Administration Has No Drug Czar

  Administration Has No Drug Czar

Posted by FoM on February 22, 2001 at 13:06:56 PT
By Frank Davies, Knight Ridder Newspapers 
Source: Seattle Times 

The Bush administration has not yet named a new czar to lead the nation's war on drugs, prompting lobbying by Republican leaders, conservative groups and issue activists worried that delay could weaken the long struggle. But the new administration is divided on how the drug war should be fought: In January, President Bush told CNN he questioned some sentences, favored more resources for drug treatment, wanted to end the disparity in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine, and opposed police racial profiling in drug stops. 
"A lot of people are coming to the realization that long minimum sentences for first-time users may not be the best way to occupy jail space or heal people from their disease," he said. "And I'm willing to look at that." Attorney General John Ashcroft said "reinvigorating the drug war" was one of his priorities. He strongly supports lengthy mandatory sentences for users. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the drug problem is "overwhelmingly a demand problem" and questioned the need for more military involvement in cutting off supply. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, as Wisconsin governor, backed some needle-exchange programs to prevent the spread of disease among addicts - a move strongly opposed by Ashcroft.With control of the White House and Congress for the first time in half a century, many Republicans see a chance to shape drug policy. "It's time to use the bully pulpit again and re-engage the public debate on these issues," said William Bennett, the first czar in 1989. "I've heard a lot about tax cuts (from the administration) but not drug policy," said Robert Maginnis, a vice president of the conservative Family Research Council and one of several people being considered. "I'm concerned because every day that's lost will have an impact on a few more kids." A top official said Bush "is paying full attention" to filling the job and will have an answer soon. Complete Title: Administration Has No Drug Czar, No Consensus Yet on Drug Policy Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Frank Davies, Knight Ridder NewspapersPublished: Thursday, February 22, 2001Copyright: 2001 The Seattle Times CompanyAddress: P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111Fax: (206) 382-6760Contact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Articles:Activist Suggests Johnson for Drug Czar Right Stuff - Arianna Huffington

Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on February 23, 2001 at 11:27:28 PT:
I'm not going to hold my breath on that one
JRBD, unless Georgie Too has replaced all the brain cells he lost while swilling ethanol, we can almost certainly expect to get a Bennett clone. The temptation is just too great. The cheerleaders of the Rah-Rah-Religious Right will not be satisfied with their 21st Century reincarnation of Savanarola, Ashcroft, at the helm of the (in)Justice Department. They want even more 'influence'. They want another spotlight to demonstrate their self-proclaimed moral superiority in a Satan-blighted world. What better place that the DrugCzar's office?But whoever gets it, will be inheriting a ticking time-bomb. McC got out because the OMB is right behind him about that little biz of his advertizing exec types overcharging Uncle for the work they did in concocting the latest round of intelligence insulting propaganda aimed at kids. The movie Traffic has people asking questions that no DrugCzar has had to answer in 20 years. People are waking up, and wondering what's been going on behind their backs. Why we've spent anywhere from (depending upon who's figures you use) 200 to 500 Billion-with-a-b dollars and have nothing to show for it but prisons bursting at the seams and cheaper, purer, and more addictive scheisse flowing into the US than ever before.The next DrugCzar will be the recipient of fallout from all the bad policy decisions that have been made over the last 4 Administrations.I'd rather it be an anti who is forced to resign in disgrace for what has happened even though it would probably not be his fault than one of our own being installed and then taking the fall.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on February 23, 2001 at 10:28:45 PT
Gary Johnson for drug czar!!! Please!!!!!
  It's weird, but the past month and a half, the closest thing we've had to a drug czar is Robert Wakefield, Michael Douglas' character in Traffic. Coming out as it did right at the same time BMcC left office was a stroke of luck or genius, I'm not sure which...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on February 23, 2001 at 09:42:33 PT
Minefield, indeed.
Consider: more studies are being made as to the beneficial aspects of cannabis for serious diseases. If just one of those studies officially contradicts the 'party line' - and receives widespread exposure in the media - it will be a wedge to crack apart the entire DrugWar edifice, which has so many cracks in it already, the whole rotten thing could come apart explosively.Consider: the popular media has 'discovered' what we have already have known for decades; that the DrugWar is a hopeless botch that has never accomplished any of it's goals...and never will. First, last year, we had the lighthearted comedy Saving Grace which put a much needed human face on the cannabis issue. (And it didn't hurt to show antis as the stonehearted meanies they are in real life, either.) Next, we had the incredibly fortuitous (?) PBS and History Channel programs, airing at exactly the same time and calling attention to the absolutely shocking failure of the DrugWar...often in the words of retired DrugWarriors, themselves. Then this year, the bombshell movie Traffic has people walking out of the theaters asking questions antis really hate to hear. I predict here that we will soon see more such movies, and their impact will become even greater as more of the public begins to change their attitude, from apathy, to concern, to outrage. For example, how about a movie showing from top to bottom how the grandiose - and Quixotic - drug war policies and their promulgators caused the death of innocent little Alberto Sepulveda? Even the alcohol-sodden brain of Joe Sixpack could pick up on the possibility that next time it could be his kids shot in the back while lying on the floor.Now, consider this: With all that I mentioned above, with the public awareness beginning to rise, with the threat of a public debate that could become viciously acrimonious when the full extant of what has happened over the last 30 years becomes unavoidably evident...would you want to be sitting in that particular hot seat when this political 'satchel charge' that's attached to it finally blows?The DrugCzar position could only be filled with either a political ingenue unaware of his 'sacrificial lamb' status, or a DrugWarrior so mad-dog rabid he makes Bill Bennett look like a milquetoast. Either way, it's a losing proposition - for the antis. Because the way things are going, whoever fills this position may well be the last one to do it, ever.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by dddd on February 22, 2001 at 19:23:36 PT
Tread Lightly
 Indeed,,,,Dubya must now tiptoe through a minefieldof elements on the czar,and drug policy in general.Look at the bizzarre cast of weird people he has to worm his way through.Asscroft,and an array of religious right hardcore,heavyweight,loudmouths,suchas Bennet,Robertson,,etc.....Keep in mind that Ashcroft,,the A.G.,,is a committedmember of this huge,cultesque group.Their influence was a major factor in the scamthat allowed him to be installed in office.....After that,we add the pissed off Democrats,who are owed many favors,due to their silence about the crooked election,Asscroft,etc.(an extremely suspicious silence at that!).And add to this Americans,and us actual patriots,and the growing group of citizens whoare now aware of the diabolical nature of corporate government.....Plus millions of thosewhose views are repressed due to having no voice or access to the corporate owned,government run media. The internet,and forums like this are remarkable.Enjoy it while you can though,thereare people working around the clock to figure out how to own,or control the web. To get back to the czar thing,,Bush is already outdoing Clinton as a hypocrite,and hehas to be careful not to incite a revolution amongst the masses of people who aretired of hiding from the drug gestapolo empire,knowing that Dubya himself once enjoyedcoppin' a buzz.......dddd
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by meagain on February 22, 2001 at 16:07:18 PT
Greaaaaaaaaaat !!
Leave the position empty thats my proposition.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Nicholas Thimmesch on February 22, 2001 at 15:44:29 PT:
"Drug Czar"
To date, the Bush administration has not completed their cabinet level nominations, let alone confirmations: the "Drug Czar" position remains empty. If you have information or nominations, please forward them to Nicholas Thimmesch at normlmedia
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment

Name:       Optional Password: 
Comment:   [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]

Link URL: 
Link Title: