February 12th, 2009
12:18 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama administration selects 'drug czar'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration has offered the position of "drug czar” to Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Thursday.

Kerlikowske has accepted the nomination for the cabinet-level post, formally known as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the official said. His nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

Kerlikowske, 59, is a military veteran with 36 years of law enforcement experience. The "drug czar" oversees an agency that sets the country's drug-control strategy.

Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Deborah

    I hope he starts his first day by investigating the prescription drug habits of Rush.

    Then, start finding out why pharmacutical companies are allowed to get away with charging so much for legal drugs when people are arrested for things like pot which is no where near as lethal as oxicontin.

    February 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Justin

    Michael Phelps for drug czar

    February 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. stop the raids

    Good. Now stop raiding CA dispensaries whoa re giving out medicine to AIDS, MS and cancer patients.

    February 12, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. John Bird

    Unless this new 'czar' intends to lead the charge to drastically reform marijuana laws in this country, we will have more of the same. Many people are unaware that the number one cash crop of violent Mexican narcotraffickers is actually marijuana.

    While this drug causes little to no crime by its use, maintaining its possession and sale as prosecutable offenses allows these criminals to make money hand over fist on their farms both in Mexico and in the United States, as well as funding their violent acts along the border. A new tack on this would be appreciated by freedom-minded, pragmatic liberals and conservatives alike.

    February 12, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. In Houston, TX

    Legalize marijuana, and a large portion of the "drug problem" will go away. There are alot of peole in jai and for what? America's "War On Drugs" is a sick joke on the American people. Our drug policy is outdated and hypocritical and most of the laws are racistly biased (i.e. crack vs cocaine sentencing guidlines)
    Everytime somebody get's high is a loss for America in the War on drugs, meaning that America is losing the war on drugs and like the war in Iraq this probably a war that we should not be fighting. Nonetheless there are drugs out there that we should be protected from and some drug policy should be in place.

    February 12, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Cue GOPers blathering about Obama's drug use as a kid...

    February 12, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. carlo

    Kind of makes sense to put a cop in charge of drug enforcement. Certainly makes more sense that taking advice from draft dodgers Cheney and Wolfowitz about drugs.

    February 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. fydo1974

    This position should be eliminated and the war on drugs should be abandoned.

    February 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. Jon in CA

    Has he paid his taxes??

    February 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. pete

    Is he a convicted drug dealer, like Geithner is an admitted tax cheat?

    February 12, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Drug Czar?

    What the country needs is to enforce the laws already on the books, plus an aggressive drug prevention plan, Stop blaming the other guy, the Colombians, the Mexicans, the Taliban Etc.. and All of that is nothing but poor excuses. The US is the biggest consumer of illegal substances in the world, if you don’t have a market, suppliers don’t have an incentive to cross the borders with drugs.
    Remember is a US problem, don’t blame the other guy, or start blaming breweries for alcoholism.

    Clean your house, and the rest will follow.

    February 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. What's That Smell?

    There is a real issue with Mexico that needs to be halted immediately.

    We need the full force of the US military brought down on drug cartels that have spread into Northern Mexico and are spilling their destructive practices across the border.

    Murder, kidnapping, drug trafficing in the US carried out by Mexicans or Americans working as agents of Mexicans is not acceptable. The Mexican police is either too corupt or impotent to smash these people so we've got to do it.

    February 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Hopefully she has some fresh ideas on the "drug war" and how to address the issue.

    February 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. southerncousin

    Great, with the deficit growing like it is because of the porkulus bill, we can use more back tax money from Obama appointees.

    February 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Back to the 13th Century

    And on it goes as Obama desparately tries to throw this country in socialism and 13th centry practices in medicine

    February 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Judy from PA

    I wonder if he paid his taxes.

    February 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. IKE in Atlanta

    Has he paid his taxes?

    February 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. FreeNLovIt

    I miss Nancy Reagan's message of Say No to Drugs. I cant believe how powerful the drug warlords are!! War on drugs abandoned? Are U nuts!!! I dont want my 5-year-old nieces and nephews coming HOME high on cocaine!! That's crazy. We can win the war on drugs if we treat it like the War on Terror, but we dont and that's because it's all about the $$$$. Money is the root of all evil.

    February 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Pee Wee

    I thought it would be Michael Phelps!

    February 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Noah

    Carlo- Draft dodgers? Like Bill Clinton?

    February 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Sniffit


    February 12, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    The "War On Drugs", like prisons, has become a growth industry, and should be abolished. Did we learn nothing from Prohibition? The similarities are striking, to say the least.

    February 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. esther

    how about a war on poverty? -tupac .... too many billions going down the train to support minor offense users in jail. smoke a joint, get free cabel. what exactly is our message on drugs? if mary-jane was legailized we would be sitting on the biggest cash crop our nation has seen in 100 years! legalize it, tax it, get it together people!!

    February 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Donnie

    Don't worry our president love to do drugs

    February 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Wanda in Montana

    When will we quit being such Ruskies with Czars?

    The so-called "drug war" is over. We lost. Get over it. Stop throwing good money after bad. Move on.

    February 12, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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