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Overview:

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is a component of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) responsible for running the federal government’s anti-drug programs. The ONDCP is lead by the “Drug Czar,” a White House position created by President Ronald Reagan as part of his “Just Say No” policy designed to reduce the use of illegal drugs by Americans. The agency seeks to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences. The agency’s National Drug Control Strategy directs the national anti-drug effort, establishing programs, funding and guidelines to assist federal, state, and local government drug enforcement entities. In recent years, the office has come under fire over how it spends its multi-billion-dollar budget and whether federal anti-drug policies are actually effective.

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History:

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)  was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The new law required that employers contracting with the federal government in any way meet certain requirements for providing a “drug-free workplace.” These included: making a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace; publishing a drug abuse policy statement; distributing to each employee a written copy of the drug abuse policy statement; notifying the granting or contracting federal agency within 10 days of receiving a conviction notice from an employee; imposing sanctions (up to and including employment termination) or requiring convicted employees to participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program; and establishing a drug-free awareness program to educate employees on the dangers of drug abuse, available drug counseling and other programs, and the drug abuse policy.

 

Beginning in March 1989, ONDCP certification of grantees or contractors became a precondition for receiving a federal grant or contract. Penalties for failure to comply with the new law included suspension of federal payments for an undisclosed period, termination of a federal grant or contract or suspension or disbarment of the grantee or contractor from receiving another grant or contract for a period of up to five years.

 

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (pdf) extended the ONDCP’s mission to assessing budgets and resources related to the National Drug Control Strategy. It also established specific reporting requirements in the areas of drug use, availability, consequences, and treatment.

 

Executive Order 12880 (1993) and Executive Orders 12992 and 13023 (1996) assigned ONDCP responsibility within the executive branch of government for leading drug-control policy and developing an outcome-measurement system. The executive orders also chartered the President’s Drug Policy Council and established the ONDCP director as the President’s chief spokesman for drug control.

 

The Drug Free Communities Act of 1997 authorized the ONDCP to carry out a national initiative that awards federal grants directly to community coalitions in the United States. Such coalitions are supposed to reduce substance abuse among adolescents, strengthen collaboration among organizations and agencies in both the private and public sectors, and serve as catalysts for increased citizen participation in strategic planning to reduce drug use over time.

 

The Media Campaign Act of 1998 directed the ONDCP to conduct a national media campaign for the purpose of reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States.

 

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 expanded ONDCP’s mandate and authority. It set forth additional reporting requirements and expectations, including: Development of a long-term national drug strategy; implementation of a “robust” performance-measurement system; commitment to a five-year national drug-control program budget; permanent authority granted to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program along with improvements in HIDTA management; greater demand-reduction responsibilities given to the Counter-Drug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC); statutory authority for the President’s Council on Counter-Narcotics; increased reporting to Congress on drug-control activities; reorganization of ONDCP to make it more effective; improved coordination among national drug control program agencies; and establishment of a Parents’ Advisory Council on Drug Abuse.

 

Executive Order 13165 (2000) (pdf) created the White House Task Force on Drug Use in Sports and authorized the ONDCP director to serve as the U.S. government’s representative on the Board of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

 

By 2002 many members of Congress had grown frustrated with a perceived lack of results by ONDCP to curb the drug problem in America. Consequently, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended that salaries and expenses at the agency be reduced from $26.6 million to $11.5 million. The committee also requested a study by the Government Accountability Office to study the distribution of agency grants and required the agency’s director to provide quarterly updates on travel, expenditures, staffing, and hiring.

 

According to a 2002 study by a non-partisan research firm hired by the ONDCP, teenagers exposed to federal anti-drug ads were no less likely to use drugs as a result of having viewed them, and some young girls said they were even more likely to give drugs a try. In 2005, the same research company reported that the government's ad campaign against marijuana use did not work. However, the agency continued with the ad campaign after the report was received, spending more than $220 million in 2005 and 2006.

 

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 reauthorized the ONDCP through FY 2010, contained several reporting requirements, and expanded the mandate of the agency. Some of the changes included creating the position of the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator and the Interdiction Committee (comprised of agency partners who review the National Interdiction Command and Control Plan) within ONDCP, moving it from the Department of Homeland Security; adding faith-based organizations and tribal officials to the National Drug Control Strategy consultation list; requiring the establishment of an HIDTA designation petition process so that local law enforcement agencies can petition to receive an HIDTA designation; granting statutory authority to the Counterdrug Technology Transfer Program, which transfers technology and training directly to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies; authorizing the ONDCP director to emphasize the prevention of youth marijuana use in campaign advertisements and requiring the director to expend at least 10% of appropriated funds on advertisements to reduce the use of methamphetamine; reauthorizing the Drug Free Communities Support Program through FY 2012 and increasing the maximum annual grant award amount to $125,000; and establishing within the Justice Department a National Methamphetamine Information Clearinghouse.

 

In 2006, the ONDCP released the results of a survey of 67,500 people that found that 8.1% of respondents had used an illegal drug within the previous 30 days. This equated to 19.7 million people nationwide, aged 12 years and older, and an increase from 2004. But drug use among the young decreased for the third year in a row, according to the study, declining from 19.4 to 14.8% among middle and high school students between 2001 and 2007.

 

According to the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future (pdf) report (released in February 2011), there was an increase in the overall use of drugs by young people in the U.S. in 2010. While the report states that the data is complex and difficult to describe, it cites increases in the use of tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and prescription drugs; and varying levels of decrease in the use of alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

 

The ONDCP relies on a number of studies and surveys for its research, including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and the Drug Abuse Warning Network. The September 2011 ONDCP release of the 2010 NSDUH report (pdf) cites no statistical increase, from 2009 to 2010, in any past-month illicit drug use category for any age group. It also states that 22.6 million Americans (8.9%) aged 12 or older were current users of illicit drugs.

 

In August 2011, the ONDCP submitted a request to the US Office of Management and Budget for approval to conduct new data collection on drug use.

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What it Does:

Part of the Executive Office of the President, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) oversees the nation’s anti-drug program. The goals of the program are to reduce illegal drug use (pdf), manufacturing and trafficking, as well as drug-related crime and violence and drug-related health consequences. The ONDCP director (aka “the Drug Czar”) is responsible for creating the National Drug Control Strategy, which directs the nation’s anti-drug efforts and establishes a program, budget and guidelines for cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement.

 

ONDCP’s director oversees the international and domestic anti-drug efforts of executive branch agencies. The director is supposed to make sure these efforts sustain and complement state and local anti-drug activities. The director also advises the President on changes in the organization, as well as management, budgeting, and personnel of federal agencies that would affect the nation’s anti-drug efforts and compliance with these efforts.

 

As part of its prevention efforts, the ONDCP operates several programs. Drug Free Communities (DFC) has, since its inception in 1997, supported more than 2,000 drug-free community coalitions across the United States. As a cornerstone of ONDCP’s National Drug Control Strategy, DFC provides the funding necessary for communities to identify and respond to local substance use problems. Random Student Drug Testing is considered a “powerful public health tool” by the ONDCP that discourages students from using dangerous, addictive drugs, and confidentially identifies those who may need help or drug treatment. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is a multi-dimensional effort to sway youth from using drugs. The campaign uses a variety of media to reach parents and youth, including TV ads, educational materials, Web sites, and publications. The ONDCP released a report (pdf) on the Campaign’s activities and status in FY 2010. Other prevention programs include the Obama administration’s Community Based Prevention initiative and the 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan (pdf).

 

As part of its treatment efforts, the agency funds Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) programs that rely on the health care system to help diagnose and treat drug abuse before it becomes a more serious problem. Another program is Access to Recovery (ATR), which provides vouchers for treatment services as well as recovery support services. The program’s expanded treatment options include faith- and community-based providers. In 2010, $15.2 million in ATR grants were awarded, over a five-year period, to five Native American organizations.

