April 12, 2017

New drug czar wants to make drug war even worse

Washington Post - Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) will be President Trump's drug czar, according to a report from CBS News. Marino's congressional voting record is that of a hard-liner on marijuana issues, and he recently said that he'd like to put nonviolent drug offenders in some sort of “hospital-slash-prison.”

As drug czar, Marino would oversee the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a branch of the White House that advises the president on drug policy issues.

Former drug czars from a more militant drug policy era have been publicly agitating to “bring back the war on drugs.” Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is moving to put criminal justice back at the forefront of drug policy. Sessions promises to focus on drug enforcement 'with new intensity'
With the selection of Marino, another piece of Trump's drug control strategy falls into place. In Congress, Marino voted multiple times against a bipartisan measure to prevent the Justice Department from going after state-legal medical marijuana businesses. (The measure ultimately passed.)

Similarly, he voted against a measure to allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients, as well as against a separate measure to loosen federal restrictions on hemp, a non-psychoactive variant of the cannabis plant with potential industrial applications.


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