Drug Policy

Trump Expected to Nominate Former Prosecutor Tom Marino For Drug Czar

Marino has advocated the use of "hospital-slash-prisons" for drug users.


Pennsylvania's Tom Marino, a three-term member of the House of Representatives and a former prosecutor, will likely be Trump's nominee to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy, CBS reports. More:

A source familiar with personnel moves in the White House says that Marino is in the final stages of completing his paperwork and an official announcement is forthcoming. When asked for comment, the White House said it had no personnel announcements at this time. Marino's office had no comment.

Marino, who is serving his third term representing Pennsylvania's rural 10th congressional district, was appointed to serve on the House's bipartisan committee combating the opioid epidemic in 2016 after the enactment of two bills he introduced on drug control.

Marino spent 10 years as District Attorney of Lycoming County before President George W. Bush nominated him in 2002 as the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where Marino says he prosecuted "a wide range of federal offenders, from violent criminals and drug dealers to white collar businessmen who cooked the books."

As a member of the House, he's also voted against pretty much every piece of marijuana reform legislation:

While the Trump White House declined to comment, marijuana prohibitionist Kevin Sabet told CBS News, "My understanding is that Tom has a deep understanding of the issue and is excited to get started."

Tom Angell, the most dogged reporter of marijuana policy news I know, is currently combing through Marino's record of drug policy statements. Here's a taste:

"One treatment option I have advocated for years would be placing nondealer, nonviolent drug abusers in a secured hospital-type setting under the constant care of health professionals," he wrote. "Once the person agrees to plead guilty to possession, he or she will be placed in an intensive treatment program until experts determine that they should be released under intense supervision. If this is accomplished, then the charges are dropped against that person. The charges are only filed to have an incentive for that person to enter the hospital-slash-prison, if you want to call it."

More from Angell here.