 

The ONDCP sponsors programs specifically designed to disrupt the flow or sale of illegal drugs. High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) provides agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and other resources to combat drug trafficking in key parts of the country. The Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC) serves as the central counterdrug enforcement research and development center for the federal government.

Drug Endangered Children programs coordinate the efforts of law enforcement, medical services, and child welfare workers to ensure that children found in these environments receive appropriate attention and care. The 2006 Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Demand Reduction Forum brought together law enforcement and public health officials, prevention specialists, and treatment providers from federal, state, and local governments to discuss the public health threat and response techniques arising from deaths related to fentanyl-laced heroin, a powerful synthetic drug that is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and can kill humans in small doses.

 

From the Web Site of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Blog

Communities Support Program

Congressional Materials

Contact ONDCP

Drug Endangered Children

Drugged Driving

Drug Prevention

Email Updates

Employment and Internships

Fact Sheets

Grant Programs

HIDTA Program

International Partnerships

Issues

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Reform

Leadership

National Drug Control Strategy

National Survey on Drug Use and Health

News Releases

Newsletter - ONDCP Update

Partnering with ONDCP

Policy and Research

Prescription Drug Abuse

Reports: Budget and Performance

Research and Data

Speeches

State and Local Information

Treatment and Recovery

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Where Does the Money Go:

The ONDCP FY 2013 Funding Highlights provides the following outline of expected distribution of funds for that year:

Domestic Law Enforcement                                                   $9,418,900,000

Treatment                                                                               $9,150,500,000

Interdiction                                                                             $3,680,900,000

International                                                                            $1,962,000,000

Prevention                                                                               $1,387,600,000

Total                                                                                      $25,599,900,000

 

The FY 2013 Congressional Budget Submission for the Executive Office of the President (pdf) provides the following ONDCP program funding breakdown:

High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas                                  $200,000,000

Other Federal Drug Control Programs                                    $118,600,000

Salaries & Expenses                                                                  $23,413,000

Total                                                                                        $342,013,000

 

Expected FY 2013 expenditures for ONDCP salaries and expenses are as follows:

Personnel Compensation & Benefits                                      $15,745,000

Other Contractual Services                                                       $3,320,000

Rental Payments to GSA                                                         $3,235,000

Travel & Transportation of Persons                                           $500,000

Communication, Utilities & Misc. Charges                                 $267,000

Supplies and Materials                                                                $240,000

Transportation of Things                                                              $18,000

Official Entertainment                                                                   $10,000

Equipment                                                                                     $10,000

Total                                                                                        $23,413,000

 

No information regarding contracts that the ONDCP has issued is available on USAspending.gov. However, the agency does contract with private companies and public organizations and universities.

 

In December 2009, ICF Consulting LLC (now ICF International) was awarded a five-year contract with the ONDCP to assist with conducting a national evaluation of the Drug Free Communities Support Program. The contract is valued at $7 million.

 

In August 2003, the University of Texas at Austin received a $4.5 million grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy to obtain and operate a functional MRI machine to study how the brain is affected by drug and alcohol abuse. Substance abuse researchers tried to reveal the brain processes that result in addiction, and what can be done to mitigate or reverse this.

 

In July 2006, a report (pdf) for Congress revealed that the Advertising Council had been hired by ONDCP to run its National Media Match Program, which garnered $447 million in pro bono TV and radio time for public service announcements. The ONDCP started to give credit to television networks whose programs contained anti-drug storylines. The networks could then reclaim the credited time it owed to the government and resell it to commercial advertisers. The networks earned additional millions by selling this airtime, which would normally have been donated for anti-drug messages.

 

In October 2002, the Roskamp Institute and James A. Haley VA Hospital team was awarded a contract from ONDCP’s Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center. Their research is designed to determine the feasibility of genetic typing of drug abusers, and those at risk of drug abuse. The group received $5.85 million to study all 30,000 genes and their protein products simultaneously over the course of five years.

 

A July 2002 USA Today article reported that the Office of National Drug Control Policy had awarded its $152 million anti-drug ad contract to Ogilvy & Mather, surprising many rival bidders. Earlier that year, Ogilvy & Mather had agreed to a $1.8 million settlement on claims that it had overcharged the drug office for ad work under the last contract. The new contract was a one-year deal, with four years of renewable options, worth $762.1 million over five years. Approximately $130 million was allocated for media planning and buying, while the rest was spent on designing ads.

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Controversies:

Baseball Battle between ONDCP Staffers and Reformers

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) won’t play ball, literally. For years now, a softball team comprised of drug reformers working in Washington D.C. have tried unsuccessfully to arrange a game with the ONDCP, which once again backed out of the contest.

 

The drug reformers, known as the One Hitters, said the ONDCP claimed a scheduling conflict prevented them from showing up in May 2011.

 

“This is not the first time the Czardinals have refused to play the One Hitters,” the One Hitters said in a press release. “In 6 years, the team found one reason or another to avoid taking the field against this team of individuals dedicated to reforming the out-of-date and ineffectual policies promoted by the ONDCP.”

 

The jilted team believes the ONDCP’s behavior “is being mimicked on the national stage” by saying it intends to change the national drug control policy to one that is more treatment and prevention oriented, while taking little action in this new direction.

Drug Czar's Office Backs Out of Another Congressional Softball Game with Drug Law Reformers (by Mike Riggs, Reason)

It’s Just a Softball Game …vs. the Drug Czar’s Team (by Stacia Cosner, Students for Sensible Drug Policy)

 

ONDCP’s Shifting Policy on Medical Marijuana

Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama and his administration took a more lenient policy toward medical marijuana, much to the delight of advocates.

 

Two months after Obama was sworn in, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that federal agents would target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law. This meant the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would back off on raiding medical marijuana dispensaries.

 

A few months later, the head of the (ONDCP), Gil Kerlikowske, surprised many with his remarks in which he said marijuana has no medicinal benefits. His comments created an uproar among Obama supporters, forcing Kerlikowske to backtrack. He stated: “The FDA has not determined that smoked marijuana has a value, and this is clearly a medical question and that’s where I’ve been leaving it.”

 

In 2011, the ONDCP again shifted its position. Within days of the DEA claiming no medical value to marijuana, the Drug Czar’s office released a report that stated there may actually be “some” medical value to “individual components of the cannabis plant” after all.

DOJ To Federal Prosecutors: Do Not Focus Resources On Medical Marijuana (NORML)

Kerlikowske Attempts to Correct Misleading Medical Marijuana Comments (ONDCP Watch)

White House Admits Marijuana Has ‘Some’ Medical Value (by Stephen Webster, The Raw Story)

DEA To Halt Medical Marijuana Raids (by M. Alex Johnson, MSNBC)

Attorney General Signals Shift In Medical Marijuana Policy (by Devlin Barrett, Associated Press)

 

Drug Prevention and Treatment Instead of Legal Crackdowns

After four decades and $1 trillion, the U.S. government’s anti-drug program needed a new approach, according to President Barack Obama’s ONDCP.

 

In May 2010, the White House and the ONDCP announced a shift in national drug policy that would focus more on the problem as a public health issue and devote more resources into prevention and treatment.

 

The old policy of cracking down on drug suppliers and sellers wasn’t yielding enough progress, the agency reported, citing the fact that about 330 tons of cocaine, 20 tons of heroin, and 110 tons of methamphetamine and even more marijuana are sold in the U.S. annually.

 

Instead of directing time, energy, and resources into law enforcement, the new drug control strategy sought to bolster community-based anti-drug programs, encourage health care providers to screen for drug problems before addiction sets in and expand treatment beyond specialty centers to mainstream health care facilities.

