Last updated on: 7/15/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Biography

Position:
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“Marijuana and other illicit drugs are addictive and unsafe especially for use by young people. The science, though still evolving in terms of long-term consequences, is clear: marijuana use is harmful. Independent from the so called ‘gateway effect’—marijuana on its own is associated with addiction, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and cognitive impairment, among other negative effects.

Despite successful political campaigns to legalize ‘medical’ marijuana in 15 states and the District of Columbia, the cannabis (marijuana) plant itself is not medicine. While there may be medical value for some of the individual components of the cannabis plant, the fact remains that smoking marijuana is an inefficient and harmful method for delivering the constituent elements that have or may have medicinal value. As always, the FDA process remains the only scientific and legally recognized procedure for bringing safe and effective medications to the American public. To date, the FDA has not found smoked marijuana to be either safe or effective medicine for any condition (see more on medical marijuana below).”

“2011 National Drug Control Strategy,” whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, released July 11, 2011

“Legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary, and it’s not in mine. Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.”

Director Gil Kerlikowske at a press conference following $1.2 billion marijuana raid in Fresno, CA, as quoted in “Drug Czar: Feds Won’t Support Legalized Pot,” by Marc Benjamin of the Fresno Bee, July 22, 2009

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a component of the Executive Office of the President, was established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988…

By law, the Director of ONDCP also evaluates, coordinates, and oversees both the international and domestic anti-drug efforts of executive branch agencies and ensures that such efforts sustain and complement State and local anti-drug activities. The Director advises the President regarding changes in the organization, management, budgeting, and personnel of Federal Agencies that could affect the Nation’s anti-drug efforts; and regarding Federal agency compliance with their obligations under the Strategy.”

“About,” ONDCP website (accessed Oct. 12, 2009)

Mission:

“The principal purpose of ONDCP is to establish policies, priorities, and objectives for the Nation’s drug control program. The goals of the program are to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.”

“About,” ONDCP website (accessed Oct. 12, 2009)

Other:
US government agency
Quoted in:
  1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?
  2. Does Marijuana Cause Depression or Other Mood Disorders?
  3. Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for the Symptoms of Arthritis?
  4. Is the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approval Process Subverted by Passing Bills and State Initiatives That Legalize Medical Marijuana?
  5. Has Legalizing Medical Marijuana Led to Increased Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents?
  6. Has Legalizing Medical Marijuana Led to Increased Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents?
  7. Is Medical Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Depression, Bipolar Disorders, Anxiety, and Similar Mood Disorders?
  8. Is Marinol Better Medicine Than Marijuana?