Walters Drug Czar Nomination Approved in Senate Committee Vote 11/9/01

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President Bush's hard-line nominee to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy won approval of his nomination in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. John Walters, a protege of former drug czar William Bennett, saw his nomination approved on a 14-5 vote. The nomination will now go to the full Senate, where it is expected to pass.

The Walters nomination had been strongly criticized by drug reformers and some senators because of Walters' positions on, among other things, racial disparities in the criminal justice system (what racial disparities?), government sponsorship of drug treatment (the liberal nanny state), and mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders (a good thing).

But now, having been approved in committee and likely to win approval from the full Senate, Walters is on the verge of completing the Bush administration's hard-line drug policy troika. He will join Attorney General John Ashcroft and DEA administrator Asa Hutchinson, both of whom have recently and decisively demonstrated their attitude toward a civilized drug policy. Walters should fit in perfectly with this bunch.

The five senators who voted against the Walters nomination are Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Biden (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

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Issue #210, 11/9/01 Proposed Marijuana Penalty Increase at Ohio University Meets Stiff Student Opposition | FDA Approves Study of Ecstasy as Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | School Drug Testing Headed for Supreme Court Again | Walters Drug Czar Nomination Approved in Senate Committee Vote | Ashcroft Sics DEA on Oregon Suicide Doctors | Drug Reformers, Colombia, and the Anti-Terrorism Act | Indonesia Marches Backward on Drug Policy | Election Report: New York City Drug Reformers, Virginia Reams Reeferendum Buried by Anthrax and Terrorist Attacks | Amnesty International Drug War Resolution Passes Northeast Regional Conference, Goes on to National Meeting | Methadone and Cipro: Patients Needing Both Should Consult Physicians About Possible Drug Interaction | Massive Military Presence and Abuses Continue in Bolivia's Chapare Region | Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics Online | Alerts: HEA Drug Provision, Drug Czar Nomination, DEA Hemp Ban, Ecstasy Bill, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana | The Reformer's Calendar
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