CNN Lets Drug Foes Go at It 

CNN Lets Drug Foes Go at It 
Posted by FoM on March 22, 2001 at 12:23:01 PT
By Loie Fecteau, Journal Politics Writer
Source: Albuquerque Journal
Gov. Gary Johnson took on former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey on national television Wednesday, with McCaffrey blasting Johnson for "irresponsible thinking" in pushing drug law reform.  Johnson and McCaffrey sparred over the nation's war on drugs on CNN's Inside Politics program. Johnson was filmed at the Capitol, where he had difficulty hearing some of McCaffrey's statements because of technical problems.
 During an October 1999 visit to Albuquerque, not long after Johnson began his national campaign to change drug laws, McCaffrey had mockingly referred to Johnson as "Puff Daddy Johnson."  McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general, headed the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Clinton administration.  "I was ready for this," Johnson said Wednesday after his bout with McCaffrey on CNN. Johnson then hummed the theme from the movie "Rocky."  McCaffrey told CNN he thinks the country is "moving in the right direction" with its drug policies.  "We're dismayed by the kind of, to be blunt, irresponsible thinking that I'm hearing coming out of Governor Johnson," said McCaffrey.  McCaffrey said drug use in America had decreased by more than half since 1979, a figure Johnson disputed.  Johnson contends the war on drugs is a miserable failure.  "By no figment of the imagination is this something that we're winning," Johnson said on CNN. "This is a war against ourselves. There are 80 million Americans who have done illegal drugs. I happen to be one of them and, but for the grace of God, I'm not behind bars."  Johnson, who calls drug use "a bad choice," has acknowledged smoking marijuana and trying cocaine in his early 20s.  Johnson favors legalizing marijuana and reducing penalties for possessing other drugs. He said money now spent on law enforcement should be redirected to prevention and treatment.  McCaffrey said Congress has "put huge new resources into prevention, education and treatment with bipartisan support."  "People like Senator Pete Domenici and a brilliant young Congresswoman Heather Wilson out in New Mexico have been part of the solution," McCaffrey told CNN.  Domenici, Wilson and Rep. Joe Skeen  the three Republican members of New Mexico's congressional delegation  recently made news regarding the drug war when they called upon John Dendahl to resign as Republican state party chairman after he publicly supported Johnson's drug reform bills during the legislative session.Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)Author: Loie Fecteau, Journal Politics Writer Published: Thursday, March 22, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Albuquerque JournalAddress: P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103Contact: opinion abqjournal.comWebsite: Related Articles:Governor Faces Drug-War Foe on CNN Governor Gary Johnson vs. McCaffrey Czar, 'Puff Daddy Johnson' Square Off Articles - Governor Gary Johnson 
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