At a time when California has just become the sixth state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is listening to the advice of a former Nixon Administration official who is calling for a dramatic crackdown on those who use the drug.
The policies advocated by Robert DuPont, 81, who was the nation’s drug czar from 1973 to 1977 during the Nixon and Ford administrations, call for drug testing of all welfare recipients, including children and requiring law enforcement to conduct tests of all drivers suspected of driving under the influence and then charging them with possession if any trace of a controlled substance is detected.
Sessions, who has made it clear that he plans to change the more hands-off approach to dealing with marijuana that was practiced during the Obama Administration, held a closed door meeting of drug policy advisors, including DuPont last month, limiting the attendance to those who advocate stricter law enforcement to deal with marijuana usage.
None fit that description better than DuPont who addressed the topic in a 2012 blog post, “Why Marijuana Is the Most Dangerous Drug,” which began with his assertion that “marijuana is a primary cause of substance use disorders around the world.”
In the blog post, DuPont claimed that early marijuana use frequently leads to opioid addiction.
DuPont has also called for giving doctors the authority to put suspected drug users into treatment facilities without their permission. After their placement in the treatment facilities, they could also be forced to undergo five years of monitoring for substance abuse, under model legislation proposed by DuPont in 2010, according to a Daily Beast report.
At Sessions’ closed door meeting, DuPont addressed the problem of drugged driving, according to an agenda posted on the pro-marijuana magazine Marijuana Moment website.
DuPont’s attitude toward marijuana has hardened over the decades. Daily Beast reports that in the 1970s, DuPont was a proponent for decriminalizing possession of the drug.
His change in attitude may have occurred after he joined with former Drug Enforcement Administration director Pete Bensinger to start a drug testing company, Bensinger, DuPont & Associates. He later was involved with Psychemetrics, another drug testing firm, according to the Daily Beast report.
The report also noted that DuPont serves as an adviser to other drug testing firms.
DuPont told Daily Beast his connection to the drug testing industry has nothing to do with his advocating for laws that would mandate increased testing.