Former US Drug Czar Says ‘Knock Yourself Out’ To Growing ‘Giant Pot Plants’

General Barry McCaffrey, who served as “drug czar” under President Bill Clinton from 1996 to 2001, was asked about marijuana legalization at a February 23 panel discussion of the Council on Foreign Relations. The panel’s focus was primarily on US/Mexican relations, particularly during this period of intense prohibition-related violence. McCaffrey indicated that – now that he has left public life – he could admit that he did not care about adult marijuana use.

McCaffrey told the panel,

There’s a 10-minute answer, there’s an hour answer, there’s a three-day answer. And, fortunately, since I’m not in public life, I actually don’t care. I care about 6th graders through 12th graders. If you’re 40 years old, and you’re living in Oregon, and you have 12 giant pot plants in the back of your log cabin, knock yourself out.

The admission prompted outrage from prominent reformers in Canada who have long seen US policy as a major obstacle to domestic changes.

“General McCaffrey is a hypocrite,” says Marc Emery, Leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party. “Under his watch, America arrested millions of peaceful marijuana users, opposed states that enacted medical marijuana reforms and pressured Canada to not decriminalize marijuana. And now that he’s not getting a paycheck, he admits he doesn’t care? It’s outrageous.”

Kirk Tousaw, a Vancouver criminal defense lawyer that recently succeeded in having portions of Canada’s medical marijuana regime stricken as unconstitutional, had mixed feelings.

“I, of course, feel for the millions of people whose lives have been harmed by cannabis prohibition,” says Tousaw, “but I am glad that General McCaffrey understands that adult marijuana use should not be a matter of criminal law. I just wish that more people, especially those who are in active public life, had the courage to admit that change is urgently needed.”

See this video on YouTube.



  1. onegreenday on

    thanks for pointing that out.
    He belongs in Gitmo with the other
    government criminals.

  2. Anonymous on

    As if you havent made enough people suffer already
    Go to hell damn you !
    The marijuana movement doesn’t need your comments !

  3. smitty on

    You might want to perform some more research…
    Cannabis use may pre-date the earliest use of alcohol. As for growing up, you might try that yourself. Maybe you could do so in a prison cell (more appropriately in a locked padded room) where you might gain some needed perspective regarding your severely ignorant comments.

  4. 420miller on

    Everyone has rights and thats the hole point. We deserved to be locked up for what? What make’s Alcohol fine, last time i checked alcohol has destroyed a lot more life’s and family’s than smoking marijuana, here is the real kicker. Marijuana actually has medical benefits, alcohol is purely for recreational use, and a lot more toxic for your body. I’m sorry to break your nuts once more but marijuana is not a “gateway” drug. The problem is Fear through Intimidation. They try to “educate” kids on the use of drugs, by trying to scare them away from them. We were all young once and have gone through it. It’s complete bullshit. Here’s my thing, What got us to do marijuana? Personnel choice. We chose to try marijuana, just like your friend chose to do cocaine. It was his own personnel choice, marijuana did not make him do it. Its like me shooting a person and trying to blame it on the gun.

  5. LabRat on

    Your diatribe against drug use is so full of errors and redneck attitude that it’s no wonder your ex-friend did what he did. I probably would have done the same if I had grown up with a friend like you.

    Did you ever stop and think that your buddy turned to hard drugs in a false hope that he might find solace from the demons that must have beset him whilst struggling with sexual orientation in a world full of intolerant fools such as yourself?

    I doubt it.

    Have another belt. See if you can kill enough brain cells that you forget how to type and we’ll no longer be assailed by your caustic rantings.

    There. I smoked a bowl and said a prayer for your enlightenment.

    Don’t you feel better now?

    I know I do.

    Peace and love from an old doper grandpa.

    LabRat ….. |:^{)

  6. castklearr on

    Wow you got your dick up his ass?

  7. Not Anonymous DCH on

    I like how this guy states his opinion so straight forward but is too scared to post un-anonymously.

  8. Erek Day on

    No one in public office is legally bound to lie. They’re just sheepish cowards that feel a sense of obligation to toe the line.

