Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
Drug legalization “is not a part of the president's vocabulary under any circumstances and it's not a part of mine,” said Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlikowske in a recent interview, Reuters reported June 5.
However, Kerlikowske said the federal government should spend less time and money pursuing nonviolent drug offenders (“We need to devote those finite resources toward those people who are the most dangerous to the community,” he said) and invest more in demand reduction, especially addiction treatment for prisoners.
“It's clear that if they go to prison and they have a drug problem and you don't treat it and they return … to the same neighborhood from whence they came that you are going to have the same problem,” Kerlikowske said in an interview with Reuters. “Quite frankly people in neighborhoods, police officers, et cetera, are tired of recycling the problem. Let's try and fix it.”
Kerlikowske repeated his call for ending use of the term 'war on drugs' and said he will seek a more balanced approach to addressing the nation's drug problem.