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Press Release  | 02/12/2014

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) Introduces Bill Allowing Drug Czar to Speak the Truth about Marijuana

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Under Current Law Drug Czar Must Oppose Legalization of Marijuana, Even for Medical Use, No Matter What the Science Shows or What the American People Support

Cohen Bill Would Allow Drug Czar to Take Same Positions on Marijuana Policy as President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder

WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced The Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act of 2014 (H.R. 4046). The bill would repeal a little know provision of federal law that requires the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), informally known as the U.S. Drug Czar, to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of marijuana or any Schedule I drug for medical or non-medical use. The provision even prohibits ONDCP from studying legalization.

Because of the ban, the Drug Czar and his staff are unfairly prevented from stating their true positions on marijuana policy and are not even allowed to study the legalization of medical marijuana in 20 states and the District of Columbia or the legalization of marijuana like alcohol in Colorado and Washington. Many believe the ban makes government officials too afraid during congressional hearings to even say scientifically accurate statements like the fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol, heroin and other drugs when asked by members of Congress.

“It’s extraordinary if you really think about it: a federal law prohibiting a federal agency from even studying an issue, and then directing that agency to oppose any reform no matter what scientific or other evidence emerges,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.  “That such a law remains on the books is disgraceful.  I pity the intellectually honest staff at the drug czar’s office who are muzzled and censored, and effectively compelled to lie when they testify before Congress and speak to the public.”

A majority of Americans want to treat marijuana like alcohol. President Obama has said that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and that legalization in Colorado and Washington should move forward. In January, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration will announce guidelines that will make it easier for banks to deal with state-legalized marijuana businesses.

The ban only applies to the Drug Czar, which means that the nation’s top drug policy advisor is forced to take positions at odds with the President who appointed him and the Attorney General that wages the drug war.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Bill Piper 202-669-6430

Edited by GregS
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Integrity!  Who needs integrity when you have a government pension all lined up??

These people are sworn to take their position, despite moral prerogatives. It's like every other claim that people offer when confronted with questions regarding moral consequence that is obviously fuked up; that is to say the argument that they are only the messengers. Hey. The b!tches signed up for the job. Now own it. Otherwise they are not just cowards, but gutless cowards.

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Yeap.

 

 I been telling people for years the DEA etc. are required by law to lie about drugs, their impact and effects; so long as it is done with the premise of reducing drug use etc.

 

So people get mad at the DEA rep for saying that stuff, but the legislature passed a law forcing them(DEA) to lie to the legislature when they testify or advertise or release information and documents.

 

 Glad to see some shift ideas entering the realm of possibilities.

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