From http://www.freetimes.com/story/4790. -
The Democratic sweep in the 2006 mid-term elections has done more than finally install a woman (who is a dingbat) as Speaker of the House. It also has put one of the most vocal critics of the ill-starred "war on drugs" in a position to affect federal drug policy. On January 18, Ohio Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, one of the most progressive Democratic voices in the House, was appointed as chair of the new House Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee on domestic policy, causing drug reform organizations coast-to-coast to rejoice in hopes that a moment for significant change may have finally come.(time to celebrate)
This subcommittee replaces the now-defunct Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources subcommittee, which was headed up by staunch drug warrior Rep. Mark Souder (R-Indiana)(BOO). Kucinich will assume many of his oversight duties, including policy oversight of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and appointed Drug Czar John Walters. (awesome) One commentator on Stopthedrugwar.org crowed that "the responsibility of overseeing the ONDCP has effectively been transferred from Congress's most reckless drug warrior to its most outspoken drug policy reformer." (cool)
"He is certainly the polar opposite of his predecessor, Mark Souder," says Allen St. Pierre, spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. "Since the time the [ONDCP] was created in 1988, there have always been friendly people in that subcommittee and the ONDCP has always been able to get what they want under the guise of protecting children and saving America from drugs. But Kucinich doesn't believe any of that. Any of it!"
For instance, St. Pierre notes, Kucinich is a supporter of industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive product of the cannabis sativa plant. He is also a supporter of medical marijuana and of the federal rescheduling of marijuana, where it is currently illegal as a Schedule I drug, classified as having "no medical value." This classification clashes with states such as California (there's a dozen in all), which have legalized medical use of marijuana, and leads directly to the current rash of raids on medical marijuana dispensaries by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Kucinich is expected, St. Pierre says, to be a sponsor of a new bill to be introduced in March that would decriminalize pot.
Washington insiders, however, are not holding their breath for great upheaval in federal drug policy. Sources close to the appointment, who asked not to be named, say that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Democratic leadership have effectively embargoed major crime or drug policy legislation for the next two years, to avoid looking soft on crime in the 2008 election.
Nancy Pelosi the time for change is now not two years from now. Reeducate Americans about how treatment is better than more prisons as what happen in California. So upset with Pelosi 1 wanting to wait two years so as to capture the White House instead of tackling the biggest problems facing this country. she won't have to take sides and piss off a block of voters. That shows poor leadership. Does she not have principles, morals and values that guide her decision making. You cannot govern by polls and playing favorites.