The audio recording of this event is available at the bottom of this page (due to technical issues we are unable to provide the full audiovisual recording).


In this online discussion, Office of National Drug Control Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske outlined what he has been hearing in his meetings around the nation, then engaged in an hour of Q&A dialogue with the audience as part of an ongoing process that will inform the President's first National Drug Strategy.

Included among the many tasks on President Barack Obama's agenda is to revise the nation's approach to drug policy. On May 7, 2009, R. Gil Kerlikowske was sworn in as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. As the Nation's "Drug Czar," Mr. Kerlikowske is charged both with developing President Obama's National Drug Control Strategy and for coordinating the Strategy’s implementation with Federal, state, and local agencies. By law, the Strategy must establish comprehensive, research-based, long-term quantifiable goals for reducing illicit drug use and the consequences of illicit drug use in the United States. President Obama has asked Director Kerlikowske to conduct a comprehensive consultation process and seek the most promising and cost-effective approaches to reducing drug use as well as drug-related crime and violence. The ONDCP Director has been traveling the country and hearing from drug treatment providers, educators, city and county officials, law enforcement and other criminal justice system agencies and an array of non-governmental organizations.


Questions for Consideration:

Some of the questions Director has been asking experts around the country include:

  • What are the drug problems and related drug issues most affecting our communities and requiring the greatest efforts to respond to?
  • What have been the limitations or weaknesses of the array of government agencies – at the state, local, and Federal levels - which are charged to work on these problems?
  • How can we change the way those responsible for responding to the drug problem (for example, police, courts, and treatment providers) collaborate in order to make our efforts more effective in reducing drug use and its consequences?

Key Speeches and other Resources:

Excerpts from speeches delivered by Director Kerlikowske.

United States Office of National Drug Control Strategy (ONDCP)
   - ONDCP blog "Pushing Back"
   - National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
   - *contact or submit comments to ONDCP*

The President's National Drug Control Strategy - January 2009

"Q&A: Beau Kilmer on President’s National Drug Control Strategy." Harvard Kennedy School News, September 2, 2009.

Mark Kleiman & Harold Pollack. "Advice for the New Drug Czar: Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske is Obama's pick to head the Office of National Drug Control. We're not sure whether to offer congratulations or condolences." American Prospect. February 12, 2009

Assessing Changes in Global Drug Problems, 1998-2007: Main Report. RAND Corporation. 2009.

Mark Kleiman & Beau Kilmer. "The Dynamics of Deterrence." PNAS, v. 106. August 25, 2009.

Beau Kilmer. "The Future of DIRECT Surveillance: Drug and alcohol use Information from Remote and Continuous Testing." Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, v. 1, issue 1. 2008.

Presentations (PDF)