WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday nominated Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy as the nation’s “drug czar,” months after he had officially withdrawn from consideration.

Marino, an attorney who has served in the House of Representatives since 2011, has a lengthy track record of supporting enforcement-side drug policy as well as improved drug treatment.

Marino is a longtime supporter of Trump, who at one point dubbed him and Rep. Lou Barletta — another Pennsylvania Republican who endorsed Trump early in his run — “Thunder and Lightning.” Both later served on the president’s transition team.


Marino was rumored to be a candidate to help ONDCP throughout the spring, but cited his mother’s health when he took himself out of the running.

He has advocated for “placing non-dealer, non-violent drug abusers in a secured hospital-type setting under the constant care of health professionals” if they plead guilty to a drug possession charge, as he said last year at House hearing on preventing the children of drug abusers from harm. The criminal charge, under his proposal, would be dropped upon successful completion of a treatment program.

“The charges are only filed to have an incentive for that person to enter the hospital-slash-prison, if you want to call it,” Marino said.

In 2016, Marino co-authored a law that passed with bipartisan support but drew criticism for limiting the Drug Enforcement Agency’s power to crack down on pharmacies and some distributors it determined had acted in ways that contributed to the opioid crisis. The law, Marino said then in a statement, was meant to protect the rights of patients in need of prescription painkillers while also acting to prevent abuse.

The bill was heavily supported by pharmaceutical wholesalers.

Marino would inherit the role of drug czar during an ever-worsening epidemic of opioid overdoses.

“The opioid epidemic is impacting communities across the country and the Office of National Drug Control Policy plays a critical role in coordinating the federal response to this crisis,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), a co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, in a statement. “I’m pleased that there will finally be a director of ONDCP but the real test will be if there is concrete action from the Administration to address the opioid epidemic.”

He is also likely to be questioned for his stance on medical marijuana. He has voted numerous times against language that would limit the Justice Department’s ability to interfere with state-level marijuana policies.

Marino’s appointment must be confirmed by the Senate, which will reconvene on Tuesday after a monthlong summer recess.

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  • Tom Marion should be in prison. How in the World is he a nominee for the National Drug Czar. Follow the money. Mr.Trump You said you would drain the swamp You have the biggest swamp Rat of all in your cross hairs. Opioid correction starts with Tom Marion. You said you wanted to protect us. Incarcerate TOM DO-IT

    • Responsible adults do not need protection from their own choices. Only psychiatric drugs are compulsory.

  • This man sold his soul to the pharmaceutical industry. He has the blood of tens of thousands of opioid overdose victims on his hands.
    Watch the 60 minutes show which aired 15-October-2017.
    We are killing our fellow citizens, no terrorists needed.

    • Adults who ingest opioids do so voluntarily and are entirely responsible for their decisions. According to Columbia University’s Carl Hart, three-fourths of opioid-related deaths are due to improper drug mixing, and therefore not due to ingestion of opioids alone. Many more are due to bootleg products that are the consequence of prohibition. Though opioids have been used for thousands of years, anti-science Americans pretend that they have magically become dangerous in recent years.

  • Talk about putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop.
    Anyone who has lost a friend or relative to opioid abuse should write their congressmen and senators demanding that this crooked individual not be given this important post; at a time we continue to escalate the amount of overdose deaths from opioids.

  • I saved my husband! He had a PSA 3 yrs ago which was normal. I thought he had his PSA checked every year like I get my physical. He didn’t! I TOLD him to get one since he was due for a check up. Glad I did, his PSA increased to 6. His Urologist suggested a biopsy which he had done. 2 of 12 tags came back positive for CANCER. He just got surgery to remove his prostate & CANCER was isloated to prostate only. It has not metastasized. He is only 57 yrs old. Thank God!

  • Forced treatment is merely a different aspect of “enforcement-side drug policy.” Drug heretics encounter the therapeutic state as religious heretics encounter the theocratic state.

  • What about M.A.T.? With M.A.T. people can lead productive lives& raise childten& help society and is this still on the plan? I’m praying for saving lives!

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