STAT, September 2, 2017
Lev Facher

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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 to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy as the nation’s “drug czar,” months after he had officially withdrawn from consideration.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. [...]

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