 

ONDCP established a goal of reducing the rate of drug use among youths by 15% over the next five years. It also intended to reduce chronic drug use, drug abuse deaths, and drug-related driving by similar amounts.

 

“This strategy recognizes that the most promising drug policy is one that prevents drug use in the first place,” said Gil Kerlikowske, ONDCP’s director. “We have many proven methods for reducing the demand for drugs. The demand can be decreased with comprehensive, evidence-based prevention programs focused on adolescence, which science confirms is the peak period for drug-use initiation and the potential for addiction.”

Statement from ONDCP Director R. Gil Kerlikowske (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

Shift in National Drug Policy Announced (Drug Addiction Treatment)

Drug Czar Sends Mixed Messages On Marijuana Policy (by Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town)

Obama Drug Control Strategy Marks Policy Shift (CBS News)

Bummer (by Jacob Sullum, Reason.com)

U.S. Drug War Has Met None of Its Goals (by Martha Mendoza, Associated Press)

 

ONDCP Digs in Against Pot Legalization, Despite Barney Frank and Ron Paul Bill

In the face of bipartisan legislation and several petitions calling for the legalization of marijuana, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy continued to insist in 2011 that such a move would be bad for the nation.

 

Two unlikely bedfellows in Congress, Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Republican Ron Paul of Texas, jointly authored a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

 

“Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom,” Frank said in a statement.

 

Frank added: “I do not advocate urging people to smoke marijuana, neither do I urge them to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco, but in none of these cases do I think prohibition enforced by criminal sanctions is good public policy.”

 

That same year advocates submitted petitions to the White House urging President Barack Obama to get behind the effort to legalize marijuana.

 

But Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske made it clear the administration had intentions of change its stance.

 

“Our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug’s effects,” Kerlikowske said, noting its association with “addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment.”

 

“Simply put, it is not a benign drug,” Kerlikowske said. “As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem…. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.”

Pot Legalization Effort Unites Odd Couple in U.S. House (NewsMax)

White House Rebuffs Marijuana Legalization Petitions (by Phillip Smith, StopTheDrugWar.org)

Why Marijuana Legalization Would Compromise Public Health and Public Safety (Gil Kerlikowske, ONDCP)

 

ONDCP Budget Creates Controversy with Congress

Although Congress has repeatedly asked the ONDCP for greater transparency, it released an unclear and confusing budget in February 2008. The agency requested $14.1 billion for drug control efforts, a 3.4% increase. Two-thirds are earmarked for law enforcement, interdiction and programs to destroy drug crops abroad, while one third would fund treatment and prevention efforts. Some lawmakers have complained that the agency has not provided the whole picture and asked the agency to comply with a new way of reporting, which it has not done.

Drug Office's Budget Tactics Faulted (by Christopher Lee, Washington Post)

 

Salon Blogger Calls Drug Czar on the Carpet for Lying

A blog entry, written by Pete Guither and published on Salon.com in 2008, called out the ONDCP’s “Drug Czar,” claiming the position is required by law to lie about drugs. Since the director is bound by law to oppose legalization of any substance on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, he or she must oppose the issue of medical marijuana, which has been found to have “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” or “accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision” by extensive research. (Even the federal government supplies it to patients.) So, Guither concluded, the Drug Czar is required by law to lie about the facts.

 

On April 2, 2003, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) wrote a letter to the General Accounting Office asking for an investigation into ONDCP lobbying activities and its dissemination of “misleading information.” The blog entry also pointed out that the agency’s director was required by law to claim that the anti-drug programs were working, despite evidence to the contrary.

The Drug Czar is required by law to lie (by Pete Guither, Drug WarRant)

 

ONDCP Scolded by GAO for Fake News Ads Before Super Bowl

In January 2005, The Washington Post reported that a story aired before the Super Bowl on numerous local news stations was created by the government’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, not a journalist. The investigative arm of the Congress scolded the Bush administration for distributing phony news after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that this practice amounted to illegal “covert propaganda.” The GAO also objected to the use of taxpayer money to produce these ads. Seven of the ads were produced and shown on 770 stations. At least 300 news shows used some or all of the materials for stories or sound bites.

Drug Control Office Faulted For Issuing Fake News Tapes (by Ceci Connolly, Washington Post)

The Persistence Of Folly: ONDCP’s Anti Drug Campaign (Common Sense for Drug Policy)

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Suggested Reforms:

Edward H. Jurith (Interim Director)   (January 20, 2009 – May 6, 2009)

John P. Walters                                   (December 7, 2001 – January 19, 2009)

Barry McCaffrey                                (February 29, 1996 – January 4, 2001)

Lee P. Brown                                      (January 1993 – December 12, 1995)

Bob Martinez                                     (March 28, 1991 – January 20, 1993)

William Bennett                                  (1989 – 1991)

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Debate:

Should marijuana for medical purposes be legalized?

Even though 17 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, the debate continues over whether other states and the federal government should go down this same road.

 

Pro:

 

Proponents for the legal use of medical marijuana say marijuana has become an acceptable and effective form of medical treatment in the U.S. They argue it’s time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve marijuana use for health reasons because the evidence exists that it is a safe and effective treatment for dozens of conditions, including cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, migraines, glaucoma, and epilepsy. Legalization also would prevent thousands of deaths annually from unsafe use of legal prescription drugs. Many doctors side with medical marijuana advocates, noting how the drug can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

Marijuana Legalization (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

Medical Marijuana - Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option? (Neighborhood Link)

 

Con:

 

Opponents argue that marijuana has not and should not be approved by the FDA because it is too dangerous to use, and that various FDA-approved drugs make the use of marijuana unnecessary. Marijuana is addictive and can lead to more dangerous illegal drugs, they claim. Opponents also say medical marijuana is a front for drug legalization, and that people who claim medical use are actually using it for recreational pleasure. Not all physicians endorse medical marijuana. Former U.S. Senator Bill Frist (R-Tennessee), who is also a doctor, said marijuana is a “dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms.”

More Research Needed Before Marijuana Is Safe (by Kevin Sabet, U.S. News & World Report)

Marijuana Legalization: A Bad Idea (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

 

Other Links:

Top 10 Pros and Cons: Should Marijuana Be A Medical Option? (ProCon.org)

