “Update: Drug Czar Visits Seattle Times”

    1. c says:

      Lmfao. I can’t believe he said the drug war was over two years ago.

    2. LG says:

      ‘I’m not going to make a hierarchy or differentiate between different substances.’


    3. Sam says:

      What a tool. “Why would we want one more mind-altering drug?” Umm, HELLO?! Xanex, Percocet, Klonopin, Ridalin or any other pharmaceutical crap they readily shove down your throat. There’s little done to stop the increased use of junk, prescription drugs. Oh and for the record, I’ve lost 13 friends to drunk driving, not ONE to marijuana. Get the old folks out of office already. “We certainly ended the drug war.” Lol, yea…ok. Last time I checked there’s still MASSIVE violence in Mexico just to gain control of the marijuana supply. Spend your time getting rid of the drugs that kill.

    4. JJ says:

      So the drug war is over? Woo-hoo! I’m going to go out and spark a fatty on Main Street to celebrate the end of Draconian law…oh wait, you mean I would get arrested for that? But I thought the war on drugs was over?

    5. Kevin Trusky says:

      Who wants to bet he has a drink with friends tonight. Booo, hypocrite. There is always going to be people that abuse things. Just as the interviewer said. He has prescription drugs in his medicine cabinet. His family doesn’t steal and abuse them. Well than it looks like he raised his children correctly. The government can not save the world. And they definitely do not know what is best for everybody. It’s time that they figured that out. There are people that abuse food and die from it. Should we outlaw that to?

    6. James says:

      v 1.0

      Oh Cannabis, How I love thee
      warmth and happiness you have given me
      Thy perfume is always so sublime
      be it scented of pine, or lemon lime
      with hints of orange or flowery musk
      be with me from sunrise to dusk

      Oh Mary Jane, such beauty I have never seen
      your red hair mixed with luminescent green
      all in a blanket of sparkly THC crystal
      makes humanity sing and whistle

      Oh Marijuana, you are so compatible
      with my mind body and soul
      on this same planet you and me
      together placed were we
      is no mistake
      it is a gift
      for humanity to lift.

    7. JB says:

      I am still not exactly clear on what transpired. The article jumps around and around as to what the visit was about. It is not written very clearly. All I know is that he showed up, they gave a transcript of a few questions and replies and that’s it? Surely, he didn’t fly all the way there for a 10 minute Q&A?

    8. This is not my America says:

      BULLSHIT ! Hey Gil, have you noticed the lines on your face getting deeper? Thats what strees has done ,stress that you have realized you life is a lie.

      Heres some facts. You havent ended the drug war, you stopped calling it a drug war.

      The health and social costs of cannabis or any other drug is already here, legalization wont be adding anything.

      You say your not trying to arrest your way out of this war, yet, your still arresting just as many (if not more) as you always have.

      Legalization will, in large part, end the DEA’s roll on the border there by reducing costs.

      These are w few of the lies I chose to address. I will just say the rest of your lies are just as easy to to correct and will not waste my time.

      Education does not always mean intellegence Gil,I have a feeling your very educated…get a clue…your supporting a lie.

      It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
      Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Notes on Virginia

      We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
      Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816

      Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.
      Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    9. Mike says:

      Kerlikowske, your ignorance and bias is BLINDING!! You’re the Peter Principle on steroids. As a 63 year old American, I weep for the freedoms we brag about but do not have, held from us by all you boot licking authoritarians.

    10. Patricia says:

      Damn – sure has a lot of frowns on his face – so sad looking – he needs a good hit on a Fatty.

      Sure we test positive – for at least 30 days – DUH!!! – Mr Drug Czar. He keeps my frown marks down – he makes me laugh.