; De-escalating the Drug War
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De-escalating the Drug War

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"He recognizes that we can't arrest our way out of these problems," says Alison Chinn Holcomb, drug policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington. "Seattle is a leader in exploring alternatives to reliance on criminal sanctions as the primary response to drug use and abuse, and Chief [R. Gil Kerlikowske] has been someone that has allowed that exploration to go forward."By contrast, while directing the ONDCP, [John Walters] made it clear he wasn't interested in considering alternatives to the status quo. "Whatever challenges await, President-elect [Obama] will not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to keeping a lid on the use of illegal drugs," Walters wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Dec. 5. "Our policy has been a success - although that success is one of Washington's best kept secrets."Ethan Nadelmann, director of the national drug policy reform organization Drug Policy Alliance, says Kerlikowske is up to the task "Kerlikowske isn't going to be in tiis alone," he says. "President Obama has made a very public commitment to certain reforms, including his support for federal funding of needle exchange and an end to the crack/powder cocaine disparity''

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