Romley Mum on Drug Czar Job

Romley Mum on Drug Czar Job
Posted by FoM on February 23, 2001 at 09:27:32 PT
By Mike McCloy, The Arizona Republic
Source: Arizona Republic
Optimistic but short-spoken, Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley returns today from a Washington interview with President Bush's staff for possible appointment as U.S. drug czar."I'm being considered," Romley said by telephone Thursday."I spoke about my thoughts on drug policy and what should be done from a national perspective."
Asked for details, Romley said, "That's between myself and the White House right now."A major prosecutor of methamphetamine lab operators, Romley also has been a pioneer in diverting first-time non-violent drug users from criminal trial, if they undergo court-supervised treatment.Bush is expected to name a replacement soon for Barry McCaffrey, who resigned in January as head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.Among other contenders: former Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., who managed the impeachment of President Clinton; Florida drug policy coordinator James McDonough, a top aide to McCaffrey; and Boise, Idaho, Mayor Brent Coles, president of the National Conference of Mayors.McCollum, who lost a U.S. Senate bid in November, told reporters last month that he wants the position."I'm interested in it because I really care about the subject," he said.The drug czar coordinates a $19 billion international effort against drug abuse and trafficking.Among hurdles for Romley are Arizona's medical-marijuana initiatives of 1996 and 1998 that reduced penalties for simple drug possession and would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana except for federal sanctions.Romley and other prosecutors were unable to mount an effective campaign against the initiative in 1996 but did head off another ballot proposal last year that would have set up a medical-marijuana distribution system in Arizona.Medical marijuana has been a target of Betty Sembler, founder and president of Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.), and a Romley supporter.Sembler has Bush's ear as the wife of former U. N. Ambassador Mel Sembler of Florida, a major Republican Party financier.Another issue for Romley might be a mortgage that provided a combined $800 monthly to him and his sister from the 902 Bar in downtown Phoenix. Police investigated and the Guardian Angels anti-crime activist group protested parking-lot drug deals at the bar before Romley relinquished his inherited interest in 1990.When he ran in 1988 for the first of his four terms as county attorney, Romley also disclosed using marijuana a couple of times as a teenager in the 1960s.Reach the reporter at: mike.mccloy Gannett News Service reporter Sergio Bustos contributed to this report.Source: Arizona Republic (AZ) Author: Mike McCloy, The Arizona RepublicPublished: February 23, 2001Address: 200 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004 Copyright: 2001 The Arizona Republic Contact:  opinions Website: Related Articles:Administration Has No Drug Czar Romley Being Considered for U.S. Drug Czar Articles - Rick Romley 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 23, 2001 at 13:51:04 PT
How Much Money Does The Drug Czar Receive?
Anyone know?
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Comment #2 posted by Rainbow on February 23, 2001 at 13:43:20 PT
The candidates
I am concerned becuase none of the candidates have a sense for the problem and good solutions.They all seem to be chomping at the bit to get those drug users and put them in jail.Wouldn't it be nice if they put a truly compassionate and intelligent person in the spot?I think it would be a shame for McCollum to get it. That would make at least 2 people who have been voted out by their constitents in powerful positions in DC. Oh Well we might have troubles.Rainbow
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on February 23, 2001 at 12:12:57 PT:
Oh, Really Sir? Well, Then---- 
"When he ran in 1988 for the first of his four terms as county attorney, Romley also disclosed using marijuana a couple of times as a teenager in the 1960s.I would like to be there at his first press conference in Washington after he lands the job. I would remind him of the above, and ask, "Sir, given your past youthful employment of cannabis, do you feel that you would have benefited from jail time?" He cannot answer "yes." Should he answer "no," I would fire back, "Then when should we expect you to promote legislation removing criminal penalties attached to personal use of cannabis."However, what is most likely is for him play politician, hesitate a moment and change the subject. If minions of people who feel as we do confront public officials consistently and inexorably in this fashion, some will have to respond.
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