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Drug Czar

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NEWS
September 9, 1989 | By Hank Klibanoff, Inquirer Staff Writer
When federal drug czar William J. Bennett comes to town Sept. 18, he won't get the usual visiting VIP treatment. Local officials normally like to impress state visitors by showing them the best that Philadelphia has to offer. But U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter said Bennett would be shown the worst. Specter said he would try to convince the nation's first director of national drug control policy that Philadelphia has a worse drug problem than any other major U.S. city. "What we hope to show czar Bennett is that the problem is really very, very extreme in this city, worse than in any other major city," Specter said at a brief news conference at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel.
NEWS
October 16, 1991 | by Dave Davies, Daily News Staff Writer
It was an outbreak of substance in the mayor's race. Republican mayoral candidate Joseph Egan yesterday offered an eight-point crime-fighting program with a cherry on top: former District Attorney and Republican wunderkind Ronald Castille as his drug czar. Democrat Edward Rendell promised to try to combine Philadelphia's city- owned utilities for gas and water. He said he'll root out patronage and cut costs, including the legal fees of a politically connected law firm. Calling crime and drugs "the No. 1 issue" of the campaign, Egan offered a plan he claimed would pay for 1,000 new police officers.
NEWS
May 4, 1989 | By R.A. Zaldivar, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Drug czar William J. Bennett, in a preview of his national strategy against drugs, called yesterday for a policy that would guarantee punishment for recreational drug users and hold parents accountable for their children's drug offenses. "The drug user, the drug dealer, and the drug trafficker alike believe that the laws forbidding their activities no longer have teeth, and they consequently feel free to violate those laws with impunity," Bennett said. In a blunt speech at an anti-drug forum sponsored by the Washington Hebrew Congregation, Bennett suggested that the way to keep people from dabbling with drugs was to scare them.
NEWS
May 14, 1989 | By Pamela Pavlik, Special to The Inquirer
Philadelphia drug czar Robert Armstrong came to the Northeast recently, bringing his drug-fighting message to a group of concerned parents. "It's a war," he told them. "Kids are born addicted, recruited by drug barons into a world of crime and tremendous violence. We enjoy so many rights, but we can't walk our streets safely. " But this group knew all too well the problems of children in trouble, with drugs being only one of the problems. These were the parents of teenagers who had run away, who had been thrown out of school, who had stolen from them - one man said his son cashed his paycheck to buy drugs - and who had told their parents that they hated them.
NEWS
April 12, 1989 | By Edward Moran, Daily News Staff Writer
More than two months after Robert F. Armstrong was publicly crowned as city drug czar, he and officials yesterday finally agreed on some key aspects of the new job. Following weeks of negotiations, Armstrong yesterday agreed to leave his job as the Police Department's second in command - first deputy police commissioner - and will hold the rank of deputy city managing director during his stint as Mayor Goode's drug czar. Armstrong, 59, will be paid $84,900, $1,400 more than in his old job. Once he completes the anti-drug assignment, he will return to his police rank and immediately retire with a pension approaching $70,000 a year.
NEWS
August 4, 1988
Philadelphia, which is theoretically a democracy, is about to get its third czar. If the bureaucratic path can be cleared, the mayor expects to name a drug czar to join an administration that already has an AIDS czar and a czar for the homeless. This proliferation of czars to tackle major social problems that the existing bureaucracy can't seem to handle would be troubling if the situation itself wasn't so desperate. In truth, the homeless and AIDS czars - both highly motivated activists - seem to be doing good jobs.
NEWS
February 6, 1989 | By Dan Lovely, Daily News Staff Writer
Mayor Goode this morning appointed First Deputy Police Commissioner Robert F. Armstrong as the city's "drug czar" and promised by spring a new battle plan in the war on drugs. Goode said his top priority was to "reduce the level of fear" in the neighborhoods. "I want to see less visible activity of drug-selling going on on street corners," Goode said. Armstrong, 59, a 35-year veteran of the Police Department, will take the new post Feb. 21. Goode said that on that date he will announce detailed plans for the city's spring offensive on drugs.
NEWS
March 14, 1997 | by Dave Davies, Daily News Staff Writer
When City Council President John Street pressed for a more aggressive drug-fighting strategy in budget hearings last week, the city's "drug czar," John Wilder, wasn't in Council chambers. "His absence was conspicuous," Street said, adding, "I don't know what role he has played. " Indeed, many Council members are unsure just what Wilder does. "I don't know Wilder," said Councilman Richard Mariano. "He may be a great guy, but when I'm up in the drug areas, he's not there.
NEWS
April 12, 1989 | By Robert J. Terry and Bill Miller, Inquirer Staff Writers
Longtime police commander Robert F. Armstrong yesterday reached agreement with the city over his pay and benefits as Mayor Goode's new drug czar, ending weeks of fragile negotiations that could have caused him to reject the job. The accord means Armstrong will be the city's first drug czar, on paper and in practice. All told, he had handled the anti-drug duties for seven weeks without actually signing on to the post. Friends said Armstrong was weary of the protracted discussions about money and was ready to forget the position.
