Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske says one of his top priorities is curtailing abuse of prescription drugs – such as the addictive painkiller OxyContin – which are readily available. “We get overly concerned about drugs coming in, but the pharmaceuticals are here already,” he told USA Today. He will push for more states to adopt prescription-monitoring programs, databases in which doctors and pharmacists log prescriptions for addictive drugs so law enforcement can track them.
On his first trip outside Washington since assuming his new role, Kerlikowske told a law enforcement crowd that marijuana should remain illegal, but public health officials – not police – should lead efforts to reduce illegal drug use. “Legalization isn’t in the president’s vocabulary, and it certainly isn’t in mine,” he told 300 police, federal agents and law enforcement officials.