Cantwell Statement on Gil Kerlikowske's Nomination for Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement regarding the announcement of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske's nomination to be Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
"I congratulate Chief Kerlikowske on this nomination and know he's the right man for the job. For years, Gil has seen the tragic effects drugs and crime can have on our communities, our youth and our families. Unfortunately, communities across Washington state, and our nation, are seeing an increase in drug use and distribution, and with that an increase in crime and drug activity. This issue solely isn't about arresting criminals and offenders, it's also about educating people about the dangers of drugs and prevention. As a police officer, Gil knows first hand that any strategy for tackling drugs in this country needs to combine law enforcement efforts with treatment and prevention programs."
As Director of the ONDCP, Kerlikowske will be responsible for advising the President regarding the Nation's anti-drug efforts; evaluating and coordinating both the international and domestic anti-drug efforts; and, ensuring that the Federal government's role compliments state and local efforts. The ONDCP's mission is to to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences. To achieve these goals, the Director of ONDCP is charged with producing the National Drug Control Strategy. The Strategy directs the Nation's anti-drug efforts and establishes a program, a budget, and guidelines for cooperation among Federal, State, and local entities.
Since taking office, Cantwell has worked tirelessly to promote meth awareness initiatives, increase funding for anti-meth programs, and move meth ingredients behind pharmacy counters. Cantwell worked with her colleagues to include the Combat Meth Act and other anti-meth measures. The Combat Meth Act restricts the sale of products used to produce meth, provides funds to help those affected by meth use, and gives new tools to states, law enforcement, and prosecutors working to combat meth. Cantwell has also worked to curb meth trafficking across the U.S.-Canada border. She also joined Representative Brian Baird (D-WA-03) to create a National Meth Awareness Day, observed in November, and backed legislation authorizing $40 million annually to help children affected by meth.