ONDCP: Obama Appoints Edward Jurith Acting Drug Czar

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On his first day in office, President Obama named Edward Jurith, a long-time federal anti-drug bureaucrat, acting head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office). It's not Jurith's first time in the caretaker position; he was appointed acting director by President Clinton in January 2001 and served there until President Bush replaced him with John Walters in December 2001.

Ed Jurith
According to his official biography, Jurith has served as ONDCP general counsel since 1994. That position's duties included acting as legal advisor to the director and ONDCP staff and ensuring the agency complied with all federal laws and regulations. Jurith also advised ONDCP on the operations of the much criticized National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, the Drug-Free Communities program (already more prominently displayed on the ONDCP web site), and the Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC).

Jurith served as counsel to the US House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control from 1981 to 1986 and as the committee's staff director from 1987 until he moved to ONDCP as the agency's legislative liaison in 1993. Jurith was "instrumental" in drafting the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988, which provide the current statutory framework for US anti-drug policy.

Jurith's appointment as acting drug czar ends the short-lived tenure of Patrick Ward, who was promoted from acting deputy drug czar to acting drug czar by President Bush earlier this month. While Jurith is no friend of drug reform, he is an attorney, not an interdiction advocate like Ward, an Air Force veteran who worked on "countering the nexus between illegal drugs and terrorism" in places like Mexico, the Andean region, and Afghanistan.

Obama's selection of a veteran drug war bureaucrat and key actor in crafting the laws that got us into drug war without end to be acting head of ONDCP suggests that when it comes to drug policy, for now, at least, it's stay the course, not change we can believe in. But Jurith is only acting director; whether Obama will take a bold step in appointing a permanent new drug czar, or when, remains to be seen.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

This is what you get for voting for Obama!

Next time vote Libertarian!

Norman Lepoff, M.D. retired




Libertarians are wrong on almost everything else...Only the federal government is powerful enough to regulate Big Corporations.

Wrong again.

The Libertarians are right about virtually everything else too: from abolishing the federal reserve, staying out of imperialist wars, removing oppressive taxation, championing civil liberties, to recognizing (which the "but..." poster apparently can not) that government "regulation" is almost always a scam.

The regulatory agencies are filled with people from the agencies they supposedly regulate. That coupled with "campaign contributions"/bribes to the Democrats and Republicans that control the political strings guarantees that Big Corporations regulate the government and not the other way around.

The only viable solution for the struggles of a piece of the government pie is to get rid of the pie! Or at the very least shrink it to very very small torte.

Yes we should vote Libertarian!

they made a mountain out of a hemphill...

causing trouble wherere' they go; medical marijuan should be a usable drug catargorized by the FDA as an herbal med.

to arrest people for using herbal medicine is "inexcusable !

what they should do is appoint a joint study team composed of Doctors and Scientists

not lawyers and politicians !

to study the medicinal benefits of medical marijuna;

the drug czar should be abolished as czars are appointed and democracies do not allow non voted appointments

the drug czar is man made entitly that mocks democracy; A.

cannabis first

Try for a minute to think about what madness we just came out of. We have seen a virtual rightwing coup de tat in our government in the last eight years. We could very nearly have lost what little remained of our democracy forever! If the republicans hadn't gone completely off their rocker with the McCain and the retarded bimbo from Alaska things could have gotten very ugly indeed.
Obanma can't make any mistakes at this critical time. The key to our success in this movement is to be stealthy and smart. Any overt moves that would give the rightwing amunition could devastate the any progressive accomplishments. What we should be focussing on is the only thing that matters to republicans; "money". We must focus on the enormous cost in taxpayer dollars the drug war is squandering. The republicans don't give a dam about anything elese no matter what they say. Keep in mind evry dollar spent on self medication is a dollar that doesn't go to big pharma. That's like picking a street fight with Mike Tyson. Big pharma is by far the most profitable business and most powerful lobbying group out there. Despite impositon of new ethics rules they still can do alot of damage to progressive candidates in the mid terms.
The best bet is to quietly cut the legs out from nder the DEA, and the ONDCP by defunding them. Behind the seens legislation and executive orders that incrementaly defund anti drug programs are the key. Shift the money to where it should be anti terror and anti violence and rehabilitation. We need to hamer home the idea that high prices for illicit drugs only strengthen drug syndicates and terrorist networks. Take away the profit and take away their power. The taliban is funding all their operations from opium production. Take away the profit and take their power.
The most important effort for us to focus on is medical cannabis. By apealling to Christians' sense of justice and compassion for the seriously ill we can eek out some victories. The information about the effectiveness of cannabis in treating diseases is simply not getting to the people who need to understand it. We need to apeal directly to Christians and breakthrough the rightwing propganda shield that holds them in the tight grip of brainwash.
If you think that Obama should risk destroying his momentum and political capital at a time of economic catastrophe. I say grow up. I want this as bad as you do.
It's like George C Scott says in Patton. "No son of a bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. You make the other son of a bitch die for his country shoot him in the belly" Don't attack the best possibillity of progress we've had in a generation. While reformers represent a huge voting block in this country we are at best a slim majority. We have to be stealthy.

Your trust in Obama

is very naive. He's just another sold out whore like damn near every other federal politician, but he has realized he cannot ignore the huge show of support drug legalization got on his own website, so this time he actually included it among the top ten ideas (opened up again today). We may be able to pressure him until we get our way, but I firmly believe he had no intention, initially, to do ANYTHING about prohibition 2.0, as it is obvious (by his appointments) that he is following the same Big Government/authoritarian blueprint that Bush and Clinton and Bush (and back even further in the presidential line) have been following.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Whatever happened to looking

Whatever happened to looking at a man/women character before opening up an assanine opinions? Has this country decided to turn stupid. In my 50 years I have seen so many stupid opinions without anyone one ever looking into what the hell they just voted for, and the consequences. Talk about brain washing, the government says "get out and Voting it's your right" So Dummer goes out votes...duh... for what? His rights? I am a Christian who believes everything in the Bible is true and fact, have been in business for 20 years industrial sales ( for the liberal who reads this and thinks I'm selling Bibles) and have been very successful in industrial sales/Service with the exceptions of the last year. I'm married to the same man for 30 years and like to smoke pot and have been since I was 15 years old. I pay more taxes than the average American, know professionals MD, PHD, from many professions all who all smoke pot and all are successful, we all agree to one thing. Obama is the greatest salesman on this earth. He tell the American people what they want to hear. Anyone with a half a brain could see this...except for the millions who have numb brains if any at all, like Hollywood.. hey guys it's pretend remember and the idiots who follow. Or the hard nose stiff neck Democrats who can't see the forst before the forest, and My favorite he's Black. Oh excuse me.. African American? I believe Obama asked us not to call him that... Do we call him an American? Its crazy when that news popped into the campaign..all of a sudden we were on Palin dresses and what she was wearing... Freaking crazy...

All I have to say is...being diversity makes a more interesting person. Did anyone care to see during the elections, how the state of IL. did not vote for there own governor...Hello is anyone out there?.... doesn’t that say something....You voted for him, now we have to live with the stupid people decision. One more thing...our President is not dictator the buck does not stop with him... Please.. when its time to vote again for our governors, just vote for the other guy. I don't care if your grandma as governor, she has been poisoned by the corrupt system call government

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