- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There are several good reasons to get rid of the office of the “drug czar” (“Drug czar should go,” Commentary, Monday). First, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is a complete failure. Advertised “messages” from the drug czar have been met with roaring laughter from teens, at whom the ads were aimed. In fact, such propaganda actually increased drug use among kids.

In the past 10 years, the ONDCP has spent $1.4 billion on youth anti-pot ads. It also has spent $43 million to study their effectiveness. When science found that kids who have seen the ONDCP ads are more likely to smoke pot, the drug czar buried the evidence, choosing to spend hundreds of millions more on the counterproductive ads. Obviously, truth is not on the ONDCP menu.

One very big reason for failure is that the drug czar is bound by law to resist any change to drug-prohibition laws, no matter what the facts may show. Because a July 2009 Mother Jones story exposed the legal requirement that the drug czar must always lie about legalizing Schedule I drugs such as marijuana, it is clear no one should not expect a single word of truth from current drug czar Gil Kerlikowske about marijuana or any other prohibited drug. According tothe National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: “The Director … (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form).”

So much for honesty and integrity.

RALPH GIVENS

Daly City, Calif.

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