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Comments

C.Ralph Harriman 2 weeks ago
First of all you have no right to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own body. You stick you nose in my business you will get your nose cut off. Patent number 6630507 is a U S patent on marijuana and it shows many of its medical abilities. 2nd in 1974 the medical college of Virginia per order of nixon to try and find bad stuff about marijuana discovered it cures cancer. The DEA immediately stepped in and shut it down because of what they were being paid by prescription drug companies. How many innocent people have been murdered by this corrupt government since 1974. Check out Cash Hyde a 4 year old child murdered by our government. I quit smoking marijuana over 9 years ago and haven't touched it since. About 2 weeks ago I did get my medical marijuana card. I get insomnia real bad and marijuana helps with that. because of taking dangerously high sleeping medications for the last year I had a heart attack last year caused by one of the medications. You have never had one person die of marijuana so where to hell do you get off calling it a dangerous drug. You have never tried it so you are totally uneducated so you have no right to vote so shut your ignorant mouth. I use the tincture because I don't want to get high and I don't. My wife has Parkinsons Disease and it helps with that. So needless to say try to take my marijuana and you will think WW3 has started and you are in the middle of it. The way I see it you don't own me so if I don't want to wear a seat belt in a car or have a life preserver in a boat or I want to fill my body with heroin it is none of your business and if you butt in all you will get for your trouble is badly injured. Stay out of my business and I stay out if yours. I am completely ready to die to stand up for my rights and if you muckle on you had best be prepared to do the same. No cop will ever take me in alive for what is my right to do..
Laura 10 months ago
I beg to differ, while the polls may show the majority of the population are for legalizing a drug regardless of what scientist or medical individuals indicate - they obviously have not asked the right people because my answer is absolutely NOT. We already have a crisis with drug in this country and a crisis in the work place with drug users of any kind. When it gets to a point in life that you wake up and go to work thinking another productive day is in your grasp and you get sick from residue of drugs transferred from one employee to work documentation to another employee - then we are clearly off our rockers if we think legalizing a drug is the way to go! Unfortunately, I have recently suffered that experience and it appalling to think that this is where American has come and going. What about those of us who chooses to live a drug free life! What happened to drug testing that was stated on federal applications? What happened to investing in ALL employees and not just those that are on the same political track that our leaders are on. Do we not count anymore? I am so frustrated because I should not have had to endure that experience in the work place and nothing about combatting drug users in the work place is being discussed - making drugs legal is. Wow!
ryan 1 year ago
First off what the hell with 26 billion dollars a year being spent on anti drug policing and nothing to really show for it except 61% of the us population disagreeing with you about the severity of marijuana the fact that they believe it should be legalized for personal consumption they say the people are the government then why the hell are we not being listened to,you say you want change vote on it then we do it passes and then what happens oh were told that its not up to us really at all wow good way to show the country that bases its reputation about fairness and freedom but then says we can't even be Free to make our own choices or fair to the majority of the population who thinks it should be legalized so good job wasting american tax dollars on doing nothing but blocking our american right and tossing away our freedom to make our own choices
Edward F Grant 1 year ago
dear sirs, i believe i have a somewhat simple plan to help reduce the use and importation of cociane into the united states. i believe this plan of mine would most likely reduce the amount of cociane reaching america and would without a doubt increase the price substancially, there-by reducing the ability to purchase this drug. please feel free to contact me with any questions you might and should have concerning this proposal. sincerely, edward f. grant (631)987-1136
Robert 2 years ago
quick question what was the 2010 budget for the office of national drug control policy im doing it for a class report
Misty Stinson 2 years ago
your research is flawed and your propaganda is old. we are fully aware of your intentions to keep a non toxic plant illegal, in order to keep americans unhealthy. cannabis is non toxic and non addictive and this is a fact. it is time the government works for us and not against us. hemp is the number one plant on earth and can save us from this toxic environment you have created by making cannabis and hemp illegal. quit lying. you look super unintelligent by backing the lies against ...
Roskamp Institute 3 years ago
This is a great example of one the government's great programs. It has many top notch programs. Some times the private sector comes us with great ones too. The Roskamp Institute at www.roskampgulfwar.org is a non government one that can help Gulf War vets too.

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Founded: 1988
Annual Budget: $25.6 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 99 (FY 2013 Request)
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Kerlikowske, Gil
Director

President Obama’s nominee to be the nation’s new “drug czar,” Robert Gil Kerlikowske, was confrimed on May 7, 2009. Kerlikowske has spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement, including a stint as a narcotics officer and eight years as Seattle’s police chief, during which he downplayed the importance of arresting individuals for marijuana possession.

 
Born in Fort Myers, Florida, in 1949, Kerlikowske was raised by his mother and stepfather, who was a judge. As a high school student, Kerlikowske worked as a crime scene photographer on weekends, and he discovered his love for law enforcement while fingerprinting criminals at a Florida jail. Kerlikowske enrolled in St. Petersburg Junior College, but was drafted into the army in 1970, and joined the Army Military Police. He was stationed in Washington, DC, where his duties included saluting then-President Richard Nixon as he boarded the Marine One helicopter.
 
Kerlikowske married in 1972, and he and his first wife, Carol, had two children. After leaving the military, Kerlikowske began his law enforcement career in 1972 as a street cop for the St. Petersburg Police in Florida. His assignments included work as an undercover narcotics detective, an internal affairs investigator and a police hostage negotiator. By 1985 he had been promoted to head of the department’s criminal investigation division.
 
In his off hours, Kerlikowske attended college at the University of South Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree (1978) and a master’s degree (1985) in criminal justice. He later graduated from the National Executive Institute at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in 1984.
 
He was hired to be the police chief for the town of Port St. Lucie in Florida in March 1987. He later held the same post for Fort Pierce beginning in January 1990, before moving in 1994 to Buffalo, New York, to become police commissioner.
 
Kerlikowske was the first department outsider to lead the Buffalo police department. He was credited for lowering the crime rate, improving police relations with the community and introducing basic technological advancements in the Buffalo police department, along with instituting random drug testing of officers.
 
He married his second wife, criminal justice researcher Anna Laszlo, in 1995.
 
In 1998, Kerlikowske relocated to Washington, DC, to join the US Department of Justice during the Clinton administration. There, he served as a deputy director for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, where he oversaw community policing grants. During his time at the Justice Department, Kerlikowske established a strong relationship with Eric Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton years, and is now US Attorney General.
 
Kerlikowske was selected to become Seattle’s police chief in 2001. During his tenure in Seattle, Kerlikowske won credit for stabilizing the department after the stormy departure of Norm Stamper as chief in the wake of the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle. Crimes rates dipped during his time as chief, reaching historic lows in recent years.
 
But his time as police chief was not without some controversy and drama. Kerlikowske faced criticism over the department’s slow response to the 2001 Seattle Mardi Gras Riots that left one man dead and 70 people with injuries. During the incident, he ordered the police at the scene not to intervene, instead maintaining a perimeter around the violence. The city of Seattle acknowledged that police strategy presented a public safety threat, and settled with the murder victim’s family for just under $2,000,000. The next month, The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild voted no confidence in the chief, citing both the Mardi Gras riot and his public reprimand of an officer for being rude to a group of young jaywalkers.
 
In 2003, Kerlikowske was asked about his views on a local ballot initiative to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority. In response, he stated that “arresting people for possessing marijuana for personal use... is not a priority now.”
 
In 2004, Kerlikowske admitted publicly that he had been recruited to leave Seattle to run police departments in San Francisco and Boston. In September 2004, he allowed himself to be jolted with 50,000 volts of electricity to demonstrate the non-lethal efficiency of Taser guns. And in December, he left a 9-mm Glock semiautomatic handgun underneath the seat of his car while shopping with his wife. The gun was stolen out of his car, and a spokesman for Kerlikowske said the chief was “chagrined.”
 
In July 2007, a citizen oversight panel accused Kerlikowske of repeatedly interfering in an internal investigation into the actions of a pair of officers accused of beating a suspect.
 
Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske Biography (Seattle Police Dept)
Seattle police chief to become nation's drug czar (by Steve Miletich and Mike Carter, Seattle Times)
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Walters, John
Previous Director
John P. Walters served as the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy from December 7, 2001, until the end of the presidency of George W. Bush. Walters earned a BA from Michigan State University's James Madison College and an MA from the University of Toronto.
 
Walters taught political science at James Madison College and Boston College before serving as Acting Assistant Director and Program Officer in the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1982 to 1985. Walters then worked at the Department of Education during the Reagan administration, where he headed the Schools Without Drugs prevention program.
 
Walters went on to serve as deputy director and acting director of the Office of National Control Policy under William J. Bennett, who was drug czar in the administration of President George H. W. Bush. Walters quit in protest when President Bill Clinton reduced the office’s staff and announced that he was redirecting antinarcotics policy to focus on hard-core users, while de-emphasizing enforcement and interdiction.
 
In 1996 Walters testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was highly critical of what he called Clinton’s “ineffectual policy—the latest manifestation of the liberals commitment to a therapeutic state in which government serves as the agent of personal rehabilitation.”
 
Walters has been president of the Philanthropy Roundtable, an association that advises more than 600 donors to charities. He has also served as president of the New Citizenship Project which promoted the role of religion in public life.
 