NEWS
May 11, 1988 | From Inquirer Wire Services
A White House commission yesterday recommended a sweeping escalation in the war on drugs, including creation of a cabinet-level drug "czar" and greater use of the military to stop narcotics trafficking. In a draft report, the White House Conference for a Drug Free America also recommended establishment of an independent drug prevention agency and the death sentence for drug kingpins. "We are fighting to win," conference chairwoman Lois Herrington told 120 conferees in presenting the lengthy report that contained dozen of education, law enforcement and treatment measures - and that drew swift and angry reaction.
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NEWS
January 28, 2014 | BY DANNY WESTNEAT
SOMETIMES SEA changes come so slowly that, when they finally arrive, they barely make it into the news. So it was the other day when President Obama, in a magazine interview, said that marijuana, long classified as one of our worst drugs, is really about the same as alcohol. "As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice," Obama said. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol. " This story ran on Page A6 of the Seattle Times . That's probably because the implication of these words - that pot should be legalized, or at a minimum, decriminalized - has already been embraced by voters here.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | By Brian Witte, Associated Press
BALTIMORE - The nation's drug czar said Wednesday that the legalization of marijuana in Washington state and Colorado won't change his office's mission of fighting the country's drug problem by focusing on addiction treatment that will be available under the federal health overhaul. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the National Drug Control Policy, released President Obama's 2013 strategy for fighting drug addiction Wednesday at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. The strategy includes a greater emphasis on using public-health tools to battle addiction and diverting nonviolent drug offenders into treatment instead of prisons.
NEWS
February 27, 2012
U.S. judge delays BP spill trial NEW ORLEANS - A judge has delayed the federal trial over the nation's worst offshore oil disaster by a week, saying Sunday that BP P.L.C. was making some progress in settlement talks with a committee overseeing scores of lawsuits, according to people close to the case. The trial now is set to begin March 5. Two people close to the case told the Associated Press that the decision was made Sunday during a conference call between parties in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill case and U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.
NEWS
May 19, 2010
THE WAR on drugs is over, but we keep fighting it. And we may keep losing it . . . even with the fall of one of its key warriors, Indiana congressman Mark Souder - the evangelical who is known for abstinence-only sermonizing and who resigned yesterday over an affair with an aide. When Souder served as the chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, with oversight over anti-drug efforts, he was the author of the Drug-Free Student Loan amendment.
NEWS
May 19, 2010
THE WAR on drugs is over, but we keep fighting it. And we may keep losing it . . . even with the fall of one of its key warriors, Indiana congressman Mark Souder - the evangelical who is known for abstinence-only sermonizing and who resigned yesterday over an affair with an aide. When Souder served as the chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, with oversight over anti-drug efforts, he was the author of the Drug-Free Student Loan amendment.
NEWS
April 17, 2010 | By Don Sapatkin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A. Thomas McLellan, a former University of Pennsylvania psychologist whose appointment last year as the top federal official on addiction treatment was seen as signaling a major shift in drug policy, is planning to step down in July. Friends and colleagues said Friday that McLellan, who is known as a straight-talking, get-it-done kind of scientist, likes everything about the job except bureaucracy and politics. Unfortunately, his title is deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
NEWS
April 17, 2010 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A. Thomas McLellan, a former University of Pennsylvania psychologist whose appointment last year as the top federal official on addiction treatment was seen as signaling a major shift in drug policy, is planning to step down in July. Friends and colleagues said Friday that McLellan, who is known as a straight-talking, get-it-done kind of scientist, likes everything about the job except bureaucracy and politics. Unfortunately, his title is deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
NEWS
February 22, 2010 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
To much of official Washington, the portrait of substance abuse in the United States is grim: More than 22 million Americans abuse drugs or alcohol. Just 10 percent of them get treated - and an alarming number relapse. At treatment centers designed to help them, half the counselors quit each year. Worse, the newest research-based therapies often do not reach clinics at all. In the dysfunction, A. Thomas McLellan sees opportunity. "We've got to put scientific information into policies that make sense and will deliver for Americans," said McLellan, who left Philadelphia six months ago to become the nation's No. 2 drug-policy official.
NEWS
August 8, 2009
The Senate yesterday confirmed University of Pennsylvania psychologist A. Thomas McLellan as deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The vote, by unanimous consent, means that McLellan will be the No. 2 to Gil Kerlikowske, the former police chief of Seattle, who was confirmed this year as the office's director, better known as the drug czar. McLellan, a leading researcher in addiction and treatment, will be charged with reducing the nation's demand for drugs.
NEWS
April 16, 2009
THE WAR ON DRUGS was lost long ago, but that hasn't stopped us from wasting more than an estimated $1 trillion fighting it, plus incurring millions of casualties in the form of lives ruined unnecessarily. In the process, we have purposely rejected effective weapons against drug use in favor of methods that had been proven unworkable, like massive arrests and harsh sentences for possession. That finally may be changing. Last week, President Obama appointed A. Thomas McLellan, University of Pennsylvania psychiatry professor, as second in command to the nation's drug czar.
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