U.S. drug czar: It is a mistake to call drug policies a ‘war’

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, July 30, 2012 18:02 EDT
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Gil Kerlikowske official portrait
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Gil Kerlikowske, head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Monday that it was a mistake to refer to anti-drug policies as a “war on drugs.”

“I think what I’ve always mentioned is that it’s a mistake to call it a ‘war on drugs’ because it lends itself to a simplistic solution to what we all know is a very complex problem,” he said at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Kerlikowske said in 2009 that his office would stop using the term “war on drugs” because it implied the government was waging battle against its own citizens. “We’re not at war with people in this country,” he insisted.

But at the event Monday, Devon Tackels of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy questioned if Kerlikowske had ended the “war on drugs” in name only. Tackels said the U.S. still arrests about 1.5 million people each year because of drugs.

“Most of the law enforcement in the United States on drugs is done on the state and local level, it’s clearly not done by the federal level,” Kerlikowske said.

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by SSDP, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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