 
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Overview:

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is a component of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) responsible for running the federal government’s anti-drug programs. The ONDCP is lead by the “Drug Czar,” a White House position created by President Ronald Reagan as part of his “Just Say No” policy designed to reduce the use of illegal drugs by Americans. The agency seeks to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences. The agency’s National Drug Control Strategy directs the national anti-drug effort, establishing programs, funding and guidelines to assist federal, state, and local government drug enforcement entities. In recent years, the office has come under fire over how it spends its multi-billion-dollar budget and whether federal anti-drug policies are actually effective.

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History:

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)  was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The new law required that employers contracting with the federal government in any way meet certain requirements for providing a “drug-free workplace.” These included: making a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace; publishing a drug abuse policy statement; distributing to each employee a written copy of the drug abuse policy statement; notifying the granting or contracting federal agency within 10 days of receiving a conviction notice from an employee; imposing sanctions (up to and including employment termination) or requiring convicted employees to participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program; and establishing a drug-free awareness program to educate employees on the dangers of drug abuse, available drug counseling and other programs, and the drug abuse policy.

 

Beginning in March 1989, ONDCP certification of grantees or contractors became a precondition for receiving a federal grant or contract. Penalties for failure to comply with the new law included suspension of federal payments for an undisclosed period, termination of a federal grant or contract or suspension or disbarment of the grantee or contractor from receiving another grant or contract for a period of up to five years.

 

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (pdf) extended the ONDCP’s mission to assessing budgets and resources related to the National Drug Control Strategy. It also established specific reporting requirements in the areas of drug use, availability, consequences, and treatment.

 

Executive Order 12880 (1993) and Executive Orders 12992 and 13023 (1996) assigned ONDCP responsibility within the executive branch of government for leading drug-control policy and developing an outcome-measurement system. The executive orders also chartered the President’s Drug Policy Council and established the ONDCP director as the President’s chief spokesman for drug control.

 

The Drug Free Communities Act of 1997 authorized the ONDCP to carry out a national initiative that awards federal grants directly to community coalitions in the United States. Such coalitions are supposed to reduce substance abuse among adolescents, strengthen collaboration among organizations and agencies in both the private and public sectors, and serve as catalysts for increased citizen participation in strategic planning to reduce drug use over time.

 

The Media Campaign Act of 1998 directed the ONDCP to conduct a national media campaign for the purpose of reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States.

 

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 expanded ONDCP’s mandate and authority. It set forth additional reporting requirements and expectations, including: Development of a long-term national drug strategy; implementation of a “robust” performance-measurement system; commitment to a five-year national drug-control program budget; permanent authority granted to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program along with improvements in HIDTA management; greater demand-reduction responsibilities given to the Counter-Drug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC); statutory authority for the President’s Council on Counter-Narcotics; increased reporting to Congress on drug-control activities; reorganization of ONDCP to make it more effective; improved coordination among national drug control program agencies; and establishment of a Parents’ Advisory Council on Drug Abuse.

 

Executive Order 13165 (2000) (pdf) created the White House Task Force on Drug Use in Sports and authorized the ONDCP director to serve as the U.S. government’s representative on the Board of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

 

By 2002 many members of Congress had grown frustrated with a perceived lack of results by ONDCP to curb the drug problem in America. Consequently, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended that salaries and expenses at the agency be reduced from $26.6 million to $11.5 million. The committee also requested a study by the Government Accountability Office to study the distribution of agency grants and required the agency’s director to provide quarterly updates on travel, expenditures, staffing, and hiring.

 

According to a 2002 study by a non-partisan research firm hired by the ONDCP, teenagers exposed to federal anti-drug ads were no less likely to use drugs as a result of having viewed them, and some young girls said they were even more likely to give drugs a try. In 2005, the same research company reported that the government's ad campaign against marijuana use did not work. However, the agency continued with the ad campaign after the report was received, spending more than $220 million in 2005 and 2006.

 

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 reauthorized the ONDCP through FY 2010, contained several reporting requirements, and expanded the mandate of the agency. Some of the changes included creating the position of the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator and the Interdiction Committee (comprised of agency partners who review the National Interdiction Command and Control Plan) within ONDCP, moving it from the Department of Homeland Security; adding faith-based organizations and tribal officials to the National Drug Control Strategy consultation list; requiring the establishment of an HIDTA designation petition process so that local law enforcement agencies can petition to receive an HIDTA designation; granting statutory authority to the Counterdrug Technology Transfer Program, which transfers technology and training directly to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies; authorizing the ONDCP director to emphasize the prevention of youth marijuana use in campaign advertisements and requiring the director to expend at least 10% of appropriated funds on advertisements to reduce the use of methamphetamine; reauthorizing the Drug Free Communities Support Program through FY 2012 and increasing the maximum annual grant award amount to $125,000; and establishing within the Justice Department a National Methamphetamine Information Clearinghouse.

 

In 2006, the ONDCP released the results of a survey of 67,500 people that found that 8.1% of respondents had used an illegal drug within the previous 30 days. This equated to 19.7 million people nationwide, aged 12 years and older, and an increase from 2004. But drug use among the young decreased for the third year in a row, according to the study, declining from 19.4 to 14.8% among middle and high school students between 2001 and 2007.

 

According to the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future (pdf) report (released in February 2011), there was an increase in the overall use of drugs by young people in the U.S. in 2010. While the report states that the data is complex and difficult to describe, it cites increases in the use of tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and prescription drugs; and varying levels of decrease in the use of alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

 

The ONDCP relies on a number of studies and surveys for its research, including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and the Drug Abuse Warning Network. The September 2011 ONDCP release of the 2010 NSDUH report (pdf) cites no statistical increase, from 2009 to 2010, in any past-month illicit drug use category for any age group. It also states that 22.6 million Americans (8.9%) aged 12 or older were current users of illicit drugs.

 

In August 2011, the ONDCP submitted a request to the US Office of Management and Budget for approval to conduct new data collection on drug use.

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What it Does:

Part of the Executive Office of the President, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) oversees the nation’s anti-drug program. The goals of the program are to reduce illegal drug use (pdf), manufacturing and trafficking, as well as drug-related crime and violence and drug-related health consequences. The ONDCP director (aka “the Drug Czar”) is responsible for creating the National Drug Control Strategy, which directs the nation’s anti-drug efforts and establishes a program, budget and guidelines for cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement.

 

ONDCP’s director oversees the international and domestic anti-drug efforts of executive branch agencies. The director is supposed to make sure these efforts sustain and complement state and local anti-drug activities. The director also advises the President on changes in the organization, as well as management, budgeting, and personnel of federal agencies that would affect the nation’s anti-drug efforts and compliance with these efforts.

 

As part of its prevention efforts, the ONDCP operates several programs. Drug Free Communities (DFC) has, since its inception in 1997, supported more than 2,000 drug-free community coalitions across the United States. As a cornerstone of ONDCP’s National Drug Control Strategy, DFC provides the funding necessary for communities to identify and respond to local substance use problems. Random Student Drug Testing is considered a “powerful public health tool” by the ONDCP that discourages students from using dangerous, addictive drugs, and confidentially identifies those who may need help or drug treatment. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is a multi-dimensional effort to sway youth from using drugs. The campaign uses a variety of media to reach parents and youth, including TV ads, educational materials, Web sites, and publications. The ONDCP released a report (pdf) on the Campaign’s activities and status in FY 2010. Other prevention programs include the Obama administration’s Community Based Prevention initiative and the 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan (pdf).

 

As part of its treatment efforts, the agency funds Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) programs that rely on the health care system to help diagnose and treat drug abuse before it becomes a more serious problem. Another program is Access to Recovery (ATR), which provides vouchers for treatment services as well as recovery support services. The program’s expanded treatment options include faith- and community-based providers. In 2010, $15.2 million in ATR grants were awarded, over a five-year period, to five Native American organizations.

