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Obama's Drug Czar Says Marijuana Is Dangerous and Isn't Medicine

For the first time since taking office, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has worked up the nerve to make a definitive statement about why he thinks marijuana is bad:

The nation's drug czar, who viewed a foothill marijuana farm on U.S. Forest Service land with state and local officials earlier Wednesday, said the federal government will not support legalizing marijuana.

"Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit," Kerlikowske said in downtown Fresno while discussing Operation SOS -- Save Our Sierra -- a multiagency effort to eradicate marijuana in eastern Fresno County. [Fresno Bee]

After having declined for months to actually engage the marijuana debate, it looks like someone finally sat Kerlikowske down and explained that if he's serious about being drug czar, he's gotta start lying and trying to scare people. And as you can see, he sucks at that.

Still, his statement that marijuana has no medical value is surprising, not only because it's just false, but also because he serves at the pleasure of a president who has ordered an end to federal interference with state medical marijuana laws. There's a conflict here that's difficult to reconcile and I hope the press will push the administration for some clarification as to whether the president stands by this statement. It's not the position Obama's taken previously, nor does the current political climate look favorably upon this sort of antiquated anti-pot propaganda.

I shudder to think where Kerlikowske is going with this, but regardless of his present agenda, he should be cautioned against adopting the rhetoric of his widely discredited predecessor. Unfortunately, until the drug czar's office is no longer mandated by law to oppose legalization in any form, we can expect more of this nonsense from anyone who bears the drug czar title. In the meantime, I agree with Pete Guither that this guy is a riot.
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I wonder why the DQA doesn't apply to Curly.
It would be cool if his human side takes over and he has a Michael Douglas "Traffic" episode.


"marijuana has no medicinal benefit"? Can he possibly believe this? He should get sent copies of testimonies from thousands of MMJ patients for whom it is an undiluted blessing, restoring them to a decent life, or saving their life, or at least making pain from their terminal illness bearable. I thought he was halfway reasonable. Not to mention aware of public opinion. This may have ominous implications for what the feds will do if a state decides to relegalize cannabis.

Wow! My comment got erased!

Wow! My comment got erased!

All I said was “You Americans should be demanding good old Gil Kerlikowske’s resignation”. I mean if he’s this miss informed about MMJ, he really has no business bean the “Drug Czar”.

borden's picture

could have been an accident...

We've been making a determined anti-comment-spam effort the past week, and it's possible your comment got deleted by accident. Please accept my apology if so, and feel free to repost it.

Within one or two months from now we should have some spam-fighting technology installed, which by reducing the amount of it should also reduce the likelihood of such mistakes being made.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

Out goes science and common

Out goes science and common sense. In comes politics and moralistic fear mongering. The reason he kept so quiet about it was because they were busy gearing the propaganda machine. Expect marijuana to cause leprosy soon.

Kerlikowske Sports His New Tin-Foil Hat

Gil Kerlikowske should be more complete in his statements about marijuana.  Instead of saying marijuana is ‘dangerous and has no medicinal benefit’, he should clarify by saying ‘marijuana is dangerous to Big Pharma profits, and it has no medicinal profit potential for the pharmaceutical industry’.  The latter statement is one that everyone could believe.  And it’s also a statement that would kill the ONDCP’s standard argument against cannabis.  So we get a redacted comment instead of the truth.

Drug czar is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit:

A drug czar is not even supposed to exist in America. Whats with these unconstitutional implants being able to make fraud into laws. Cannabis has complete medicinal benefit. The drug czar has none. All stolen cannabis/hemp jobs will be returned to the people! Peace,love,and become sustainable, be organic.

Czar must be the smartest and most informed man in the world!

"Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit," Kerlikowske said in downtown Fresno while discussing Operation SOS -- Save Our Sierra -- a multiagency effort to eradicate marijuana in eastern Fresno County."

As if this drug czar guy took his ONDCP job and suddenly became privy to secret, yet conclusive evidence that pot is this monster he claims. Show us the research drug czar! It seems the private sector has found cannabis to be both safe and a medicine. In fact there is real science backing this up with doctors.

So someone please tell me how a policeman is qualified to make such a conclusive statement? Shouldn't we be hearing from scientists? How dare he treat the country like he is daddy ("Cause daddy says so... so shut up and be quiet")?

And how can a government agency, a military not science based, treat the topic of legalization as if it is they know way more than all the people who smoke; and ignore all the positive science studies that show cannabis to be a medicine for many ailments? This drug czar guys, "not in my vocabulary," remark suggest that his agency feels that the mere topic is not worthy of debate. (Or more to the point, he is afraid as hell of a real and honest debate.) How else can you explain how the drug czar is trying to hide the whole marijuana legalization effort or debate by throwing out the dictionary?

Run from the cure; Rick Simpson on youtube:

Also 6 natural cures for cancer. Cannabis is proven entheogenic healing herb.

What Was That About Bush's Drug Czar Again?

The Drug Commissar is paid to lie. It doesn't matter. R or D administration.

And who pushed for the office?

The 'drug czar' title was first published in a 1982 news story quoting Joe Biden by United Press International which reported that “Senators... voted 62-34 to establish a ‘drug czar’ who would have overall responsibility for U.S. drug policy.

What about AIDS?

I have friends who would not be alive today if not for medical marijuana. AIDS is a wasting disease. My friends have no regular appetite and don't eat enough. Marijuana stimulates appetite, so they eat right and enough to stay healthy.

Where is this "Democrat" czar getting his information?

Gil Kerlikowske

As a native Oregonian, I have seen this before. In many cases, when politicians and bureaucrats from the Pacific Northwest are appointed to national office they have no idea what they are getting into. They don't understand the politics that underlie their position. They often go to Washington with the best of intentions, but are completely overwhelmed when they get there. I'll give Kerlikowske the benefit of the doubt that he simply didn't understand that the powers and public image of his office were pre-defined by partisan politics, and that his only job was to spout the party line--this is "Change We Can Believe In"???. Now, he has the option of either knuckling under, or standing up for humanity and resigning. Is anyone taking bets?

Drug czar?

This is supposed to be America not Russia. Peace all.

maybe Biden got to him?

I was hoping Biden had sobered up at least on the subject of medicinal marijuana.

Is the Data Quality Control Act lawsuit still happening?

How do you change the part of the Reauthorization Act that mandates the Drug Czar must lie about the medical efficacy of marijuana (must oppose all marijuana legalization, including medical)?

I really don't know the answer and I am genuinely asking if there are any attys or other people who really know what the process is to get this part wiped off the books; because Gil Whatever, the Drug Czar Man, shouldn't be having to perpetuate lies and deliberately obscure medical truth.

And what about the Data Quality Control Act, which is supposed to ensure that federal agencies use and disseminate accurate information? So far, the only slop I've heard from the ONDCP regarding medical cannabis has been primitive disinformation; but the MSMedia always gives them a mouthpiece for their lies...

The DQA requires federal agencies "to issue information quality guidelines ensuring the quality, utility, objectivity and integrity of information that they disseminate and provide mechanisms for affected persons to correct such information."

Maybe Obama or someone with a heart and a mind will realize that we shouldn't be paying people large amounts of money to obscure medical fact and realize the part of the Reauthorization Act Scott referred to is in positive conflict with medical fact and the DQA, which celebrates facts and Science, not propaganda.

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