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Drug Czar Nominee's Stepson Is in Broward Jail

Gil Kerlikowske, chief of the Seattle Police Department, was introduced to the media yesterday as the Obama administration's nominee to lead the Office of Drug Control Policy. Meanwhile, his stepson Jeffrey sits in a Broward County jail cell.

Jeffrey Kerlikowske, 39, of Coconut Creek, has a history of selling marijuana and was imprisoned in connection with an April 16, 2006, case of felony battery, for which he was released a year ago. He was arrested in Martin County last week for allegedly violating his parole.

I met Gil Kerlikowske a few years ago while working for a newspaper in Seattle. The word I would use to describe him: polished. Kerlikowske's genteel manner was invaluable in patching up a department image battered by overreaction to protesters of the World Trade Organization summit ten years ago.

It's a good pick pick by the Obama administration, and I hope Kerlikowske brings to Washington, D.C., the enlightened approach to drug enforcement that prevailed in Seattle. Marijuana use was technically illegal but placed in what I think is the proper pecking order in terms of law enforcement priority -- behind jaywalking and other petty offenses.

Seattle has lots of illegal-drug users, but while I was there, at least, it had little of the drug violence that reactionary politicians would link to drugs.

To Kerlikowske's credit, he used his introductory news conference to acknowledge his own family's struggles with drugs.

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Thomas Francis

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