The lizard people who control the U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama's nomination of Michael Botticelli to be the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (aka drug czar). Unlike the zero-tolerance drug warriors who preceded him, Botticelli has a background in public health, and is a proponent of medication-assisted treatment.
In the three years that he has played a leadership role in the drug czar's office, Botticelli has demonstrated his commitment to advancing more science-based and compassionate drug policies. In public remarks, Botticelli has emphasized the need to expand treatment to people who need it, reduce stigma associated with drug use, and reduce collateral consequences following a conviction.
Advocates have praised Botticelli for supporting improved access to naloxone – a drug that rapidly reverses opiate overdoses – and promoting "Good Samaritan" laws that provide protection from drug possession charges when an overdose witness seeks medical attention.
Advocates also have praised Botticelli for leading an effort by the Obama administration to promote medication-assisted treatment. Last week, Botticelli announced a new policy barring federal funding for drug courts that do not allow participation in medication-assisted treatment programs.