WASHINGTON, May 14 (UPI) -- Gil Kerlikowske, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, says the United States should not see itself as fighting a "war on drugs."
The newly confirmed drug control official questioned the use of the popular "war" term, saying such an idea is actually standing in the way of positive movement regarding the country's drug problems, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
"Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people see a war as a war on them," Kerlikowske said Wednesday. "We're not at war with people in this country."
Kerlikowske added the Obama administration will likely approach the country's drug problem not just as a criminal justice issue, but also as a public health concern.
The new U.S. administration has already taken steps to ban raids of medical-marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized such medical services, the Journal said. Obama's administration is also urging for equalized law enforcement treatment of crimes involving crack cocaine and powder cocaine.