 

The ONDCP sponsors programs specifically designed to disrupt the flow or sale of illegal drugs. High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) provides agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and other resources to combat drug trafficking in key parts of the country. The Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC) serves as the central counterdrug enforcement research and development center for the federal government.

Drug Endangered Children programs coordinate the efforts of law enforcement, medical services, and child welfare workers to ensure that children found in these environments receive appropriate attention and care. The 2006 Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Demand Reduction Forum brought together law enforcement and public health officials, prevention specialists, and treatment providers from federal, state, and local governments to discuss the public health threat and response techniques arising from deaths related to fentanyl-laced heroin, a powerful synthetic drug that is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and can kill humans in small doses.

 

From the Web Site of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Blog

Communities Support Program

Congressional Materials

Contact ONDCP

Drug Endangered Children

Drugged Driving

Drug Prevention

Email Updates

Employment and Internships

Fact Sheets

Grant Programs

HIDTA Program

International Partnerships

Issues

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Reform

Leadership

National Drug Control Strategy

National Survey on Drug Use and Health

News Releases

Newsletter - ONDCP Update

Partnering with ONDCP

Policy and Research

Prescription Drug Abuse

Reports: Budget and Performance

Research and Data

Speeches

State and Local Information

Treatment and Recovery

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Where Does the Money Go:

The ONDCP FY 2013 Funding Highlights provides the following outline of expected distribution of funds for that year:

Domestic Law Enforcement                                                   $9,418,900,000

Treatment                                                                               $9,150,500,000

Interdiction                                                                             $3,680,900,000

International                                                                            $1,962,000,000

Prevention                                                                               $1,387,600,000

Total                                                                                      $25,599,900,000

 

The FY 2013 Congressional Budget Submission for the Executive Office of the President (pdf) provides the following ONDCP program funding breakdown:

High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas                                  $200,000,000

Other Federal Drug Control Programs                                    $118,600,000

Salaries & Expenses                                                                  $23,413,000

Total                                                                                        $342,013,000

 

Expected FY 2013 expenditures for ONDCP salaries and expenses are as follows:

Personnel Compensation & Benefits                                      $15,745,000

Other Contractual Services                                                       $3,320,000

Rental Payments to GSA                                                         $3,235,000

Travel & Transportation of Persons                                           $500,000

Communication, Utilities & Misc. Charges                                 $267,000

Supplies and Materials                                                                $240,000

Transportation of Things                                                              $18,000

Official Entertainment                                                                   $10,000

Equipment                                                                                     $10,000

Total                                                                                        $23,413,000

 

No information regarding contracts that the ONDCP has issued is available on USAspending.gov. However, the agency does contract with private companies and public organizations and universities.

 

In December 2009, ICF Consulting LLC (now ICF International) was awarded a five-year contract with the ONDCP to assist with conducting a national evaluation of the Drug Free Communities Support Program. The contract is valued at $7 million.

 

In August 2003, the University of Texas at Austin received a $4.5 million grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy to obtain and operate a functional MRI machine to study how the brain is affected by drug and alcohol abuse. Substance abuse researchers tried to reveal the brain processes that result in addiction, and what can be done to mitigate or reverse this.

 

In July 2006, a report (pdf) for Congress revealed that the Advertising Council had been hired by ONDCP to run its National Media Match Program, which garnered $447 million in pro bono TV and radio time for public service announcements. The ONDCP started to give credit to television networks whose programs contained anti-drug storylines. The networks could then reclaim the credited time it owed to the government and resell it to commercial advertisers. The networks earned additional millions by selling this airtime, which would normally have been donated for anti-drug messages.

 

In October 2002, the Roskamp Institute and James A. Haley VA Hospital team was awarded a contract from ONDCP’s Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center. Their research is designed to determine the feasibility of genetic typing of drug abusers, and those at risk of drug abuse. The group received $5.85 million to study all 30,000 genes and their protein products simultaneously over the course of five years.

 

A July 2002 USA Today article reported that the Office of National Drug Control Policy had awarded its $152 million anti-drug ad contract to Ogilvy & Mather, surprising many rival bidders. Earlier that year, Ogilvy & Mather had agreed to a $1.8 million settlement on claims that it had overcharged the drug office for ad work under the last contract. The new contract was a one-year deal, with four years of renewable options, worth $762.1 million over five years. Approximately $130 million was allocated for media planning and buying, while the rest was spent on designing ads.

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Controversies:

Baseball Battle between ONDCP Staffers and Reformers

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) won’t play ball, literally. For years now, a softball team comprised of drug reformers working in Washington D.C. have tried unsuccessfully to arrange a game with the ONDCP, which once again backed out of the contest.

 

The drug reformers, known as the One Hitters, said the ONDCP claimed a scheduling conflict prevented them from showing up in May 2011.

 

“This is not the first time the Czardinals have refused to play the One Hitters,” the One Hitters said in a press release. “In 6 years, the team found one reason or another to avoid taking the field against this team of individuals dedicated to reforming the out-of-date and ineffectual policies promoted by the ONDCP.”

 

The jilted team believes the ONDCP’s behavior “is being mimicked on the national stage” by saying it intends to change the national drug control policy to one that is more treatment and prevention oriented, while taking little action in this new direction.

Drug Czar's Office Backs Out of Another Congressional Softball Game with Drug Law Reformers (by Mike Riggs, Reason)

It’s Just a Softball Game …vs. the Drug Czar’s Team (by Stacia Cosner, Students for Sensible Drug Policy)

 

ONDCP’s Shifting Policy on Medical Marijuana

Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama and his administration took a more lenient policy toward medical marijuana, much to the delight of advocates.

 

Two months after Obama was sworn in, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that federal agents would target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law. This meant the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would back off on raiding medical marijuana dispensaries.

 

A few months later, the head of the (ONDCP), Gil Kerlikowske, surprised many with his remarks in which he said marijuana has no medicinal benefits. His comments created an uproar among Obama supporters, forcing Kerlikowske to backtrack. He stated: “The FDA has not determined that smoked marijuana has a value, and this is clearly a medical question and that’s where I’ve been leaving it.”

 

In 2011, the ONDCP again shifted its position. Within days of the DEA claiming no medical value to marijuana, the Drug Czar’s office released a report that stated there may actually be “some” medical value to “individual components of the cannabis plant” after all.

DOJ To Federal Prosecutors: Do Not Focus Resources On Medical Marijuana (NORML)

Kerlikowske Attempts to Correct Misleading Medical Marijuana Comments (ONDCP Watch)

White House Admits Marijuana Has ‘Some’ Medical Value (by Stephen Webster, The Raw Story)

DEA To Halt Medical Marijuana Raids (by M. Alex Johnson, MSNBC)

Attorney General Signals Shift In Medical Marijuana Policy (by Devlin Barrett, Associated Press)

 

Drug Prevention and Treatment Instead of Legal Crackdowns

After four decades and $1 trillion, the U.S. government’s anti-drug program needed a new approach, according to President Barack Obama’s ONDCP.

 

In May 2010, the White House and the ONDCP announced a shift in national drug policy that would focus more on the problem as a public health issue and devote more resources into prevention and treatment.

 

The old policy of cracking down on drug suppliers and sellers wasn’t yielding enough progress, the agency reported, citing the fact that about 330 tons of cocaine, 20 tons of heroin, and 110 tons of methamphetamine and even more marijuana are sold in the U.S. annually.

 

Instead of directing time, energy, and resources into law enforcement, the new drug control strategy sought to bolster community-based anti-drug programs, encourage health care providers to screen for drug problems before addiction sets in and expand treatment beyond specialty centers to mainstream health care facilities.

