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Kerlikowske Will Leave Post as Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy


Gil Kerlikowske will leave his post as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He was nominated by President Obama on Friday to become the new U.S. Commissioner of Customs.

Kerlikowske has called marijuana legalization an “extreme approach,” the newspaper notes. At the National Press Club in April, he said legalizing marijuana will not solve the country’s drug problem. He added state laws in Colorado and Washington that have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana present complex questions.

In June, he said the popularity of medical marijuana sends the wrong message to young people. He also spoke about addiction, saying it should be treated as a public health issue, and how it is a brain disease and should not be treated as a moral failure.

Before heading ONDCP, Kerlikowske served nine years as the Chief of Police for Seattle.

1 Response to this article

  1. Grainne Kenny / August 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Many people will regret Mr Kerlikowski’s departure. He is correct in warning that addiction is not a moral failure however, as an addiction therapist I feel obliged to disagree with his assessment that it is a brain disease. It is much more complex than that. It is a spiritual,physical and emotional compulsion to repeat the effects of a drug fueled relationship with mood altering substances to the exclusion of all else. Recovery is a lifetime journey. It is not only a health issue. It is a psycho social problem frequently requiring legal and medical intervention. Treatment should be aimed at recovery not maintenance and include the family. Legal sanctions are necessary to protect society and the addict. Lets hope his successor will succeed in waking President Obama to the dire effects of the present marijuana legalisation fiasco. With all good wishes to Mr Kerilkowski.

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