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Drug Testing News
Drug Czar Decries
Ariz. Pot Measure
The Associated Press
P H O E N I X, Oct. 11 —
PHOENIX (AP) The federal drug czar denounced a measure on
Arizona's November ballot that would decriminalize possession
of small amounts of marijuana, calling it a "stupid, insulting
John P. Walters made the statement Wednesday at a town hall
meeting, and on Thursday visited a center for teen drug
addicts in Nevada to criticize a similar measure there.
"We know that marijuana is the single largest source of
dependency," Walters, head of the Office of National Drug
Control Policy, told a group of about 150 senior citizens and
children Wednesday. "We know that it is responsible for 20
percent of accidents on the road today.
"How many billions of dollars in liability is Arizona opening
itself up to down the line?"
If passed, Arizona's Proposition 203 would decriminalize the
possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use.
It would also require the Department of Public Safety to
provide free marijuana to people with a written recommendation
from a physician.
In Nevada on Thursday, Walters said, "no community is better
off with more drugs." He has said Nevada's Question 9 could
make the state a center for drug tourism.
Billy Rogers, head of Nevadans for Responsible Law
Enforcement, the main group supporting the measure, said
there's no evidence the initiative's passage would create more
He pointed out that the drug czar's own Web site shows the
majority of drug addicts in Nevada were treated last year for
an amphetamine addiction.
"I think it's about time the drug czar was held accountable to
the outright falsehoods he's been putting out there," Rogers
Phoenix resident Carolyn Barker, 60, attended Wednesday's
meeting because she was angered at comments that Walters made
on the radio earlier in the day.
"I had a friend with cancer and it helped him eat," Barker
said. "He got marijuana illegally and he could have gotten
Walters, who coordinates federal drug programs and spending,
said no scientific data proves marijuana is effective as
AP writer Angie Wagner contributed to this report from Las