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Huge News: Dennis Kucinich To Chair Subcommittee Overseeing ONDCP

It ain't Ethan Nadelmann as Drug Czar, but I'll take it.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich has been named chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee, giving him jurisdiction over the Drug Czar's office. Oversight of ONDCP was previously conducted by the non-defunct Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources Subcommittee, chaired by rabid drug warrior Mark Souder.

In short, the responsibility of overseeing ONDCP has effectively been transferred from Congress' most reckless drug warrior to its most outspoken drug policy reformer.

Kucinich's agenda remains unknown at this point, but it's clear that he sought this particular appointment deliberately. From GovExec.com:

As the [National Security] panel's presumed chairman in the Democratic-led 110th Congress, he had a ready platform to advance his antiwar agenda.

But Kucinich said in a brief interview that he might wield more influence as chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, which will have jurisdiction over all domestic issues and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.


If Drug Czar John Walters is now wondering what's in store for him, he might begin by reading what Kucinich has to say about the war on drugs:

I have studied the issue for decades and recognize that our "War on Drugs" has failed. In fact, because our War on Drugs drives up the price, it encourages violence. Prohibition simply doesn't work. It only creates thousands and thousands of Al Capones. Prison should be for people who hurt other people, not themselves. We don't jail people for merely drinking. We jail people when they drink and drive or hurt another human.


The supporters of the drug war have only one solution to this debacle -- more money for law enforcement, more people, more power, more prisons -- with no end in sight. Of course, these happy drug warriors who justify their living hunting down drug users come on TV and promise us that they see light at the end of the tunnel. They promised us a drug-free America by 1995, and instead we see new and more exotic drugs constantly being added to the mix.


The shredding of our rights to privacy and property promoted by the Drug War is inconsistent with a free society. Criminalization of private or self-destructive behavior is not acceptable in a free nation.

The racism evident in the Drug War, and the clearly preferential treatment for offenders with connections, undermine our concept of a just society. Draconian prison sentences that dwarf those for violent crimes, like murder and rape, destroy respect for our laws.


It is time for an honest dialogue on this issue. Time to stop the documented lies, half-truths, and propaganda that got us into this mess in the first place. It is time to face the facts.


With due caution, I must say this is a great day for reform. That the man who spoke these words could even be considered for such a position is a tremendously positive sign. Dennis Kucinich is on our side. He showed up at an SSDP awards dinner for starters.

Stay tuned. This is going to be interesting to say the least.


Dennis Kucinich with SSDP staff, 2004
Location: 
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Great News

while its not a done deal, this is truly great news.

Although I would rank Ron Paul as Kucinich's equal in opposition to the drug war in congress.

The first thing he could look at is removing provisions like the following from the annual Washington, D.C. appropriations bill.

109th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1446
Making appropriations for the government of the District of Columbia
SEC. 129. (a) None of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative.

(b) The Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998, also known as Initiative 59, approved by the electors of the District of Columbia on November 3, 1998, shall not take effect.

I-59 was passed by some 68% of the electorate of America's national capital. It is nothing less than contempt for our democratic system of government that the federal government continues to impose this rule.

Oops

My mistake. It is a done deal. Wonderful!

An Honest Man at Last

This is what was needed. We have an honest and compassionate man at the helm. Long overdue!!!

different anonymous

And who's in charge of the Justice Department appropriations?

Seems that Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin is in charge of the Appropriations committee; don't know about the subcomittee. Surely someone in D.C. has the list, but it's not on Wikipedia or Google (only 109th), so I'm at an absolute loss.

legalize

cannabis now!

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The Little guy with the Big Pockets

Not only is Kucinich a breath of fresh air.He's got a sense of humor that's rare in a politician.His appearance on The Colbert Report was pretty funny and was a real change from the typical political interview.Colbert can be seen on cable after the strike.

KUCINICH IDIOT

Typical big mouth do nothing democrat that has done abosulutely nothing in this oversight committee.
He has done nothing for one year overseeing ondcp policy!
John walters should in prison right next to Karen Tandy!
Instead the idiot talks about flying saucers.
We need Ron Paul now!

We all have heard of the

We all have heard of the outspoken drug policy reformer. And this is the place that his identity and the [personality is revealed and is studied more. This is really amazing that he is the chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee, powered files

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