U.S.: Trump Intends to Nominate Pennsylvania Congressman Marino as Drug Czar
Trump to name Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) as White House Drug Czar
By Michael Bachara
The position of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), who is responsible for setting broad federal approaches to controlled substance policy and certifying the drug budgets of other agencies, will be given Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino, a former state and federal prosecutor.
Rep. Marino has consistently voted against marijuana law reform measures on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, as a member of Congress since 2011.
Marino, who voted three times against amendments to prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, also opposed a broader amendment to protect all state marijuana laws from Justice Department interference and voted three times against amendments to allow military veterans to receive medical cannabis recommendation through Department of Veterans Affairs doctors.
Rep. Marino appeared to advocate for forced hospitalization of people who use drugs, in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee last year.
“One treatment option I have advocated for years would be placing nondealer, nonviolent drug abusers in a secured hospital-type setting under the constant care of health professionals,” Rep. Marino said. “Once the person agrees to plead guilty to possession, he or she will be placed in an intensive treatment program until experts determine that they should be released under intense supervision. If this is accomplished, then the charges are dropped against that person. The charges are only filed to have an incentive for that person to enter the hospital-slash-prison, if you want to call it.”
Despite consistently voting against amendments to allow states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal harassment, Rep. Marino told the Williamsport Sun-Gazette last year that, “I’m a states’ rights guy. The less federal government in my life, the best. I think it’s a states’ right issue. If Pennsylvania passes it… and if I don’t like it, I can pick up and move.”
“If it does help people one way or another, then produce it in pill form,” Rep. Marino said. “You can’t smoke it for this, but you take a pill. But don’t make an excuse because you want to smoke marijuana. Look what’s happening to states and cities who are legalizing it. They are running into a lot of problems.”
In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Marino to serve as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Rep. Marino is serving his third term representing Pennsylvania’s rural 10th congressional district. In 2016, Marino was appointed to serve on the House’s bipartisan committee combating the opioid epidemic after the enactment of two bills he introduced on drug control.
After it is formally announced by the White House, Rep. Marino’s appointment, will require confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
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