 

ONDCP established a goal of reducing the rate of drug use among youths by 15% over the next five years. It also intended to reduce chronic drug use, drug abuse deaths, and drug-related driving by similar amounts.

 

“This strategy recognizes that the most promising drug policy is one that prevents drug use in the first place,” said Gil Kerlikowske, ONDCP’s director. “We have many proven methods for reducing the demand for drugs. The demand can be decreased with comprehensive, evidence-based prevention programs focused on adolescence, which science confirms is the peak period for drug-use initiation and the potential for addiction.”

Statement from ONDCP Director R. Gil Kerlikowske (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

Shift in National Drug Policy Announced (Drug Addiction Treatment)

Drug Czar Sends Mixed Messages On Marijuana Policy (by Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town)

Obama Drug Control Strategy Marks Policy Shift (CBS News)

Bummer (by Jacob Sullum, Reason.com)

U.S. Drug War Has Met None of Its Goals (by Martha Mendoza, Associated Press)

 

ONDCP Digs in Against Pot Legalization, Despite Barney Frank and Ron Paul Bill

In the face of bipartisan legislation and several petitions calling for the legalization of marijuana, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy continued to insist in 2011 that such a move would be bad for the nation.

 

Two unlikely bedfellows in Congress, Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Republican Ron Paul of Texas, jointly authored a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

 

“Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom,” Frank said in a statement.

 

Frank added: “I do not advocate urging people to smoke marijuana, neither do I urge them to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco, but in none of these cases do I think prohibition enforced by criminal sanctions is good public policy.”

 

That same year advocates submitted petitions to the White House urging President Barack Obama to get behind the effort to legalize marijuana.

 

But Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske made it clear the administration had intentions of change its stance.

 

“Our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug’s effects,” Kerlikowske said, noting its association with “addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment.”

 

“Simply put, it is not a benign drug,” Kerlikowske said. “As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem…. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.”

Pot Legalization Effort Unites Odd Couple in U.S. House (NewsMax)

White House Rebuffs Marijuana Legalization Petitions (by Phillip Smith, StopTheDrugWar.org)

Why Marijuana Legalization Would Compromise Public Health and Public Safety (Gil Kerlikowske, ONDCP)

 

ONDCP Budget Creates Controversy with Congress

Although Congress has repeatedly asked the ONDCP for greater transparency, it released an unclear and confusing budget in February 2008. The agency requested $14.1 billion for drug control efforts, a 3.4% increase. Two-thirds are earmarked for law enforcement, interdiction and programs to destroy drug crops abroad, while one third would fund treatment and prevention efforts. Some lawmakers have complained that the agency has not provided the whole picture and asked the agency to comply with a new way of reporting, which it has not done.

Drug Office's Budget Tactics Faulted (by Christopher Lee, Washington Post)

 

Salon Blogger Calls Drug Czar on the Carpet for Lying

A blog entry, written by Pete Guither and published on Salon.com in 2008, called out the ONDCP’s “Drug Czar,” claiming the position is required by law to lie about drugs. Since the director is bound by law to oppose legalization of any substance on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, he or she must oppose the issue of medical marijuana, which has been found to have “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” or “accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision” by extensive research. (Even the federal government supplies it to patients.) So, Guither concluded, the Drug Czar is required by law to lie about the facts.

 

On April 2, 2003, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) wrote a letter to the General Accounting Office asking for an investigation into ONDCP lobbying activities and its dissemination of “misleading information.” The blog entry also pointed out that the agency’s director was required by law to claim that the anti-drug programs were working, despite evidence to the contrary.

The Drug Czar is required by law to lie (by Pete Guither, Drug WarRant)

 

ONDCP Scolded by GAO for Fake News Ads Before Super Bowl

In January 2005, The Washington Post reported that a story aired before the Super Bowl on numerous local news stations was created by the government’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, not a journalist. The investigative arm of the Congress scolded the Bush administration for distributing phony news after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that this practice amounted to illegal “covert propaganda.” The GAO also objected to the use of taxpayer money to produce these ads. Seven of the ads were produced and shown on 770 stations. At least 300 news shows used some or all of the materials for stories or sound bites.

Drug Control Office Faulted For Issuing Fake News Tapes (by Ceci Connolly, Washington Post)

The Persistence Of Folly: ONDCP’s Anti Drug Campaign (Common Sense for Drug Policy)

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Suggested Reforms:

Edward H. Jurith (Interim Director)   (January 20, 2009 – May 6, 2009)

John P. Walters                                   (December 7, 2001 – January 19, 2009)

Barry McCaffrey                                (February 29, 1996 – January 4, 2001)

Lee P. Brown                                      (January 1993 – December 12, 1995)

Bob Martinez                                     (March 28, 1991 – January 20, 1993)

William Bennett                                  (1989 – 1991)

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Debate:

Should marijuana for medical purposes be legalized?

Even though 17 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, the debate continues over whether other states and the federal government should go down this same road.

 

Pro:

 

Proponents for the legal use of medical marijuana say marijuana has become an acceptable and effective form of medical treatment in the U.S. They argue it’s time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve marijuana use for health reasons because the evidence exists that it is a safe and effective treatment for dozens of conditions, including cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, migraines, glaucoma, and epilepsy. Legalization also would prevent thousands of deaths annually from unsafe use of legal prescription drugs. Many doctors side with medical marijuana advocates, noting how the drug can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

Marijuana Legalization (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

Medical Marijuana - Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option? (Neighborhood Link)

 

Con:

 

Opponents argue that marijuana has not and should not be approved by the FDA because it is too dangerous to use, and that various FDA-approved drugs make the use of marijuana unnecessary. Marijuana is addictive and can lead to more dangerous illegal drugs, they claim. Opponents also say medical marijuana is a front for drug legalization, and that people who claim medical use are actually using it for recreational pleasure. Not all physicians endorse medical marijuana. Former U.S. Senator Bill Frist (R-Tennessee), who is also a doctor, said marijuana is a “dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms.”

More Research Needed Before Marijuana Is Safe (by Kevin Sabet, U.S. News & World Report)

Marijuana Legalization: A Bad Idea (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

 

Other Links:

Top 10 Pros and Cons: Should Marijuana Be A Medical Option? (ProCon.org)

