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Kerlikowske wants to drop “war on drugs” term

Former Seattle Police Gil Kerlikowske, the Obama administration’s new drug czar, says in today’s Wall Street Journal that he wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting a “war on drugs.”

“Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” Kerlikowske said his first interview since he was confirmed last week to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “We’re not at war with people in this country.”

stop drug war marijuana Kerlikowske, a 36-year law-enforcement veteran who was Seattle’s top cop for nine years, has previously pledged to take a balanced approach to the job using scientific study to shape policy. He also said he will focus on reducing demand for illicit drugs in the United States — a sharp contrast from the Bush administration’s focus on intercepting drugs as they cross the border and punishing drug crimes.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this story.

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