Thursday, September 16, 2010

SSDP confronts Kerlikowske at National Press Club

Daniel Pacheco, a student from Colombia and a member of the Georgetown University Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter, respectfully challenged Gil Kerlikowke, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, on Sept. 16, 2010 at the National Press Club, on the suggestion of the past Presidents of Colombia and Mexico, that legalizing drugs would defund the violent cartels that are ravaging Mexico. See the YouTube clip here.

Kerlikowske said a couple of times that the cartel revenues from marijuana were a "small part" of their income, and that taking away this revenue would not transform these criminal organizations.

Pacheco, politely retaking the microphone, noted that revenues from marijuana amounted to 60 to 70 percent of the cartel's total revenue -- not a small part -- and that to summarily dismiss the suggestions of the former Presidents was disrespectful to the victims of the cartel violence.

Kerlikowske then said that the 60-70 percent estimate was released by ONDCP in 2006, based on 1997 data, and therefore was out of date. He offered no better, more recent number or alternative number, and thus simply repudiated data and analysis generated by his own office.

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