A former Pennsylvania district attorney, Tom Marino, will be President Trump's drug czar, according to a report from CBS News. Marino served as DA of Lycoming County, My time as DA in Lawrence County overlapped with Tom's from 1998 to 2002 when he became U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Marino, now a Congressman, has a congressional voting record as a hard-liner on marijuana issues, and he recently said that he'd like to put nonviolent drug offenders in some sort of “hospital-slash-prison,” reported the Washington Post.
As drug czar, Marino would oversee the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a branch of the White House that advises the president on drug policy issues. More than anything else, the office sets the tone of an administration's drug policy. Under President Barack Obama, for instance, the office quite publicly retired the phrase “war on drugs,” preferring rhetoric centered more on public health than criminal justice.
Whether that approach continues is something of an open question. Former drug czars from a more militant drug policy era have been publicly agitating to “bring back the war on drugs.” Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is moving to put criminal justice back at the forefront of drug policy.
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