    While Clinton set the tone of his administration, it’s General Barry McCaffrey who directed the DEA to enforce it. One would hope that these eight years were spent by him to learn about this policy directive, but I can’t help but be mroe cynical – he was a politician and as such, put his job before helping the public interest of both Canada and the United States.

    He should be ashamed.

  9. Anonymous on

    All you Dope fiends need to get one matter straight, you don’t have any
    rights period. That’s why people who use marijuana deserved to be locked up
    for a very long time, in my mind mandatory minimums of six months are far too low. If you get caught with dope you should be given minimum of five years!
    “Ohh no!,” you will say the authorities are ruining so many lives thru prohibition. Have you ever heard of personal responsibility and the fact that dope users/sellers are destroying their own lives?
    We need a get tough stance like we did with crack during the 80s, and usage went down. If those drug pushers realized that they would face harsher penalties then maybe they would think twice before they used and abused. McCaffrey is a liberal good for nothing who would probably sell his soul to the devil to see this country destroyed. Ever since the 1960s when marijuana use started to go up this country has been on a steady decline because of laziness and lack of commitment to hard work. Now you may say, why is alcohol illegal? Well my friend alcohol has been an ingrained part of society since the times of mesopotamia. You can’t just remove that. Not to mention marijuana is a gateway drug. I used to have a friend who smoked marijuana when he was a teen, then he started using cocaine, going on late night binges to gay bars and the like. An
    absolute travesty in my opinion. Most dope users need to grow up and get out of the smoke filled cousy cushin in their momma’s basements.

  10. Minneapolis Mafia on

    These people are so disgusting and evil. How many peaceful ganja growers and users lives do you have to ruin? Barry your “kind of” doing the right thing by saying ganja growers/users should be left alone but how about publicly admitting you made a mistake and demand the release of all non violent ganja prisoners and total decriminalization of ganja. NOT “legalization”! Government STAY OUT OF OUR LIVES! Leave those of us that use ganja as a spiritual sacrament , medicine or just to get stoned ALONE!

  11. atavuswa on

    Because he’s legally bound, as are ALL drug czars, to lie. “Drugs are bad, mmmkay?” Had he admitted he didn’t care, he would have faced criminal charges (been fired, ridiculed, etc). You can’t expect anything positive from these positions while they’re in office, no matter what they’re views were before being hired. Expect more of the same from the new one and all future ones until the requirement for a public office holder to lie to the public is removed.

    Yes, that law is ridiculous. But isn’t that expected? It’s a US Drug law, after all. It usually seems like there’s a requirement for them to be stupid.

  12. castklearr on

    This is the asshole that during the Irag/Kuwait conflict when Sadam took Kuwait….this is the General that went AWOL from Command for three days he killed and murdered Iragi soldiers leaving Kuwait.


    Against Collin Powell’s orders this PIG went on a killing spree BECAUSE HE COULD.


  13. Johnathan Balmer on

    So what do we pay politicians to do? Just go with the flow and not stand up for what they believe in? To give in to corporate pressure and please your corporate sponsors that helped gain that power? To live a lie just because you are getting paid to? This makes no sense. It was his job to make policy to better peoples lives instead he ruined millions.

  14. Marcopole on

    The conservatives in the video argue that the legalization of marijuana will increase the number of users. If the regulations are set well enough the users will be over 21 and informed of their choice, like with tobacco, cigarettes and coffee. And the new consumers will mostly be those in need of it’s medical benefits that hadn’t the courage to use it during prohibition. all contributing money to save the politicians’ asses.


    General Barry McCaffrey tells it like it is.You Canadians and Americans( and anyone else) who are having a hard time with this interview:you’ve got your weed, shut the fuggup.

  16. Sephex on

    The public eye should not hold the same weight as it does. We really don’t care about your personal opinions. What we do care about is scientific knowledge of marijuana and it’s effects on our society. I agree, drugs, all forms, should not be in the hands of our 6th graders; but as an educated society, we should understand it’s potential benefeits.

    Education & Taxation, not Criminalization!


    Hee hee!Boy,there sure are some people who really feel shkronked on after hearing this piece o’ news!

  18. Anonymous on

    What a fuckin dumbass, why couldn’t that pussy say that when he was in office. You coward, I hope you realize all the lives you fucked up asshole!