• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Some Questions About Obama’s Drug Czar Pick

Today, President Barack Obama officially tapped Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Democrats were quick to hail the pick. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) issued a statement saying the choice “sends a strong message to law enforcement that help is on the way in tackling the drug problem too many are afraid to acknowledge.”

But some advocates argue that the emphasis on law enforcement above public health in addressing the nation’s drug problem is precisely the reason that drug abuse remains pervasive despite a decades-long “war” against it.

Indeed, the “enforcement vs. health” debate is precisely what’s driving the controversy this week in Vienna, where United Nations members have gathered to finalize a declaration that will dictate global drug policy for the next 10 years. Despite European insistence that health-focused “harm reduction” language be included in that document, the United States helped kill the provision. Harm reduction, the White House says, is “ambiguous” and includes “practices that the United States does not wish to endorse.”

Examples of such practices include drug legalization programs, drug consumption rooms and heroin prescription initiatives — some of which are being tried with promising results in Canada, Australia and a handful of European countries. From the law-enforcement angle, of course, those programs are all very troubling. After all, it’s somewhat counterintuitive that the public could be served by letting drug addicts use legally.

But from a public health perspective, it makes more sense. If you concede that addicts are going to use — and there’s been very little indication that the war on drugs is stopping them — then why not have them do it in a well-lit environment where clean needles are available to prevent HIV, nurses are available to treat infections and counselors are available to wean users out of their habit? Who, after all, would claim that prison offers a safer environment or a better opportunity for rehab?

In the case of Kerlikowske, advocates remain hopeful. Daniel Wolfe, director of the Open Society Institute’s harm reduction development program, said last week that Seattle has one of the oldest needle-exchange programs in the country. Other reports indicate that marijuana-related arrests have plummeted in Seattle under Kerlikowske’s watch.

Also, Kerlikowske’s son has reportedly been in legal trouble related to drugs — a plight the father referenced in remarks prepared for accepting the nomination. “As a police officer, but also in my own family,” he said, “I have experienced first-hand the devastating effects that drugs can have on our youth, our families and our communities.”

Still, with the State Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the ONDCP stacked with employees attuned to the law enforcement theories of past administrations, advocates say an attitudinal switch from an enforcement-based posture to a public health focus won’t happen in Washington overnight.

“It’s a story of a position in transition,” Wolfe said.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.