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. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Prohibition is a failed policy wasting precious taxpayer money. In a time where need to look at spending reduction, this area should be wide open for reduction. This country's war on drugs is costing too many lives for the benefit we are receiving.

    February 12, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. SBAMA

    Somebody needs to point out, in the War on Drugs, the Drugs won!

    Need to save some deficit money, legalize pot! Quit spending our hard earned tax payers money on trying to arrest Michael Phelps!

    February 12, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Adam

    Personally, I do not believe a police officer should be in control of this area. They should have a board with different members from different fields.

    I just hope this guy recognizes the difference between cannabis and other hard drugs. It's time we draw a line.

    Cannabis is a safer substance than alcohol and tobacco, therefore it should be legalized, taxed, and regulated.

    Let's stop throwing non-violent cannabis consumers in jail. It's a waste of space and waste of tax dollars.

    February 12, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. will

    legalize marijuana already and we'll be out of debt!

    February 12, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Jonathan Beckley

    what happened to combing through the budget eliminating wasteful spending? Stop the war on drugs, decriminalize Marijuana, legalize hemp production, and save a couple hundred billion a year. you don't have legalize cocaine, just quit pouring money into a lost cause.

    February 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. obama-mama

    Make sure he checks on potbelly Rush

    February 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. James L.

    Right...........................................cut it out of the budget and get reid of the all the CORRUPT policians and police. Save some $$.

    February 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Patriot Guy

    Another figurehead scapegoat to take the heat off of the lightweight.

    February 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Matt from Toronto, Canada

    As a personal, casual marijuana user in Canada, I hope that Mr. Kerlikowske severely lessens the Reaganesque "War on Drugs", which is really just a waste of so many resources. Luckily Mr. Kerlikowske understands the difference between criminal drug trafficking and private, responsible use of safer drugs like marijuana.

    February 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Lesley


    February 12, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Legalize marijuana, tax it, generate badly needed revenue created by illegal and un-Constitutional tax cuts, eliminate drug dealers' profit margin, provide national health care, save lives in the process, and stop over crowding in our jails. By Jove, I think we have a winning solution to some of this nation's problems.

    February 12, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Chris, Albany, NY

    What a waste of $$$. Let's see the "War on Drugs" has gone one for like what 40 years now, what has it actually accomplished? Half the country has smoked pot, meth was a HUGE thing for the last 10-15 years and I'm sure there have been more problems with this "war". The 1st day he should legalize marijuana since most of the country has woken up to the fact that pot isn't as bad as the gov't has been trying to make you believe over the past 80 years!

    February 12, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. DM

    In fact, cannabis has no lethal dosage, PERIOD.

    Alcohol and nicotine both have tight margins of lethal toxicity. Even water has an attainable level of toxicity in the human body. Cannabis does not.

    America is a free country is it not? Legalize cannabis like alcohol.

    February 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    It's worth fighting the war on drugs. It's worth bringing and raising up kids, drug-free. It's worth teaching them how to naturally cope with stress and live above the levels of sins and drugs. As a Christian, unfortunately, you ALL may be right. According to the Bible, in the last days, EARTH will be just like in Noah's Days – men evil in every form of life. In Noah's day, it was so horrible that God had to send the flood to destroy all life forms. Well, I guess Armageddon is knocking!!

    February 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Nancy Guinn

    Having lived in Seattle for 20 years and experience the inept abilities of Gil as head of the Police Department I don't expect much better from him as a cabinet member!

    February 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. John from San Diego

    Legalize marijuana, and the drug lords will have less power/money and the government will get more revenue.

    February 12, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. In Dallas

    Legalize Pot and the drug lords will go away.

    February 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Thom, now Chiefless in Seattle

    This is one of the best choices the President has made. Chief Kerlikowske is a good man and will make an excellent addition to the administraton. He has a sharp mind and a fine character. Obama gets another good one!

    February 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Adam


    So do you believe we should add alcohol and tobacco to the list of prohibited substances as well?

    Free God's Herb!

    February 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Bill

    Legalize it, tax the heck out of it and there's your bailout.

    February 12, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    Michael Phelps or A Rod for drug czar. Or how about Limbaugh – he knows a lot about illegal prescriptions and addiction.

    February 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. IRV

    Pot is addictive. Pot harms the lungs. Pot is a gateway drug. We need a war on the terror of drugs, which is holding our economy, our neighborhoods, and our minds hostage.

    February 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Ann

    Maybe he can concentrate on "drugs" instead of plants. The fact that people go to jail for smoking pot while liquor is totally legal is ludicrous !

    February 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. al+

    Should have picked RUSH, he knows where all the drugs are.

    February 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. jos

    If canabis were legalized and taxed, we would have less of a jail burden and not need a stimulous package. A tax burden on our children would not be a concern, nor would money for schools be a problem. I am not pro-drugs, just saying.

    February 12, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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