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Comments

C.Ralph Harriman 2 weeks ago
First of all you have no right to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own body. You stick you nose in my business you will get your nose cut off. Patent number 6630507 is a U S patent on marijuana and it shows many of its medical abilities. 2nd in 1974 the medical college of Virginia per order of nixon to try and find bad stuff about marijuana discovered it cures cancer. The DEA immediately stepped in and shut it down because of what they were being paid by prescription drug companies. How many innocent people have been murdered by this corrupt government since 1974. Check out Cash Hyde a 4 year old child murdered by our government. I quit smoking marijuana over 9 years ago and haven't touched it since. About 2 weeks ago I did get my medical marijuana card. I get insomnia real bad and marijuana helps with that. because of taking dangerously high sleeping medications for the last year I had a heart attack last year caused by one of the medications. You have never had one person die of marijuana so where to hell do you get off calling it a dangerous drug. You have never tried it so you are totally uneducated so you have no right to vote so shut your ignorant mouth. I use the tincture because I don't want to get high and I don't. My wife has Parkinsons Disease and it helps with that. So needless to say try to take my marijuana and you will think WW3 has started and you are in the middle of it. The way I see it you don't own me so if I don't want to wear a seat belt in a car or have a life preserver in a boat or I want to fill my body with heroin it is none of your business and if you butt in all you will get for your trouble is badly injured. Stay out of my business and I stay out if yours. I am completely ready to die to stand up for my rights and if you muckle on you had best be prepared to do the same. No cop will ever take me in alive for what is my right to do..
Laura 10 months ago
I beg to differ, while the polls may show the majority of the population are for legalizing a drug regardless of what scientist or medical individuals indicate - they obviously have not asked the right people because my answer is absolutely NOT. We already have a crisis with drug in this country and a crisis in the work place with drug users of any kind. When it gets to a point in life that you wake up and go to work thinking another productive day is in your grasp and you get sick from residue of drugs transferred from one employee to work documentation to another employee - then we are clearly off our rockers if we think legalizing a drug is the way to go! Unfortunately, I have recently suffered that experience and it appalling to think that this is where American has come and going. What about those of us who chooses to live a drug free life! What happened to drug testing that was stated on federal applications? What happened to investing in ALL employees and not just those that are on the same political track that our leaders are on. Do we not count anymore? I am so frustrated because I should not have had to endure that experience in the work place and nothing about combatting drug users in the work place is being discussed - making drugs legal is. Wow!
ryan 1 year ago
First off what the hell with 26 billion dollars a year being spent on anti drug policing and nothing to really show for it except 61% of the us population disagreeing with you about the severity of marijuana the fact that they believe it should be legalized for personal consumption they say the people are the government then why the hell are we not being listened to,you say you want change vote on it then we do it passes and then what happens oh were told that its not up to us really at all wow good way to show the country that bases its reputation about fairness and freedom but then says we can't even be Free to make our own choices or fair to the majority of the population who thinks it should be legalized so good job wasting american tax dollars on doing nothing but blocking our american right and tossing away our freedom to make our own choices
Edward F Grant 1 year ago
dear sirs, i believe i have a somewhat simple plan to help reduce the use and importation of cociane into the united states. i believe this plan of mine would most likely reduce the amount of cociane reaching america and would without a doubt increase the price substancially, there-by reducing the ability to purchase this drug. please feel free to contact me with any questions you might and should have concerning this proposal. sincerely, edward f. grant (631)987-1136
Robert 2 years ago
quick question what was the 2010 budget for the office of national drug control policy im doing it for a class report
Misty Stinson 2 years ago
your research is flawed and your propaganda is old. we are fully aware of your intentions to keep a non toxic plant illegal, in order to keep americans unhealthy. cannabis is non toxic and non addictive and this is a fact. it is time the government works for us and not against us. hemp is the number one plant on earth and can save us from this toxic environment you have created by making cannabis and hemp illegal. quit lying. you look super unintelligent by backing the lies against ...
Roskamp Institute 3 years ago
This is a great example of one the government's great programs. It has many top notch programs. Some times the private sector comes us with great ones too. The Roskamp Institute at www.roskampgulfwar.org is a non government one that can help Gulf War vets too.

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Founded: 1988
Annual Budget: $25.6 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 99 (FY 2013 Request)
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Kerlikowske, Gil
Director

President Obama’s nominee to be the nation’s new “drug czar,” Robert Gil Kerlikowske, was confrimed on May 7, 2009. Kerlikowske has spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement, including a stint as a narcotics officer and eight years as Seattle’s police chief, during which he downplayed the importance of arresting individuals for marijuana possession.

 
Born in Fort Myers, Florida, in 1949, Kerlikowske was raised by his mother and stepfather, who was a judge. As a high school student, Kerlikowske worked as a crime scene photographer on weekends, and he discovered his love for law enforcement while fingerprinting criminals at a Florida jail. Kerlikowske enrolled in St. Petersburg Junior College, but was drafted into the army in 1970, and joined the Army Military Police. He was stationed in Washington, DC, where his duties included saluting then-President Richard Nixon as he boarded the Marine One helicopter.
 
Kerlikowske married in 1972, and he and his first wife, Carol, had two children. After leaving the military, Kerlikowske began his law enforcement career in 1972 as a street cop for the St. Petersburg Police in Florida. His assignments included work as an undercover narcotics detective, an internal affairs investigator and a police hostage negotiator. By 1985 he had been promoted to head of the department’s criminal investigation division.
 
In his off hours, Kerlikowske attended college at the University of South Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree (1978) and a master’s degree (1985) in criminal justice. He later graduated from the National Executive Institute at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in 1984.
 
He was hired to be the police chief for the town of Port St. Lucie in Florida in March 1987. He later held the same post for Fort Pierce beginning in January 1990, before moving in 1994 to Buffalo, New York, to become police commissioner.
 
Kerlikowske was the first department outsider to lead the Buffalo police department. He was credited for lowering the crime rate, improving police relations with the community and introducing basic technological advancements in the Buffalo police department, along with instituting random drug testing of officers.
 
He married his second wife, criminal justice researcher Anna Laszlo, in 1995.
 
In 1998, Kerlikowske relocated to Washington, DC, to join the US Department of Justice during the Clinton administration. There, he served as a deputy director for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, where he oversaw community policing grants. During his time at the Justice Department, Kerlikowske established a strong relationship with Eric Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton years, and is now US Attorney General.
 
Kerlikowske was selected to become Seattle’s police chief in 2001. During his tenure in Seattle, Kerlikowske won credit for stabilizing the department after the stormy departure of Norm Stamper as chief in the wake of the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle. Crimes rates dipped during his time as chief, reaching historic lows in recent years.
 
But his time as police chief was not without some controversy and drama. Kerlikowske faced criticism over the department’s slow response to the 2001 Seattle Mardi Gras Riots that left one man dead and 70 people with injuries. During the incident, he ordered the police at the scene not to intervene, instead maintaining a perimeter around the violence. The city of Seattle acknowledged that police strategy presented a public safety threat, and settled with the murder victim’s family for just under $2,000,000. The next month, The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild voted no confidence in the chief, citing both the Mardi Gras riot and his public reprimand of an officer for being rude to a group of young jaywalkers.
 
In 2003, Kerlikowske was asked about his views on a local ballot initiative to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority. In response, he stated that “arresting people for possessing marijuana for personal use... is not a priority now.”
 
In 2004, Kerlikowske admitted publicly that he had been recruited to leave Seattle to run police departments in San Francisco and Boston. In September 2004, he allowed himself to be jolted with 50,000 volts of electricity to demonstrate the non-lethal efficiency of Taser guns. And in December, he left a 9-mm Glock semiautomatic handgun underneath the seat of his car while shopping with his wife. The gun was stolen out of his car, and a spokesman for Kerlikowske said the chief was “chagrined.”
 
In July 2007, a citizen oversight panel accused Kerlikowske of repeatedly interfering in an internal investigation into the actions of a pair of officers accused of beating a suspect.
 
Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske Biography (Seattle Police Dept)
Seattle police chief to become nation's drug czar (by Steve Miletich and Mike Carter, Seattle Times)
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Walters, John
Previous Director
John P. Walters served as the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy from December 7, 2001, until the end of the presidency of George W. Bush. Walters earned a BA from Michigan State University's James Madison College and an MA from the University of Toronto.
 
Walters taught political science at James Madison College and Boston College before serving as Acting Assistant Director and Program Officer in the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1982 to 1985. Walters then worked at the Department of Education during the Reagan administration, where he headed the Schools Without Drugs prevention program.
 
Walters went on to serve as deputy director and acting director of the Office of National Control Policy under William J. Bennett, who was drug czar in the administration of President George H. W. Bush. Walters quit in protest when President Bill Clinton reduced the office’s staff and announced that he was redirecting antinarcotics policy to focus on hard-core users, while de-emphasizing enforcement and interdiction.
 
In 1996 Walters testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was highly critical of what he called Clinton’s “ineffectual policy—the latest manifestation of the liberals commitment to a therapeutic state in which government serves as the agent of personal rehabilitation.”
 
Walters has been president of the Philanthropy Roundtable, an association that advises more than 600 donors to charities. He has also served as president of the New Citizenship Project which promoted the role of religion in public life.
 
 
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