Loud cheers, and exhalations of potent sinsemilla smoke, greeted a surprise announcement from White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey, indicating that he is resigning his position as head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, effective January 6, 2001.
McCaffrey, a decorated military commander who was appointed by President Clinton in February, 1996, said he was giving notice early so that whoever is elected president in November will get a head start on picking a new drug czar.
There Gore or Bush campaigns have said nothing about who they would choose to replace McCaffrey. Third-party candidates Ralph Nader and Harry Browne would likely eliminate McCaffrey’s position; neither candidate believes in the drug war.
Some observers had worried that McCaffrey might be held over by a new administration. The law authorizing McCaffrey’s position does not require that he be fired at the end of Clinton’s term, and McCaffrey’s resignation statement lauded Clinton and administration officials for their commitment to the drug war.
McCaffrey spokeswoman Nicole Harry claims that McCaffrey feels upbeat and proud of his ONDCP achievements, already has several worthwhile job offers, and will perhaps spend his time writing books and teaching at West Point military academy.
Marijuana movement insiders suspect that McCaffrey is resigning to avoid scandals, lawsuits, and investigations centering on his numerous misstatements and questionable policies and procedures. The General lied about Holland’s crime statistics, militarized the drug war at home and abroad, spent taxpayer dollars bribing television networks to include anti-drug propaganda in prime time programming, mismanaged ONDCP, and spent much of his time fighting medical marijuana initiatives.
Cannabis Culture journalist Pete Brady met and photographed McCaffrey in person, and provides a unique insight into the General’s mind, and the controversies swirling around McCaffrey’s tenure, in the current issue of Cannabis Culture.
* Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) press release: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/news/press/2000/101600.html
* Gen McCaffrey becomes Drug Czar (mar 96): http://www.ndsn.org/MARCH96/DRUGCZAR.html
* The General McCaffrey Scientific Fool Award www.peele.net/mccaffrey/