Drug Czar Says Cocaine, Meth Use Down, Warns of Marijuana Health Risks


As Washington state and Colorado wait to see whether the federal government will allow them to sell marijuana legally, the Obama administration is busy talking about the dangerous health effects of smoking pot. “From our standpoint as a public health issue, nothing has changed as a result of those votes,” White House drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske said yesterday, McClatchy Newspapers report. Attorney General Eric Holder has not announced an official administration stance on the new state laws. As he announced the new federal drug control strategy, Kerlikowske boasted that the administration's efforts in fighting drugs are paying off. Overall since 2006, he said, cocaine use is down by 50 percent, while methamphetamine use has fallen by one-third. At the same time, fewer Americans are driving after using illicit drugs and fewer are addicted to prescription drugs. Still, the nation continues to see “elevated rates of marijuana use among young people, likely driven by declines in perception of risk.” The administration wants $10.7 billion for drug-education programs next year and to provide more drug treatment for people with substance abuse disorders.

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