Legalizing marijuana will not solve the country’s drug problem, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, said Wednesday.
Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, Kerlikowske said state laws in Colorado and Washington that have legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana present complex questions, UPI reports.
“The Justice Department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged,” he said. “Neither a state nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress, nor should we lose sight of the fundamental fact that using marijuana has public health consequences, and the most responsible public policy is one that restricts its availability and discourages its use.”
The Obama Administration has committed more than $10 billion to drug education programs and support for expanding access to drug addiction treatment, he told reporters.