Trump Administration May Eliminate Office of National Drug Control Policy/Drug Czar Position

The Trump Administration may eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which is headed by the nation’s “Drug Czar”.

The ONDCP seal.

According to the New York Times, the White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending.

The Times states that, “Mr. Trump has spoken volubly about the nation’s drug problems, yet the list includes the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which dispenses grants to reduce drug use and drug trafficking.”

Eliminating the ONDCP would be an unprecedented move that would remove federal drug czar as a position in the government; given that the drug czar is forced by law to oppose any attempt to legalize an illegal substance – regardless of the merits in favor of doing so – it’s certainly not a position many drug reform advocates will be upset about losing.

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Senators Push Feds to Ease Restrictions on Cannabis Research

By Sarah Ferris, TheHill.com

purpleplantSen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to make it easier for government-paid researchers to study marijuana – and not just its negative side effects.

Eight Democratic senators, led by Warren, are urging federal health and drug officials to address the “data shortfall” on potential health benefits of medical marijuana by making it easier for researchers to study the drug.

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U.S. Senate Confirms Michael Botticelli As White House Drug Czar

Interim drug czar ondcpMichael Botticelli has been confirmed by the United States Senate as the permanent holder of the position. Drug czar is the unofficial, though oft-cited, title for the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Michael Botticelli recently made news by announcing that he supports Washington D.C.’s ability to spend its own funding implementing its own laws, even if that means legalizing the distribution of recreational cannabis. The announcement is in contrast to the majority opinion of Congress, which recently passed a spending bill that included a provision which blocks D.C. from spending any funding – federal or local – implementing the legalization of cannabis. The move by Congress doesn’t, however, effect the recent voter-approved legalization of cannabis possession and cultivation.

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