Tom Marino: Just another anti-marijuana, pro-pharma drug czar – Philly.com
Congressman Tom Marino of Pennsylvania is the perfect choice for drug czar because President Donald Trump is assembling a team of old-school drug warriors at the White House whose favorite things include marijuana prohibition, civil asset forfeiture, and mandatory drug treatment for cannabis consumers.
Marino is no spring chicken to the septic tanks of politics. Sitting on the House Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees, he is one of the true political elites on the Hill who are privy to a long list of secrets that require billions in taxpayer money.
His sparse voting record on marijuana related bills? All negative, and that’s no surprise.
This is the first time a member of Congress has been picked to lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Moving from such an entrenched legislative position to that of a mere presidential appointee does seem odd for Marino. But the jump makes sense given his long and amicable dealings with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with an existing relationship with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie and Pam Bondi of Florida have been tapped by Trump to deal with opiates. With Marino, Trump’s front line against American marijuana consumers is now complete and ready to work with their pal Sessions.
To make it all feel extra gross, Marino takes money from pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists. That has no shock value, because almost all high-level politicians in N.J. and Pa. – especially the Congressional delegations – take some form of pharma campaign cash. Thanks to superPACs, we don’t even really know how much. But again, that’s just business as usual around here.
For a weed wonk like me, this is a bad scenario. Drug policy is one of the few areas where the executive branch wields tremendous,